The Chicago Bears have two head coaching candidates lined up for interviews in the next two days and a third candidate is waiting in the wings.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Bears are in Seattle today to meet with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and on Saturday they will travel to Denver to meet with Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase.
Quinn is in for a busy couple of days.
Busiest man in America: Seahawks DC Dan Quinn interviewed for HC with Jets this am, Bears tonight, Falcons on Sat am, Bills on Sat night.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 2, 2015
The Bears are allowed to meet with both of these candidates because their teams have a 1st round playoff bye.
The third hot assistant is Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who is busy this week preparing for their Carolina Panthers wildcard game. Once the Bears are able, they will interview Bowles.
Of these three candidates, Bowles is the only one that has prior head coaching experience, albeit on an interim basis. Bowles was 2-1 in 2011 for the Miami Dolphins. The Cardinals currently run a 3-4 defensive front, but Bowles has experience working in a 4-3 scheme as well.
The bulk of Dan Quinn's coaching experience has been spent with the defensive line. He was the defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators in 2011 and 2012 after spending the previous 2 years in Seattle working as their defensive line coach. He returned to the Seahawks to serve as their defensive coordinator in 2013, and the last two seasons he's had the best defense in the NFL. He currently employs a 4-3 hybrid scheme, but he has also worked with a standard 4-3 front and with the 3-4.
Adam Gase was promoted to offensive coordinator in Denver in 2013 after spending time at both wide receivers coach and quarterbacks coach. He's basically running the Peyton Manning system, but he is a well respected assistant that has been in the NFL since 2003.
With this week's window to interview Quinn and Gase, it makes sense for the Bears to speak with these hot assistants, even though there is no general manager in place. The Bears can't afford to be left behind in the interview process.
On the GM front, Chicago has only one interview set up at this time.
#Chiefs granted permission for the #Bears to interview personnel director Chris Ballard, source said. He’ll be in Chicago Friday or Saturday— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 1, 2015
The Chicago Tribune has some info on Ballard, who spent some time working at Halas Hall.
Before joining the Chiefs, Ballard spent 12 seasons at Halas Hall, first as a scout (2001-11) and later for one season as the director of pro scouting (2012). With that connection, the Bears already have extensive familiarity with Ballard's skill set and background. So that offers them flexibility in circling to other candidates first.
With team president Ted Phillips and Chairman George McCaskey looking for someone who understands the 'Bear Way', Ballard could be a leading candidate.
What are your thoughts on these four candidates?