First reported by Pro Football Talk on Wednesday, Saints’ offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. is among the candidates who will interview for the Bears’ head coaching vacancy. According to local reports, as well as the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the interview will take place in Chicago on Thursday.
Carmichael spent some time as an offensive assistant for the Browns, Redskins and Chargers before being hired on as the Saints’ quarterbacks coach in 2006. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2009; the same season New Orleans went on to win Super Bowl XLIV and led the NFL in scoring (32 PPG).
Make no mistake about it, Sean Payton is the master-mind behind the Saints’ offense; Drew Brees is the catalyst through which it works.
Carmichael, however, began to draw interest from teams around the League last season after taking over play-calling duties while head coach Sean Payton recovered from a broken tibia and MCL tear, suffered in a collision with tight end Jimmy Graham’s helmet after Graham was tackled on the sideline.
The Saints finished the 2011 season 13-3 with the League’s top-rated offense, before losing in the second round of the playoffs. Subsequently, Carmichael was asked to interview for head coaching positions in Indianapolis and Oakland.
But Carmichael made it clear to reporters last week that he’s happy in his current position. “Over the last year plus, there's been more responsibility, which I think is a positive for myself,” Carmichael said. “This is the place I want to be. I love it here. My family loves it here. This is what we consider our home.”
While Carmichael will still interview with the Bears, it remains unclear what his interest level in making the jump to a head coaching position will ultimately be. But the interest from the side of G.M. Phil Emery and others around the NFL is not shocking in the least, especially to quarterback Drew Brees.
“I consider Sean one of the best offensive minds and play-callers there are,” Brees said. “To watch Pete now approach that level, I assume that there's a high demand for guys like that.”