What's the Ideal timeframe to hire a coach?
Well I want to do something here shortly. I might consider one more person if I don't then obviously I'm going to decide between Lovie and Russ, but I want to have a little time today (and) in the morning just to see for sure on the direction I want to go.
What's is the other coach's background?
(He's) an NFL coach.
So you're done with college route?
Yes I am. I've pursued four college coaches and all four for varying reasons did not want to come to the NFL and I respected that, I understood it and we moved on. But to do, and you know it's phrase I've been using I'm tired of using it but I'll use it now for a lack for a better one, our due diligence to the club and I'm going to make sure we pursue the very best that are out there given the college and the pro ranks.
Did you consider Jim Fossel?
I have tremendous respect for Jim's ability, but what I want to do I want to hire our coach and I just have a problem you know with us not winning hiring somebody that was released because he didn't win. And the timing of it, maybe in another place another time it would have been fine but my vision for our next coach was not that.
Many have said you're settling for a coach now that Nick Saban decided to stay at LSU.
I understand why people say that I could sit here (and debate that), but that's not the way (I do things). Yes, you always kind of having a pecking order in your mind. I've pursued everybody that I've visited with I felt was a solid candidate. Some had better credentials, yes, but it's got to be a good fit too. As I said, some of these people are working from a position of strength and they have some really good things going on in their lives. Certain things that they want to compromise coming to the pro level in Nick's situation and some of the others they weren't willing to do that when they really had to make a decision. I'm very understanding of that and I said going into this process I want somebody that is motivated to be our coach and that to me is first and foremost.
Did you know Saban didn't want to come ahead of time?
I didn't go down there to recruit Nick to be here. I went down there to educate Nick a little bit on the NFL because we are friends and he wanted me to do that if I found the time and I said, ‘no Nick I'm going to make the time for that.' And then we visited on that and then we visited and talked about our situation. And there were some things he really liked and some things that he said ‘I'm going to have to get comfortable with.' We didn't have a big window there because he has a great situation there and those people are very loyal to them and he probably made his decision given that he had to make one right now and he just wasn't comfortable with it.
Did it come down to roster control?
You know I'm not going to get into all that. There were certain issues and as I said he has a great situation down there and before he's just going to jump out of that he wanted to make sure he was jumping into another great situation. He was very comfortable with the Bears. He had done his homework. He knew a lot about our situation. Obviously our relationship meant a lot to him as it did me with him.
Can you compare Russ Grimm and Lovie Smith?
That's why I want that time right now. Obviously we're talking about two different ends of the spectrum but that's good too. I didn't want to bring the same into the building. I want some diversity and we have that and I feel very good about their qualifications given that they're two distinct people.
Is the third candidate still in the playoffs?
No this person is not in the playoffs. It's just somebody that I'm mulling around in my head. I've been mulling a lot of things guys in these last two-three weeks. I just need a little time to breath here and right now I'm going to take that time, but it can't be a lot of time either. We've got to get moving and I'm sensitive to that as well.
Is Smith similar to Dick Jauron?
I wanted to bring a variety of different peoples that I wanted to talk to. I had absolutely no problem with Dick in the building in terms of his personality. He had a lot of strengths, so there are a lot of things that Dick offered as a head coach that I would like to see in our next head coach.