Generally in the second week of a team’s search for a head coach, the candidate list begins to shrink. That is not the case for the Chicago Bears. Chicago Bears’ general manager Phil Emery has already spoken with or is scheduled to speak with at least 10 known candidates for the Bears’ head coaching position. Two names have been added to that list. The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday night that the Bears will interview Minnesota Vikings’ special assistant to the head coach Mike Singletary, and Vikings’ special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
The Singletary interview should appease the meatball fans that are following the Bears’ search for a replacement to Lovie Smith as head coach of the Bears. But, the expectation is that Singletary’s interview with the Bears may be the Bears’ organization attempt to show some courtesy to one of their legendary players. Singletary had his first head coaching opportunity with the San Francisco 49ers from 2008 to 2010. His tenure with the 49ers began impressively, however as time passed, it was clear that Singletary’s philosophy of “yell first, ask questions later” was not one that makes a head coach successful. Singletary was first hired by the Vikings to be the team’s linebackers’ coach in 2011, however, the hall of famer was demoted from the position after the season. Nonetheless, Singletary, albeit a surprising candidate, likely does not have a legitimate chance at replacing Smith.
Meanwhile, Priefer comes highly regarded around the National Football League. Priefer, 46, concluded his second season as the Vikings’ special teams coordinator. Priefer is the third special teams coordinator to be a candidate to replace Smith. Priefer has held the same position with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. Priefer also has a connection to Emery as the two were a part of the same Navy coaching staff. While Emery’s candidate list has been slighted towards offensive coordinators, special teams coordinators should not go overlooked. After all, special teams coordinators are one of the rear positions on a coaching staff that have input on both offensive and defensive players. Not to mention, most of the successful new wave of young coaches in the NFL, previously held the position of special teams’ coordinator.
The Bears’ candidate list continues to grow, and that is a good sign for Emery’s process, but this also means that the team likely is still at least a week away from naming their new head coach.