The Bears are beginning their coaching search to replace John Fox. Follow along here:
The Bears interviewed defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for their head coaching job Wednesday.
It marked the third time Fangio had ever done such an interview. Bears could be interested in keeping Fangio, who has turned around the defense and been beloved by his players, as their coordinator. He’s a free agent this offseason.
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The Bears have asked for permission to speak to Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times. Nagy sparked the team’s strong finish — and playoff berth — after a 6-5 start. Since coach Andy Reid turned over playcalling duties to Nagy at the start of December, the Chiefs have scored 31, 26, 30, 29 and 27 points, going 4-1 and reaching the postseason.
The Bears can’t interview Nagy until after this Saturday’s Chiefs-Titans game.
Only 39, Nagy helped guide quarterback Alex Smith. He was the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach for three years before being named co-offensive coordinator last year. He had the solo job this year.
Nagy had never called plays until last month.
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The Bears have asked to interview Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, per NFL.com. The 50-year-old’s defense has allowed the fewest points in football, but he doesn’t call the plays. Head coach Mike Zimmer does.
“He really does everything for me, other than, I call the plays on Sunday,” Zimmer said. “I may change that next year. But anyway, George does everything. He helps with the game plan. He runs a lot of the meetings, the defensive meetings. Him and I really sit down and talk about all the different things that are going on. He studies the game just like he’s calling the game, so he’ll come in and talk to me about second down and whatever, they’re doing this or they’re doing that.”
Zimmer reiterated last week that he might hand over play-calling duties next year because of his confidence in Edwards.
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The Bears have requested to speak to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, sources confirmed. They would have to interview both men this week, as the Patriots and Vikings have first-round playoff byes.
McDaniels is considered perhaps the league’s pre-eminent quarterback guru, but it’s unclear if he’d accept a situation where he doesn’t have control over personnel. General manager Ryan Pace said Monday he won’t relinquish 53-man roster authority.
McDaniels spent two seasons as the Broncos” head coach, famously chasing off Jay Cutler, who demanded a trade after he tried to trade for Matt Cassel. After one year as the Rams’ offensive coordinator in 2011, he returned to the Patriots to work under Bill Belichick.
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The Bears will speak to Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur this week, sources confirmed. Like McDaniels with the Broncos, Shurmur spent two years as the Browns’ head coach.
His Vikings went 13-3 this year despite injuries to starting quarterback Sam Bradford and starting running back Dalvin Cook. Before their season finale against the Bears last week, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer endorsed him as a head-coaching candidate.
“I think he’s been very adaptable trying to fit the scheme to the players,” Zimmer said of Shurmur. “I think he did a nice job in the offseason of coming with a plan of using the guys we had and trying to use them to their strengths.
“And then, obviously, after Bradford went down and really then when Cook went down, being able to adapt to those. I think his adaptability … And I think he’s done a good job in calling plays. But more importantly, probably, has been using the players to their strengths.”
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The Bears have requested to interview Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times on Monday.
They must conduct their first interview with him by the end of the weekend because the Eagles have a first-round playoff bye, per league rules.
He fits the Bears’ desire for a coach who can help develop rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The 39-year-old helped develop quarterback Carson Wentz, who was the presumptive league MVP before suffering a season-ending knee injury last month.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson told Chicago reporters earlier this year that he had a strong relationship with Wentz.
“Both (Wentz sand DeFillipo) are kind of hard-headed and stubborn,” Pederson said. “It’s good to have that type of relationship where you can have hard conversation in that room and yet walk away and come out of that room united. I think that’s one of the strengths DeFilippo brings to that room, and then the quarterbacks respond. … That’s a positive thing that has come out of that quarterback room.”
DeFillipo has never called plays for the Eagles, but was the Browns’ offensive coordinator in 2015 . Assembling a staff could be difficult if the Eagles march toward the Super Bowl. But if the Bears have targeted the best mentor for Trubisky, he could be the best bet.
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The Bears requested permission to talk to Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks.
The 48-year-old is finishing his first season running the defense. He has Bears ties — Wilks coached the Bears’ defensive backs from 2006-08 before following Ron Rivera, his current head coach, to the Chargers. He coached there until 2011, spending the final season as the Chargers’ assistant head coach, before returning to his hometown of Charlotte.
Wilks would satisfy the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires that teams interview at least one minority candidate. Wilks’ work has been respected all year, though. The Bears can’t interview him until after the Wild Card round this weekend.