The list of candidates that Phil Emery and the Bears are known to plan to interview (or already have interviewed) for the head coaching vacancy is now up to 10, after news broke on Sunday that the Bears requested permission to interview Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison for the job.
The Bears were granted permission to interview Seahawks OC Darrell Bevell last week. Add him to the long list of candidates in Chicago
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 6, 2013
Bears asked for and received permission to interview Texans OC Rick Dennison for HC job. Dennison worked with Cutler and Marshall in Denver.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 6, 2013
The 43-year-old Bevell is in his second season as the Seahawks' offensive coordinator, after holding the same job for the Vikings from 2006-2010. The former University of Wisconsin quarterback also served as the Packers' quarterbacks coach in 2003-2005, and was an offensive assistant for the team from 2000-2002. Bevell worked extensively with Brett Favre both in his time with the Packers and Vikings.
And what rookie Russell Wilson (26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 100 QB rating) has been able to do at quarterback in Bevell's offense this season has been remarkable. It's the main reason the Seahawks are still alive as we head into the second round of the NFL playoffs.
Dennison, 54, is a guy I'm very familiar with, as he played tight end where I went to college at Colorado State University, and then played linebacker here in Denver for the Broncos from 1982-1990. Five years after his playing career was over, Dennison joined the Broncos' coaching staff as an offensive assistant, a job he held through 1996. He then was the Broncos' special teams coach in 1997-2000, their offensive line coach from 2001-2005 (and again in 2009), and their offensive coordinator in 2006-2008.
The three years Dennison worked as offensive coordinator for the Broncos were the three years Jay Cutler played quarterback there, and three of the four years Brandon Marshall played wide receiver there. So, that's obviously a major thing to keep in mind with Dennison as a candidate for the Bears' job.
The Chicago Sun-Times' Sean Jensen adds in this great point:
If Rick Dennison were hired, that probably gives Jeremy Bates a stronger chance to remain on the #Bears staff. They worked together in DEN
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) January 6, 2013
Currently, Dennison is the Texans' offensive coordinator, a job he's held since 2010. However, head coach Gary Kubiak is the one calling plays for the Texans, who like the Seahawks are also second-round bound in the playoffs.
Still, Dennison's certainly played a big role in the Texans' solid offense over the last few years, which has been highlighted by a terrific running game and arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. With that running game and offensive line, the Texans are known for their zone-blocking scheme, and you'd have to think Dennison may want to implement that scheme on the Bears if he became head coach. The problem is then that you need offensive lineman that are athletic enough to make the zone-blocking scheme work. Of course, the Bears may need to completely rebuild their offensive line already anyway.
Jensen also added this tweet about Dennison:
Rick Dennison didn't overwhelm me when I heard his name earlier. But I'm hearing a lot of good things about him from various sources
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) January 7, 2013
Stay tuned for much more here on DBN about the Bears' head coaching search. At this rate, we'll probably learn of a few more candidates in the next couple of days. But, over the next week, expect Emery to be down to 2-3 finalists for the position.
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