Source: Bears to interview McCoy

Mike McCoy was establishing a solid reputation even before Peyton Manning arrived in Denver. Byron Hetzler/US PRESSWIRE

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – One of the first names to surface in the Bears' head coaching search is 40-year old Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who has experienced considerable success in Denver since he assumed the role in 2009.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported Monday the Bears were granted permission to interview McCoy this upcoming weekend for their head coaching vacancy. The Bears fired Lovie Smith on Monday.

ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright also reported the Bears will interview Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong, according to a source.

Even before Peyton Manning arrived in Denver last offseason, McCoy had built the reputation of coach who always got the most out of his quarterbacks. Former Bears quarterback Kyle Orton had his best NFL years under McCoy after he got traded to the Broncos in the deal that brought Jay Cutler to Chicago. McCoy was also able to refine his offense in 2011 to fit the skills of Tim Tebow, who helped lead the Broncos to a memorable home playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With Manning under center in 2012 the Broncos are the second highest scoring team in the NFL at 30.1 points per game, and are ranked No. 4 in total offense (397.5) and No. 5 in passing offense (283.4).

“Coach McCoy is great guy, a good coach and a good leader,” Broncos back-up quarterback Caleb Hanie said on Monday. “He has kind of a laid back personality, but he can be fiery when necessary. I'm telling you, people love to play for the guy. I'm really enjoyed my time with him and I feel like he's made me a better player."

McCoy was hired in Denver a couple of weeks before the Broncos traded Cutler to the Bears, but the assistant coach did work with receiver Brandon Marshall for one season. In their year together, Marshall caught 101 passes for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns before he ultimately got sent to the Miami Dolphins.