CHICAGO -- It's going to be a busy upcoming week at Halas Hall as the Chicago Bears attempt to begin filling the vacant spots on their coaching staff. Just to recap, here is where we stand as of Sunday afternoon:
The Bears want Perry Fewell to be the new defensive coordinator -- a fact that’s been obvious since the season ended -- so the job is his for the taking. The only hold up may be Fewell, who remains somewhat undecided about his next move, according to people familiar with the situation. Perhaps some of that uncertainty may be related to possible (but not guaranteed) head coach openings in Carolina and Jacksonville. For example, if Jack Del Rio leaves for USC, Fewell would probably be a candidate for the Jaguars' job considering he coached the Jacksonville secondary from 1998-2002. However, it's not a slam dunk that Del Rio or Panthers coach John Fox will go elsewhere, so holding out for one of those positions may prove to be pointless.Fewell also met with the Giants and has a strong relationship with Tom Coughlin, but Romeo Crennel and Dick Jauron have also been rumored as possible defensive coordinator hires in New York. Fewell will interview with the Bears on Monday, and may feel like he can't pass up an opportunity to work in such a familiar and comfortable setting. Since the Bears’ defensive staff is currently re-evaluating certain aspects of their scheme, Lovie Smith probably wants a new coordinator in place as soon as possible.
What a wild weekend on the Jeremy Bates watch. First, he was reportedly headed to Seattle with Pete Carroll. Then just a few hours later, he was back in play for the Bears. It's never been a question about the Bears wanting to add bright, young minds like Bates and Jedd Fisch to the staff. The issue has been in what capacity. Can the Bears bring Bates to Chicago as quarterbacks coach, and not as offensive coordinator? How would that dynamic play out between Bates, Jay Cutler and a different play caller? Would such a set-up even work? If not, then the Bears have a tough decision to make. Whose happiness is most important at Halas Hall? As for Fisch, he was the Broncos' wide receivers coach in 2008, so it's not like he can only work with quarterbacks. Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal seemed to do fine when Fisch was their position coach. Bates is scheduled to interview with the Bears early next week.Mike Martz wants the job of offensive coordinator and would make Smith very comfortable. But it's still unclear how Martz would mesh with certain players, especially Cutler, who he publicly criticized earlier last season. That might sound silly and petty, but it's the reality of the situation.If Green Bay loses to Arizona, then maybe the Bears re-visit earlier talks regarding Tom Clements.
Either way, things should become clearer once Carroll officially takes the Seahawks job and begins to assemble his staff. At least then we'll find out how Carroll really feels about Bates.