The Bears hope to interview Packers OC Tom Clements for the HC opening.
In general manager Phil Emery's impressive press conference (audio at Windy City Gridiron) Tuesday following Lovie Smith's dismissal Monday, Emery said that the Bears will look at a "wide variety of candidates" for the head coaching vacancy. And it certainly appears he wasn't kidding around, because as of Tuesday night, we're already aware of five candidates the Bears hope to interview (with one of the interviews already taking place Tuesday night).
Reports are that the Bears will interview Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis for the job, and have requested permission to interview Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements:
Cowboys ST coach joe DeCamillis will interview for Bears HC gig on Saturday in Dallas.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) January 2, 2013
Add another assistant to Phil Emery's list: Bears ask permission to interview Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, per league source.
— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) January 2, 2013
DeCamillis and Clements join Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, and Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong as candidates the Bears are planning to interview (click here for my write-up on those three). And in Armstrong's case, that's apparently happened already:
Keith Armstrong is interviewing right now in Atlanta. Joe DeCamillis' interview is Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., according 2 source.Clements, 59, is in his first season as the Packers' offensive coordinator, but served as their quarterbacks coach from 2006-2012. He's got previous coordinator experience, though, as he was the Bills' offensive coordinator in 2004 and 2005. He's also been a quarterbacks coach for the Steelers (2001-2004), Chiefs (2000), Saints (1997-1999), and Notre Dame (1992-1995) over the years.
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) January 2, 2013
Clements is the most intriguing of the two new names to surface for a variety of reasons, such as...
1. Clements is the play-caller for the NFC North-winning (and overall, dominating in recent times) Packers, who just in case you didn't know, happen to be the Bears' arch-rival, and the team the Bears are trying to catch and solve.
2. The Packers' offense is as high-powered as they come. Even with no-names at running back. Even with an offensive line that allowed seven more sacks than the Bears did. Even with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and Randall Cobb all missing games with injuries. Yeah, they have Aaron Rodgers, but the scheming and adapting there have been a major part of the success.
3. Clements has been the quarterbacks coach for Rodgers and Brett Favre (and Matt Flynn's even worth mentioning). The improvements Rodgers has made since he arrived in the NFL have been incredible. Rodgers is arguably the best player in the entire league. Clements surely has played a large part in that, and maybe he could get a lot more out of Jay Cutler as well. We know Cutler has the physical tools to be one of the best.
Now, you may be saying, "Can't the Packers block the Bears from interviewing Clements?" (and even I initially wondered this). And the answer is "no", as per NFL rules, teams must allow coordinators to interview for head coaching vacancies, as it's a promotion rather than a lateral move. While a head coach is usually all about his assistants getting a shot to head coach another team, you know Mike McCarthy wouldn't be too thrilled about the idea of Clements going to the Bears of all teams. Clements knows everything about how the Packers and their offense operate, and again, the Bears haven't been able to solve them.
During Emery's press conference, one of the main things he made clear he's looking for in the head coaching search is a "high energy" guy. And DeCamillis is most certainly that. The 47-year-old DeCamillis is known for his fiery personality, and is a highly respected coach. He's served as the Cowboys' special teams coordinator since 2009, and has been a special teams coach in the NFL since 1988 (Broncos in 1988-1992, Giants in 1993-1996, Falcons in 1997-2006, Jaguars in 2007-2008).
Adam Oestmann, editor for Chicago Bears Huddle (one of our favorite sites and a recommended bookmark), had this to say on Twitter about DeCamillis:
I'll say this in preview of my piece for tomorrow: Joe DeCamillis is a very legit candidate for the Bears job, IMO.
— Adam Oestmann (@adamspeaks) January 2, 2013
... So is McCoy, who seems to be the fan-favorite, but I talked to two insiders about DeCamillis, and he fits what Emery's looking for.We'll have much more on the Bears' coaching search in the coming days.
— Adam Oestmann (@adamspeaks) January 2, 2013
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