The Bears Coaching Search Reaches a List of Ten

The Bears seem to be heading in another direction with the search Lovie Smith’s replacement. Eight offensive coordinators and two special teams coordinators are on General Manager Phil Emery’s list to become the 13th Head Coach in Bears History.

The list continues to grow by the day. Over the weekend, six candidates were listed as the front runners to get the Bears job. The list swelled to ten by Sunday night.

Emery is expected to conduct interviews and then pare the list to a few candidates to bring in front of ownership. He definitely seems committed to bringing in an Offensive minded coach. This would be the first Bears Head Coach with an offensive background since George Halas made his last hire and brought Mike Ditka to Chicago from Dallas.

A few of the coaches have experience working with Jay Cutler. This could be a key component to hiring a coach. Cutler has not grown as much as anyone either inside or outside the Bears organization would have hoped or expected.

Joe DeCamillis- Dallas Cowboys Special Teams Coordinator
DeCamillis has been a Broncos, Falcons, Jaguars, Giants and Cowboys. He was with Denver and Atlanta when the went to the Superbowl. Despite his vast experience, DeCamillis is just 47. He is former Denver and Atlanta Head Coach Dan Reeves’ son-in-law.

DeCamillis and Emery worked together for three years in Atlanta when Emery was their Director of College Scouting. DeCamillis is known for his fiery personality and high energy.

He has only coached in the NFL and has always been a special teams coach. It is hard to discern if he will be an effective leader.

The Ravens John Harbaugh was the Eagles Special Teams Coordinator and Defensive backs coach for ten years before being hired in Baltimore. He had spent his entire coaching career as a position coach and special teams coordinator before landing in Baltimore.

Keith Armstrong- Atlanta Falcons Special Teams Coordinator
Armstrong has coached on both offense and defense as a position coach and has been a special team coach/coordinator since his first stint with the Bears from 1997-2000. He has held the same position with Miami from 2001-07 and Atlanta since 2008.

Armstrong worked with Emery with the Bears in the late nineties when he was the Bears’ area scout and with Atlanta from 2009-11. Armstrong helped turn current Bear Eric Weems into a Pro Bowl kick returner with the Falcons in 2010.

Mike McCoy- Denver Broncos Offensive Coordinator
McCoy is the hot name this offseason to become a head coach. He was a Quarterback at Utah with former NFL Wide Receiver Kevin Dyson. McCoy led the Utes to a victory in the 1993 Freedom Bowl over Arizona.

He played in the 1997 season in the World League of American Football and the NFL and in 1999 with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.

He began his coaching career under current Broncos coach John Fox as an assistant in Carolina. He would joined Denver’s staff for the 2009 season as the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach for the 2009 season under Josh McDaniels and would be reunited with Fox in Denver two seasons later.
In his four seasons in Denver, he has shown the ability to adapt to his personal. In 2011, McCoy was forced into a run heavy offense with Tim Tebow as the Quarterback. The Broncos led the NFL in rushing in 2011.

After trading for Peyton Manning last offseason, McCoy adapted well to having an accomplished quarterback leading his offense. The Broncos finished the 2012 season fourth in total offense, second in points, fifth in passing and third in passing touchdowns.

His ability to lead an offense would be unprecedented in Chicago. He just missed working with Jay Cutler in Denver as the Broncos traded Cutler in the offseason that he was hired.

Pete Carmichael Jr.- New Orleans Saints Offensive Coordinator
Carmichael began his coaching career at the University of New Hampshire in 1994 where he served with current Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly. He left after one season to become the Quarterbacks coach at Louisiana Tech. He lasted there until 1999.

He left LaTech to accept a job as an offensive assistant with the Browns. He has been an offensive assistant in the NFL for the last 13 seasons.

After four seasons as an offensive assistant in San Diego, Carmichael went to New Orleans with Drew Brees.

Carmichael has worked with the two most preeminent offensive minds in football today in Chip Kelly and Sean Payton. He worked three seasons as the Quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. He became the offensive coordinator for the 2009 season.

