Bears unlikely to announce finalists

The Chicago Bears kept their fans in the loop in 2012 during the search for a new general manager, but the team won't conduct business that way as it scours the NFL for a new head coach.

A team spokesman says it's unlikely the Bears will announce finalists during the search for a successor to Lovie Smith as the team plans to maintain its policy adopted during the search of not commenting on any aspect of the process.

A little more than a year ago the club announced four finalists for its vacant GM job before settling on Phil Emery.

So the possibility remains the team could eventually announce finalists, but at this stage in the process that's unlikely with Emery finishing up a plethora of interviews with candidates over a span of approximately two weeks.

Of the 13 known candidates for the Bears head coaching job, four coached for teams that lost in the divisional round; a group consisting of four offensive coordinators in Seattle's Darrell Bevell, Houston's Rick Dennison, Green Bay's Tom Clements and Mike McCoy of the Denver Broncos.

The losses by those teams should open availability for those coaches to talk more in the coming days, with Emery expected to move into the next phase of the process, where it's expected he'll pick two to three finalists for second interviews that will also involve team president Ted Phillips and Bears chairman George McCaskey.

Emery spent the first week of the team's coaching search interviewing Atlanta Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong, and Dallas Cowboys special teams coach Joe DeCamillis, in addition to three offensive coordinators in Tampa Bay's Mike Sullivan, New Orleans' Pete Carmichael Jr., and McCoy.

Emery followed that up the next week with interviews with Bears special teams coach Dave Toub, and Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman, along with Clements, Dennison, and Bevell. Emery met with Minnesota's Mike Singletary and Mike Priefer on Saturday, before concluding interviews Sunday with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who is considered a favorite for NFL coach of the year.

Of the known candidates, only Armstrong remains in the playoffs with his Falcons set next week to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.