Another day, another few candidates revealed for the Chicago Bears' head coaching vacancy. Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub, Vikings linebackers coach and Hall of Fame Bears linebacker Mike Singletary, and Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer are the latest candidates to have interviews scheduled with the Bears (and in Toub's case, the interview already took place):
#Bears GM Phil Emery interviewed special teams coordinator Dave Toub for the head coaching vacancy Monday, according to a league source.
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) January 8, 2013
Add 2 more names to #Bears interview list for Phil Emery: #Vikings assistants Mike Singletary and special teams coach Mike Priefer.An interview with Toub has been expected, especially after the Bears scheduled interviews with Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong and Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. Toub, 50, is considered by many to be the best special teams coordinator in the NFL, and it's been assumed for a few years that he'd eventually land a head coaching job. Last year, Toub interviewed for the Dolphins' job.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 8, 2013
Here's more on Toub, from ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson:
An original member of Lovie Smith's staff who joined the Bears organization in 2004, Toub has molded the club's special teams unit into one of the top outfits in the league over the last nine years. The Bears had the No. 1 rated special teams in 2006 and 2007 and are annually ranked in the top third of the league.
Under Toub, the Bears have produced four Pro Bowl players: Devin Hester, Johnny Knox, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Robbie Gould.
Toub is the fourth known special teams coach to be considered for the Bears' head coaching position, joining Atlanta's Keith Armstrong, Dallas' Joe DeCamillis and Minnesota's Mike Priefer.
The Singletary interview certainly comes as a surprise. Yes, 'Samurai Mike' is one of the greatest players in Bears history and is beloved by Chicago, but he struggled mightily as head coach with the 49ers. The 54-year-old went 18-22 with the 49ers from 2008-2010, before Jim Harbaugh went 24-8 as 49ers head coach over the last two years (and currently has them hosting a second-round playoff game).
During Singletary's 49ers tenure, he was best known for mooning the team in the locker room during halftime of a 2008 game against the Seahawks, and then ripping tight end Vernon Davis to shreds in the postgame press conference (after sending Davis to the locker room with over 10 minutes to go in the game).
It's been speculated that Emery was requested by the McCaskeys to interview Singletary out of respect, and that's certainly a possibility. Whatever the case, don't expect Singletary to be a finalist for the job. I just can't see him being a realistic possibility for the job for many, many reasons.
Priefer, 46, just finished his second season as the Vikings' special teams coordinator, after holding the same title for the Broncos and Chiefs in previous years. I can't tell you much more about Priefer... there's not even a Wikipedia page about him. But, yeah, he'll be interviewing, and like Singletary, should be considered quite a long shot for the job.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said on NBC Sports Network today that there's been rumblings around the league that Emery is doing so many interviews to collect as much information as he can on ways to improve the team (particularly the offense, of course) and that in reality there's probably only a handful of guys he's seriously considering for the job. That may rub some the wrong way, but if you can do it, why not? Every candidate is going to have different ideas and philosophies on ways to improve the offense, so you might as well gather as much information as you can. Some candidate out there may present a brilliant way to get more out of Jay Cutler, the offensive line, other receivers than Brandon Marshall, etc.
And even if these candidates don't get the job, just getting an interview can go a long way in boosting their chances for a head coaching job in the future, or at least boost their chances for more interview opportunities. Look at Marc Trestman, for example. He was completely off the NFL radar until the Bears scheduled an interview with him, and now all of a sudden other teams (such as the Browns) are reportedly interested in him too. Even if a candidate may just be being "used" in the eyes of some, it's still beneficial for their coaching prospects down the road.
UPDATE: Brad Biggs added an interesting nugget on Priefer.
#Bears GM Phil Emery was strength coach at Navy when #Vikings ST coach Mike Priefer was assistant on the staff there.Get the latest DBN updates by following us on Facebook & Twitter.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 8, 2013