We've known the Bears will interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements, Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, and Cowboys special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis for their head coaching position (link and link to read more about those candidates).
Now, a sixth name has emerged: Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Pro Football Talk initially broke the news, and said that Carmichael is actually interviewing for the job Wednesday night, but Bears beat writer Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times says the interview is Thursday. Whatever the case, Carmichael is interviewing for the job, and that's all that matters:
Saints O.C. Pete Carmichael is currently interviewing for the Bears' head coaching job, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) January 3, 2013
Can confirm @profootballtalk report that #Bears will talk to Saints O-C Pete Carmichael, but I'm told meeting is Thursday
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) January 3, 2013
Carmichael's interview is hardly a surprise; he's one of the names people immediately threw around as a candidate for the Bears' job due to his work with one of the top offenses in the NFL. The 41-year-old has been the Saints' offensive coordinator since 2009, although Saints head coach Sean Payton was the primary play-caller... until he was suspended due to Bountygate in 2012 (you just maybe have heard about this story). Still, Carmichael's certainly played a prominent role in the Saints' offensive success over the years.
Under Carmichael's play-calling in 2012, the Saints' offense finished No. 2 in the NFL, and was the No. 1 passing offense. Compare that to the Bears, who finished No. 28 in total offense, and No. 29 in passing offense. The Saints have finished with the NFL's top-ranked offense in four of his seven seasons with the organization (he served as their quarterbacks coach in 2006, and quarterbacks/passing coach in 2007-2008).
Carmichael has also served in various assistant coaching roles on offense for the Chargers (2002-2005) where he was also with a young Brees, the Redskins (2001), Browns (2000), Louisiana Tech (1995-1999), and the University of New Hampshire (1994). Aside from being a quarterbacks coach, he's also been a a tight ends coach, an assistant offensive line coach, and assistant wide receivers coach. So, the man knows offense, and more than just in terms of the X's and O's.
And with this interview, I realized something that is very promising for Jay Cutler (and don't think Emery is unaware of this): The Bears now have interviews lined up with candidates that have served as offensive coordinators and/or quarterbacks coaches for Aaron Rodgers (Clements), Brett Favre (Clements), Peyton Manning (McCoy), and Drew Brees (Carmichael).
Update: As Nate Worth (@coach_worth) pointed out to me on Twitter, I forgot about Eli Manning when mentioning the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach connection, as Sullivan worked with him in New York (and I wrote about this a few days ago). So, just further proving the point.
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