While fans and media wait impatiently for the Bears to reconstruct their coaching staff, general manager Jerry Angelo and head coach Lovie Smith are more concerned with being thorough, as they consider candidates for offensive and defensive coordinator.
Perry Fewell, the Bears’ first choice for defensive coordinator, accepted the same position with the Giants late this afternoon.
One of the key factors in deciding on an offensive coordinator will be how he relates to franchise quarterback Jay Cutler. It’s so important that Cutler has become part of the evaluation process at the Bears’ request. The four-year veteran flew in to meet with candidate Ken Zampese, the Bengals’ quarterbacks coach, earlier in the week and is expected to weigh in on other candidates.
“We’ve involved Jay, and we’d like to have him meet with (all) the candidates,” Angelo said. “He understands the whole process, and he knows we want him involved. This is not the first time we’ve involved a player. This isn’t new to us.”
Cutler is not involved to the point of suggesting candidates, but he provides input when he can. His first choice would have been Jeremy Bates, his position coach during his final season in Denver. But Bates is expected to be part of Pete Carroll’s new Seattle Seahawks staff.
“I think he was disappointed,” Angelo said of Cutler, “because of the relationship had had with him. But he’s very optimistic we’ll get the right guy.”
But it may take awhile for the Bears to hire two new coordinators, and coaches for the offensive line, quarterbacks and tight ends. If the Bears have targeted coaches still involved with the playoffs, the staff may not be completed until after the Super Bowl. That’s fine with Angelo.
“There really isn’t a timetable,” he said. “We’re not under the gun. We’re not in the playoffs, so we have more time than we’d like, but we’re going to take advantage of that and we’re going to take our time. It’s a big decision, and we want to do a thorough job.
“The emphasis is on making sure we’ve done everything we possibly could because there are a lot of moving parts. We can’t put a timeline on it or rush to judgment. When you’re hurried, you’re apt to make a poor decision. We want to make sure.”