In his four seasons as the OC, Carmichael has led (with New England) the NFL’s most prolific offense. The Saints have finished in the top five in passing yards and touchdowns in each year since 2009. They have also finished in the top six in total offense all four seasons and the top three in scoring in three of his four seasons.

It terms of the numbers his teams have piled up, who Carmichael has worked with in the past and the fact he is only 41 and he just might be the most qualified candidate.
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Bruce Arians- Indianapolis Colts Offense Coordinator
After playing Quarterback in the Wishbone at Virginia Tech, Arians began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Virginia Tech in 1975. Arians left VaTech to coach running backs and wide receivers at Mississippi and then became the running backs coach in Bear Bryant’s last two seasons at Alabama in 1981 and 1982. He left there to become the Head Coach at Temple in 1983.

He was only 27-39 in five seasons with the Owls, but led them to two of their three winning seasons between 1980-2008. After getting let go by Temple, Arians became the RB coach with the Chiefs. He has been in the NFL ever since except for stints at the Offensive Coordinator with Mississippi State from 1993-95 and at Alabama in 1997.

Arians was Peyton Manning’s first Quarterback coach in the NFL. He helped Manning improve from an NFL 28 interceptions (to with 26 touchdowns) as a rookie in 1998 to over 4,000 yards with 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his second season. In his final season as the Colts QB coach, Manning led the NFL in completions, touchdowns and passing yards. From there Arians moved onto Cleveland as the Browns OC. In just his second season in Cleveland, the Browns earned a playoff spot and the Browns offense finished third in the league in touchdowns passes.

Prior to this season, Arians was most well known as the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh since 2007. He was the Steelers wide receiver coach for his first three seasons in the Steel City. Arians earned the offensive coordinator title in Pittsburgh after Ken Whisenhunt left for Arizona following the 2006 season.

Under Arians, the Steelers offense finished in the top half of the league consistently during his tenure. His contract was not renewed after the 2011 season and he ended up in Indianapolis.

The job he did this season with Chuck Pagano out was remarkable. The Colts went 9-3 under Arians guidance and he helped Andrew Luck learn on the fly. The Colts finished sixth in passing attempts and seventh in yardage. Arians helped earned the NFL’s second biggest turnaround ever from one season to the next.

At 61, Arians might have a difficult time getting a head coaching position. He helped tutor Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. His credentials certainly say he deserves a chance.

Mike Sullivan Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator
Sullivan played collegiately at Army. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Humboldt State in 1993. He has been an NFL assistant since 2002.

Sullivan spent six seasons as an assistant with the Giants from 2006-11. The Giants won two Super Bowls during his time there and Eli Manning sets numerous franchise and NFL Passing records.

Under Sullivan, the Buccaneers offense improved dramatically this season. Running Back Doug Martin is a finalist for Rookie of the Year in a great season for rookies and Quarterback Josh Freeman improved greatly as the season went on. They went from 21st to Ninth in total offense and 27th to 13th in scoring.

Sullivan is one of the hottest commodities, but might need more seasoning as a coordinator.

Tom Clements- Green Bay Packers Quarterbacks Coach
After retiring as a Quarterback in the CFL, Clements began his coaching career as the Quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame from 1992-95. He took off the 1996 season to practice law. He began his NFL coaching career as the Saints Quarterbacks coach in 1997. He has held the same position with Chiefs, Steelers and Packers. He was Buffalo’s offense coordinator in 2004-05 and became the Packers OC this season.

Under Clements, the Bills finished seventh in scoring in his first season. They fell from seventh to 25th after the 2005 season and when the Bills fired Mike Mularkey, Clements lost his job as OC.

He went to Green Bay from there to serve as the Quarterbacks coach from 2006 until now. He added OC for this season after Joe Philbin became the Head Coach in Miami.

Stepping into an impossible situation after a 15-1 season, Clements kept the offense one of the best in the NFL. He did so working with a subpar offensive line. A situation he would be familiar with in Chicago.

The Packers offense finished the season fifth in points and 13th in yards. They also finished second in touchdown passes, while throwing the fewest interceptions.

Clements is one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL, but like Arians, his age (59) could hurt him against younger candidates.

