Chicago Bears‘ general manager Phil Emery will address the media at 10 AM Tuesday morning. If there was any doubt to whether or not Emery was the shot-caller in the Bears’ front office, that doubt was eradicated after it was announced on Monday that the team has fired head coach Lovie Smith. When Emery addresses reporters from Halas Hall this morning, there is no question that the general manager will be asked about the interview process. The interview process that already includes three candidates.
In light of the Bears firing Smith, it was reported on Monday that the Bears have scheduled interviews with three prospective head coaching candidates. The Bears’ contingency will fly to Denver this weekend to interview Broncos’ offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. The Bears’ request to interview McCoy was reported almost immediately after the news of Smith’s firing was reported. The Arizona Cardinals also have also expressed interest in McCoy.
Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun Times tweets that the Bears’ interview process will begin with Mike Sullivan on Wednesday. Sullivan is currently serving as the offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sullivan has earned a respected reputation around the league in large part because of the work he did with the New York Giants. Sullivan was the wide receivers coach for the Giants from 2004- 2009. In 2009, Plaxico Burress flourished under the coaching of Sullivan. Eli Manning had the best season of his career in 2010 with the Giants, and Sullivan served as the Giants’ quarterbacks coach that season.
The Bears will also interview Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong. This interview may be Emery providing due diligence for a coach that the general manager has worked with before. Emery served as a scout for the Bears’ organization while Armstrong was worked under Dave Wannstedt’s coaching regime while with the Bears. The two also spent time together in Atlanta from 2009 through 2011. The Bears will also adhere to the Rooney rule with their interview of Armstrong. Though, I do not think Emery is interviewing Armstrong for the mere purpose of meeting the requirements of the Rooney rule. The expectation is that a lot of teams in search of a head coach will target Falcons’ coordinators because of the organization’s ability to evaluate talent.
These are the first three known candidates for the Bears’ head coaching vacancy. Bears’ fans should expect Emery to make the right decision. In my opinion, the right decision would be to hire McCoy.