So whatever happened to Mike Shanahan’s chances of coaching his hometown Bears?
Shanahan, the former Broncos and Redskins coach, had expressed interest in coaching the Bears and an interview was anticipated after a general manager was named, according to multiple sources.
But that’s as far as it got.
In the end, the interest may have just been too one-sided. A source close to Shanahan said the East Leyden graduate hasn’t heard back from Bears and, at this point, doesn’t expect to.
GM Ryan Pace is now a week into his new job, and since the Bears coaching search began, the team has been consistent in announcing interviews after they conclude.
The immediate availability of John Fox, who has ties to Pace and consultant Ernie Accorsi, after the Broncos’ loss to the Colts in the divisional round was undoubtedly a game-changer.
Of the Bears’ six official interviews, Fox was by far the most experienced candidate, having a 119-89 regular-season record and two Super Bowl appearances over 13 seasons with the Panthers and Broncos.
Shanahan’s resume is more distinguished, starting with his two Super Bowl victories. He also went 91-69 with the Broncos without John Elway, whereas Fox went 73-71 with the Panthers and without Peyton Manning.
One noticeable blemish for Shanahan was his four-year run with the Redskins, which ended in 2013 and included one playoff appearance and controversy.
But a source close to Shanahan said that he wasn’t looking for the same type of control he had in Washington, where he also was vice president of football operations.
Shanahan definitely has his supporters already on the Bears roster. Quarterback Jay Cutler sang Shanahan’s praises — “He’s a heck of a coach. He deserves to coach somewhere,” he said – just moments after the Bears’ 2014 season concluded in Minnesota. Receiver Brandon Marshall later commended Shanahan on ESPN radio.
But their comments could have been damning in the end.
So Shanahan’s return to coaching remains on hold. He interviewed with the Raiders and 49ers, but they turned elsewhere. The Raiders hired former Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio and the 49ers promoted defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.