Black and Blue all over: Zampese out

Chicago’s search for an offensive coordinator will continue Tuesday when it interviews Baltimore assistant Hue Jackson for the job. At this point, however, Jackson has no competition for the position.

Cincinnati quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese, who interviewed earlier this month, is no longer a candidate. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told the Chicago Tribune he has closed the window on Zampese’s availability. The Bears have said they plan to cast a wide net in replacing the fired Ron Turner, but it’s relatively common for other teams to expect quick decisions so they can hire replacements in a timely fashion.

Jackson will become the third candidate to interview for the job. ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck said in an interview with ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson that Jackson “relates to players well and does an excellent job of keeping things fairly simple.” It continues to appear the Bears aren’t seriously considering former St. Louis coach Mike Martz, writes Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times.

I’m all for a thorough search, and it’s possible the Bears have Martz as a backup plan knowing he isn’t likely to be hired elsewhere. It’s hard for fans and media members to be patient at this point, but it appears the Bears are doing just that.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Bears receiver Johnny Knox was added to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner, replacing Minnesota’s Percy Harvin, who bowed out Monday. Harvin had been added after Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson was elected as both a receiver and a kick returner. Knox is the Bears’ lone representative after linebacker Lance Briggs bowed out.

  • Both Vikings cornerbacks will enter the offseason nursing significant injuries, according to the Star Tribune. Cedric Griffin is believed to have torn an anterior cruciate ligament and Antoine Winfield is still nursing a fractured foot.

  • Vikings fullback Nauhfau Tahi didn’t have much to say Monday about his role in the Vikings’ penalty for having 12 players in the huddle at the end of regulation in the NFC Championship Game. John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press has more.

  • Detroit coach Jim Schwartz is working to erase the memory of last season’s 2-14 record, according to Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.

  • The Lions’ special teams will look much different schematically under new coordinator Danny Crossman, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.

  • By coaching the North squad this week at the Senior Bowl, writes John Niyo of the Detroit News, the Lions are hoping they get a chance to know players better.

  • Mike Nolan discussed his decision to turn down the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator job last year with Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

  • Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is hoping to better translate his film study to the field next season, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.