Rick Dennison Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator
Dennison played nine seasons in the NFL as a linebacker with the Denver Broncos from 1982-1990. He played on three AFC Championship teams during his tenure. Although he was a defensive player during his pro career, Dennison played Tight End in college and has been an offensive coach since beginning since 1995.

He became the Broncos offensive coordinator in 2006 under Mike Shanahan. He had been on Denver’s staff since 1995 and stayed there through 2009. The Broncos improved in each of his three seasons as coordinator. They went from 21st to 11th to second in his three seasons as coordinator. The Broncos were third in the NFL in passing in his final season as OC and he helped Jay Cutler reach his only Pro Bowl.

In his three seasons with Houston, Dennison has proven that he can adapt to his team and personnel. The Texas have been in the top ten overall and top five in rushing the last two seasons.

Marc Trestman: Head Coach Montreal Alouettes
The fact that Marc Trestman is still waiting for his first opportunity to become an NFL Head Coach is a bit of a mystery. He was one of the hottest names in coaching in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

Trestman’s resume include some of the biggest collegiate programs and NFL teams. He was only 25 when he began as a volunteer assistant at the University of Miami.

He was the Hurricanes’ Quarterbacks coach when Bernie Kosar and UM upset Nebraska in the 1984 Orange Bowl. Many considered that Cornhusker team to be the greatest in the history of college football. He coached at Miami through the 1984 season before leaving to become the Minnesota Vikings running backs coach in 1985.

Trestman has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL for eight seasons beginning in 1989 with Cleveland at age 33. He left the Vikings to become the Quarterbacks in Tampa. Although the team finished 4-11, Trestman left Tampa for the same position in Cleveland. Trestman left to become to return to Minnesota and become the Quarterbacks coach when Marty Schottenheimer was fired by the Browns.

Trestman returned to being an offensive coordinator when he was hired by the 49ers for the 1995 season, succeeding Mike Shannahan. Coming off a Superbowl, he kept the continuity of leading one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses. In his two seasons in San Francisco, the 49ers were in the top five in most offensive categories.

His other NFL stops have included Arizona and Oakland. In Oakland he was the OC and tutored Rich Gannon to the MVP and helped lead the Raiders to an AFC Championship.

Finally looking for a chance to lead his own team, Trestman wound up in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes. In his five seasons in Canada, the Alouettes are 59-31 with three conference titles and two Grey Cup titles.

Former Bears Quarterback Jim Miller said that Trestman is a Quarterback friendly coach that places a premium on pass protection. He also tutored Quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell before as they prepared to become first round NFL Draft picks

Darrell Bevell Seattle Seahawks Offensive Coordinator
Bevell’s initial success occurred when he quarterbacked Wisconsin in 1993 to their first bowl game since 1983, their first bowl win since 1982, their first Rose Bowl since 1962 and their first Rose Bowl win ever. He was the first Quarterback in Wisconsin history to lead the Badgers to back-to-back bowls and bowl victories.

He began his coaching career as the passing game coordinator and QB coach at the now defunct Westmar University in Iowa. After the school closed in 1997, Bevell moved onto Iowa State as a graduate assistant that fall. He would remain as a college coach through the end of the 1999 season. He landed a position as an offensive assistant in Green Bay for the 2000 season.

Bevell spent six seasons in Green Bay before leaving for Minnesota to become the Vikings Offensive Coordinator in 2006. His offenses have shown the ability to both run the ball and pass. In Minnesota, they led the league in rushing yards, touchdowns and yards per attempt in 2007 and finished first in passing touchdowns and fewest interceptions in 2009. He was the Vikings offensive coordinator when they drafted Adrian Peterson in 2007.

Bevell moved to Seattle for the 2011 season after the Vikings Brad Childress during the 2010 season.

Bevell improved the Seahawks offense in virtually every offensive category from his first to his second season. They finished in the top ten in every rushing category this season. They led the NFL in rushing attempts and finished third in yards.

As a former Quarterback, Bevell should relate well to Cutler. He brought Russell Wilson (another former Badger QB) along slowly and the rookie QB improved greatly as the season went on. Bevell is just 42 years old, but has seven seasons experience as an offensive coordinator.

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