Included with the firing of former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz was quarterbacks coach Shane Day. Jay Cutler lobbied for current Tennessee Titan’s QB coach Dowell Loggains after Ron Turner was fired following the 2009 season. Yet Martz chose Day, who could never develop a comfortable relationship with Cutler – thus his dismissal alongside Martz.
This time around, Cutler again lobbied for Loggains as the team’s new “passing” coach. We talked last week about Chicago’s interest in pulling him from the Titans but that it was doubtful Tennessee would allow Loggains to leave for a lateral move across the league. NFL teams typically only allow interviews for vertical moves.
With Loggains still under contract, the Titans have officially denied the Bears’ request for an interview. Sources say Tennessee would have only allowed Loggains to interview for an OC position.
For the second time in three years, Cutler won’t be getting his guy.
New Bears OC Mike Tice plans do the play calling during games but will work with the new passing coach to develop the team’s aerial attack. Tice reportedly wants Dirk Koetter, with whom he worked in Jacksonville. Koetter was the OC/quarterbacks coach with the Jaguars.
Colts hire GM
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Colts will hire Ryan Grigson as the team’s new general manager. Grigson, former director of player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles, will replace former GM Bill Polian, who was fired last week.
With Grigson’s hiring, and that of Reggie McKenzie in Oakland, that leaves the Bears and St. Louis Rams as the only NFL teams with GM vacancies. There was no word from Halas Hall that Grigson was on Chicago’s radar. It doesn’t appear the team lost one of its top candidates, like it did with McKenzie. Yet yesterday, his first day on the job, McKenzie fired Raiders head coach Hue Jackson. It’s clear now McKenzie was never a viable option in Chicago, where the new GM will be forced to inherit coach Lovie Smith.
Team president Ted Phillips has yet to conduct any interviews, now eight days into his search. The team wanted to speak with Eric DeCosta, Ravens director of player personnel, last week. Yet the Ravens upped his contract and DeCosta chose to stay in Baltimore.
Phillips said this process could drag into February. He’s on his way to making that a reality. Yet, despite the urgency in Chicago to fill the GM vacancy, this is a smart move on Phillips’ part. This should not be a rush decision. Sure, guys are going to come off the board, especially in an offseason where four teams are searching for a GM. Yet there is a ton of executive talent still out there and now those candidates only have two teams from which to choose.
Phillips is in no hurry, and I’m not convinced he should be, so expect this search to continue for at least another week or two.
Jackson in Chicago?
With McKenzie firing Jackson, there’s been speculation that Jackson could become the passing coach in Chicago. He was the Ravens’ QB coach from 2008-2009 and has served three different stints as offensive coordinator in the NFL. He’s been in the league 10 years and has experience developing passing attacks, something Tice will need from his passing coach.
Yet word out of Halas Hall is that the team is not interested in Jackson. Ideally, they’d like to hire someone that has worked with Cutler in the past. With Loggains off the board, one of the top candidates now becomes Jeremy Bates, who was Cutler’s QB coach for two seasons in Denver. Bates last worked as offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. After the season, head coach Pete Carroll fired Bates, citing a difference in philosophy. He did not coach in the NFL last year.
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.