The Bears are set to interview former Broncos coach John Fox, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports.
Fox and the Broncos parted ways Monday, a day after Denver’s loss to Indianapolis in the NFL playoffs and roughly one year after guiding Denver to its first Super Bowl since 1998.
He is a veteran coach with a winning record and meets much of the criteria the Bears envision in a possible pairing with a first-year general manager Ryan Pace.
However, the Bears have granted Pace final authority on the coaching hire, and sources say the 37-year-old GM will want to be certain his choice has the sustained energy to embrace the challenge of leading a team that can overcome a competitive NFC North division and win a Super Bowl.
Pace has some familiarity with Fox through mutual friends, including Saints coach Sean Payton.
Pace worked 13 years in personnel for New Orleans starting in 2002, overlapping in the NFC South with Fox, who coached the Panthers from 2002 to 2010.
The leading consultant for the Bears has been former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, who had an excellent relationship with both Fox and Payton when they served on the same staff as Giants coordinators under Jim Fassel.
The Bears have also interviewed Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. They were scheduled to interview Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Tuesday.