(MCT) — CHICAGO — The Bears’ coaching search enters Week 2 with general manager Phil Emery still rolling through an extensive list of first interviews as new candidates become available following wild-card weekend.
Emery completed an interview with Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday in Denver and was headed back to Halas Hall, according to a source, with at least 10 names on the Bears’ radar and possibly more to come. All but two have offensive backgrounds.
Multiple reports indicate Emery sought and received permission to meet with Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison this week. CBS Sports reported Emery also will meet with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, making him and Dennison the two newest names to surface.
It’s believed Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians will have an interview in the next several days despite missing Sunday’s playoff loss while hospitalized with an illness in Baltimore. Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements will be interviewed Thursday in Green Bay. Assistants working for teams in the wild-card round that won must be granted permission to interview this week, according to NFL rules.
Arians fell ill Sunday morning with nausea and dizziness, and doctors believe he either had a reaction to medicine he’d been taking or possibly an inner-ear or viral infection. A source said he was feeling fine but was ordered held overnight for observation and is expected to return to Indianapolis on Monday.
The Eagles also have sought permission to meet with Arians, the Browns are rumored to be interested and the Chargers are expected to have interest, but the Bears should be first up to talk with the coach who has a dynamic track record with quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning.
Dennison, 54, is an interesting candidate with a diverse background, including time spent in Denver with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. He has coached 18 seasons in the NFL, spending much of that time under Mike Shanahan. He played linebacker for the Broncos from 1982 to 1990 and was a member of three Super Bowl teams. Dennison does not call the plays in Houston, but he has done a little bit of everything. He has had the title of offensive coordinator for six years — three with the Texans and three with the Broncos — and also coached the offensive line and special teams for the Broncos.
Bevell, 42, was a longtime Packers and Vikings assistant. He joined the Seahawks last season and is credited with helping develop rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, the third-round draft pick who in many ways has exceeded the performances of Luck and Robert Griffin III, the top two picks.
Emery will have a packed week to get all the interviews in. It’s an easy drive from Halas Hall to meet Clements, but he’ll have to hit the road to sit down with Bevell and Dennison in their respective cities. Emery also is reported to have an interview lined up with Marc Trestman, coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.
McCoy also met this weekend with the Cardinals and Eagles and remains a hot name. He was on the Bills’ list before they hired Syracuse coach Doug Marrone. If the Bears want a second interview with any candidates who work for teams that reach Super Bowl XLVII, that second interview must take place in the off week following the conference championship games. So it’s possible the search will slow down after this week and reach a holding pattern depending on the finalists Emery intends to introduce to ownership and upper management at Halas Hall.
A potential wild card is whether or not Emery has met with college coaches, as he suggested he would. He also has yet to be linked to any coaches with a defensive background. Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has drawn interest from the Eagles but is not known to be on the Bears’ list. Emery already has met with two special teams coordinators — the Falcons’ Keith Armstrong and the Cowboys’ Joe DeCamillis.
Emery said “no one is excluded” when he launched his search to replace Lovie Smith. He has kept his word while earning his wings.