After being eliminated from playoff contention at season’s end as a result of the Minnesota Vikings beating the arch division rival Green Bay Packers in the regular-season finale, the Chicago Bears made a move that surprised a lot of people by parting ways with head coach Lovie Smith.
The Bears were able to win 10 games in 2012, but missing the playoffs after a 7-1 start to the season was apparently enough to merit Smith’s firing.
With Smith now interviewing for another head coaching job in the NFL, the Bears’ coaching search continues with the team reportedly narrowing the search to three candidates according to ESPNChicago.com:
The Chicago Bears have entered their second phase in finding a head coach and will speak again with three candidates, including Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
The three candidates or finalists receiving a second interviews are offensive coordinator Bruce Arians of the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Marc Treatman of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes and Bevell of the Seahawks.
Treatman is arguably the least known of the three candidates, but has been impressive enough to convince the Bears’ front office to conduct another interview. Although Treatman is one of the three remaining candidates, the consensus is that the true finalists are Arians and Bevell.
Arians did a tremendous job this season for the Colts in place of the ailing Chuck Pagano. The offensive coordinator helped mold rookie Andrew Luck into an NFL quarterback while leading to the team a to a playoff berth after the team parted ways with Peyton Manning in the off-season.
As for Bevell, the Seahawks offensive coordinator pulled off a similar feat in Seattle in terms of turning rookie quarterback Russell Wilson into a legitimate candidate for Rookie of the Year along with Luck and Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. Along with turning Wilson into a star, Bevell also helped the Seahawks punch their ticket to the playoffs this season with an impressive 11-5 record.