Okay, I was over at ChicagoBears.com drinking the kool-aid today. I had to spit it out. I was checking out Larry Mayers question and answer piece and came across this question about the length of time it is taking to fill the coordinator positions (check out the entire Chalk Talk here).
From the very beginning, the Bears explained that the search process would be both lengthy and thorough. The reason for that is because several of the candidates who were on the list the Bears were quick to formulate—a list that hasn’t changed—were working for playoff teams and therefore not permitted to speak to the Bears. The NFL prohibits assistant coaches from interviewing with other clubs until their teams are eliminated from the post-season. For instance, Vikings quarterbacks coach Kevin Rogers—who is at Halas Hall today interviewing for the offensive coordinator position—wasn’t available until after Minnesota lost the NFC title game last Sunday.
So what about Tom Clements? Access denied. What about the several candidates who have turned down interviewing with the Bears? Snubbed!
I’ve been amazed at all the negativity I’ve seen and heard about the search process, and how certain coaches have supposedly picked other teams over the Bears. The Bears have not offered a contract to any offensive coordinator candidate.
That is because they haven’t had very many people to interview yet. How can you offer a contract to a guy who says that they are not interested in coming in for an interview?
The only offensive assistant who was offered a contract was Mike Tice, who was hired as offensive line coach. That shows that when the Bears find someone they feel is the right fit, they move fast.
It also shows that the offensive coordinator will have no say in the staff underneath him that he is to coordinate. That doesn’t seem very appealing!
The only coach who was offered a deal and chose to go elsewhere was Perry Fewell, who agreed to become defensive coordinator with the New York Giants.
Okay first Larry Mayer gives us ONE example of a quick hire as proof that the Bears know what they are doing. Then he gives us ONE example of someone who turned down the Bears as too few a sampling to prove that the Bears are bungling the searches. You cannot have it both ways.
A lot of people thought that Jeremy Bates was the Bears’ first choice to be their offensive coordinator because his name was the first one everyone heard. But that wasn’t true. It’s because he was available to discuss the job.
Yes he was the first available. He was also the first (not the only) to say NO to an interview!
The bottom line is that the Bears want to take their time and make the right decision. Finding the right person is the only thing that matters. Longtime Bears scribe John Mullin said it best, writing on CSNChicago.com today: “Let’s try to dial down the hysteria on all the offensive coordinator business. It’s been three weeks. As a veteran NFL observer pointed out today over lunch, if this were a major corporation filling a senior executive position, three weeks would be absolutely nothing, only the first stage of the process.”
Very very telling.
if this were a major corporation filling a senior executive position
This is a major corporation. One that has revenues in the billions. This major corporation is also one of the founding organizations in the league. In fact, one might argue that without the Chicago Bears and George Halas, we might not have the very sport that brings out our passion. Our passion which at the moment does happen to be negative, because of how far this pillar of the NFL has fallen. AND this is a senior executive position. Think how many coaches serve underneath the coordinator. Think how many assistants they have. Think how many players they coach…half the team!
As for 3 weeks being just a drop in the bucket…we only have a few short weeks before coordinators need to start reviewing college film and start making their short lists of draft picks. This “major corporation” is on a deadline. Our coordinators need to determine the holes that need filling and the likelyhood of filling them through the draft or through free agency.
Time is not on the Bears’ side. Time is not on Lovie Smith’s side. I don’t have time to swallow the kool-aid, so I will spit it out!