Q&A with DanPompei: Bears coaching search: McCoy, Moneyball, and 3-4 defense

Q&A with DanPompei: Bears coaching search: McCoy, Moneyball, and 3-4 defense

TL: Bears GM Phil Emery was impressive and very thorough in his press conference and he articulated clearly what he wants in a coach. Even though the interview list is growing, is it likely he has a short list or even a guy in mind?

DP: I don't believe so.  I think he probably believes some candidates are stronger than others.  But I believe he is going into the process with an open mind. He isn't the type of guy to have his mind made up before he starts the research.

 TL: When Emery spoke to the offensive deficiencies such as working middle of field or mentioning his ideal coach being adaptable it seems he almost pointed to some of Denver OC Mike McCoy’s strengths, and in particular his offensive style this season. What's your take on McCoy as a fit?

 DP: I think he would be an outstanding fit. He's ready to be a head coach.  He has proven he can win with different quarterbacks.  He specializes in fixing offenses. And I think he would work well with Emery.

TL: It may surprised some that Emery says they will likely continue in a 4-3 defensive scheme. He did leave the door open however by pointing out that many teams running a 3-4 are more of a gap scheme rather than a true 3-4. Do you see the Bears able to run something similar with their personnel?

DP: If the Bears were to move to a 3-4 one gap, they still would have to make personnel adjustments, but not as many adjustments as they would if they switched to a 3-4 two gap. I don't think there is any question they are best set up to run a 4-3 next season, and a change would probably mean taking a step back.

TL: Some thought Emery may have drafted Shea McClellin to ultimately play in a 3-4, how could they still use him differently?

 DP: McClellin is one of the more flexible players on the defensive front.  He could fit in any scheme, either as a down lineman in a 4-3 or as an outside or perhaps inside linebacker in a 3-4.  Emery likes him at defensive end though.

 TL: Emery also sounded very "saber" by using statistical analytics in his breaking down of the Bears, is this something he is ahead of the curve on league wide?

 DP: I wouldn't say he is ahead of the curve, I would say he's right on it.  Moneyball is coming to the NFL in a big way, and a lot of teams are actually much more into analytics than the Bears have been.  A lot of it has been underground because teams don't want to give away secrets to other teams, but many teams are crunching numbers like never before. A number of teams have hired specialists who do nothing but analytics.

TL: Who's your guy and what kind of timetable are we looking at?

DP: If you put a gun to my head and made me pick who I think will be hired based on the candidates we know of at this point, I'll say McCoy.

Timetable depends on how far some teams go in the playoffs, such as the Packers (Tom Clements) and (Bruce Arians), and if the candidates from those teams are people the Bears have serious interest in.  But my guess is it's going to take a few weeks at least.

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