LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Adam Gase believes that everything happens for a reason.
Passed over for the San Francisco head coaching job in January, the 37-year old Chicago Bears offensive coordinator said Thursday that not being hired by the 49ers worked out in his favor.
“I’m excited that I was able to come to the Bears,” Gase said. “This is where I wanted to be. I feel like this is where I was meant to be -- working with this group on offense, being with coach John Fox. So this has been a great spot for me.”
Gase preferred not to reveal specifics about his dealings with the 49ers, only to say the interview experience is invaluable. The Bears host San Francisco Sunday at Soldier Field.
“I don’t even know [how close I was to getting the job],” Gase said. “It’s been such a ... I haven’t even thought about it. It’s so in the past right now.
“But that whole experience was great for me. It was a crazy two days and unfortunately we lost the first round of the playoffs. Any time you get a chance to do something like that, it’s a great experience.”
With Gase calling plays, the Bears rank tied for 24th in points scored (21.0), 20th in total offense (346.5), 16th in rushing offense (110.7) and 21st in passing offense (235.7). While the offensive rankings are modest, the Bears have been minus key starters at almost every position throughout the year -- Jay Cutler (one game), Matt Forte (three games), Alshon Jeffery (five games), Eddie Royal (five games) and Martellus Bennett (one game).
“I think the healthier we get and the more games and snaps we play together as a unit, that is when we are really going to hit our stride,” Gase said. “Health is obviously going to be an issue because you never know what is going to happen from play to play. The best chance we have to make strides, score more points, be more consistent and put longer drives together is by playing together.”
The 49ers defense may be the spark the Bears need. San Francisco is 29th in total defense, 25th in rushing defense and 28th in passing defense entering play on Sunday.