BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The day before the Bears first met with Matt Nagy, they spent five-and-a-half hours interviewing Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo for their head coaching vacancy.
“It felt like it was 30 minutes, because it was so smooth and the dialogue was so great,” DeFilippo said Thursday at Mall of America, where the NFC champion Eagles conducted their final interviews before Sunday’s Super Bowl. “It was a lot of fun to go through the process. …
“They were absolutely fantastic. It was one of the most organized, if not the most organized, interview I’ve ever been a part of. They’d done their research on me, a ton of background, everything from personality traits. I could tell they made a ton of calls to people that had worked with me. They were so prepared.”
General manager Ryan Pace even chatted with DeFilippo about the Orangetheory Fitness, the national gym chain the quarterbacks coach used, having found out the tidbit in an Eagles online video.
”Ryan was even-keeled, smart, bright,” DeFilippo said. “And there’s no doubt he’s gonna get the Bears going in the right direction.”
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who the Bears interviewed in New England the night before they met with DeFilippo, was similarly impressed by the Bears’ research.
The Bears believed McDaniels — who will be named the Colts’ head coach after the Super Bowl — interviewed well, too.
With the help of president Ted Phillips and chairman George McCaskey, Pace interviewed 25-30 references for each of the six candidates with whom the Bears spoke.
“Mr. McCaskey was great, Ryan Pace was tremendous, very well-prepared,” said McDaniels, whose Patriots ranked first in the NFL in yards per game and second in points. “They did a great job with their presentation. I have nothing but tremendous respect for them and their organization.
“They did a great job with their search, and they hired a tremendous coach. He’s tremendous. “
Unprompted, DeFilippo also praised the hiring of Nagy, the Chiefs offensive coordinator with whom the Bears met Jan. 6.
“The future is definitely bright in Chicago with Matt,” DeFilippo said.
One reason: quarterback Mitch Trubisky is entering his second season.
“Whenever you feel like you have a franchise quarterback in place, it’s a lot easier to build a football team,” DeFilippo said. “They have pieces in place on defense. They were hit by the injury bug a little bit this year —which obviously they explained a little bit to me. Obviously the future’s bright there.”
DeFilippo said the Bears discussed re-stocking their wide receiver group to surround Trubisky, similar to what the Eagles did last offseason. They signed Alshon Jeffery — away from the Bears — and Torrey Smith during the offseason, and Carson Wentz became the presumptive NFL MVP before tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in mid-December.
“Obviously they’re gonna get out and try to find pieces to surround Mitchell with,” DeFilippo said, “very similar to what we did with Carson Wentz this offseason.”
Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley