Bears search light on veteran coaches

Bears search light on veteran coaches

Word around the New England Patriots that Bill Belichick might somehow come available on the coaching market, based on reporting by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, didn’t create much more than a brief what-if buzz in various cities of teams in search of head coaches. It shouldn’t have.

One big reason was laid out by Paul McCartney, who is reported to have said in response to one in the constant stream of questions about a Beatles reunion, “You can’t reheat a soufflé.”

More to the Bears case in point, notably perhaps, none of the candidates targeted in the early days of the search are coming directly from head-coaching spots. The only two at this point with head-coaching experience – New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (Denver), Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur (Cleveland) – flopped as head coaches, other than Shurmur going 1-0 as Eagles interim coach after Chip Kelly was fired.

Successful head coaches who suddenly become available for reasons other than via basic fired-for-losing usually sound good; they come with records of proven success. Jon Gruden in Oakland?

But the Bears just got over one of those – John Fox – and the likelihood that Bears GM Ryan Pace would entertain hiring another 60-something head coach is considerably short of zero. And Fox came nowhere near repeating the turnaround successes he’d accomplished in Carolina and Denver, probably because he couldn’t bring Peyton Manning and Von Miller with him.

Sometimes second-chance coaches do work out, quite nicely. Dick Vermeil left Philadelphia after a run of playoffs with the Eagles, then came back from 15 years in the broadcast booth to take both St. Louis and then Kansas City to the playoffs in his third seasons with each.

Bill Parcells got every team he head-coached to the playoffs – the Giants, Patriots, Jets and Cowboys – and wasn’t fired from any of his postings. Tony Dungy and Marty Schottenheimer achieved more success with teams after being fired than they did with teams that fired them.

Jim Schwartz retuned to respectability as Eagles defensive coordinator after his 29-51 five years coaching the Detroit Lions. But Schwartz does not fit any of the template that the Bears appear to have set with the majority of their other candidates.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Chris Emma (670 The Score) and Ben Finfer join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.

Allen Robinson’s former Jaguars teammate is a free agent. Would signing Allen Hurns make sense for the Bears?

Plus, Loyola has traffic problems on the Road to the Final Four and the guys debate the biggest need for the Blackhawks heading into a long offseason.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”