(670 The Score) Now in their second week of looking for a new head coach and general manager, the Bears continue to expand their searches rather than narrowing down their list of candidates.
Through Monday night, the Bears had interviewed six candidates for their head coach opening and seven for their general manager role, with more virtual meetings set to come this week. On Tuesday, Chicago’s search party met with Patriots consultant Eliot Wolf – the son of Hall of Fame executive Ron Wolf.
The Bears are also slated to meet later this week with several more head coach candidates in Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Chicago has also previously arranged interviews with six other candidates for general manager.
As of Tuesday, the Bears’ schedule for upcoming interviews was set to stretch to Saturday. Bears chairman George McCaskey last week expressed uncertainty about whether he'd hire a general manager or head coach first, though in 2015 he tabbed Ryan Pace as general manager first and brought him in to hire the head coach.
What’s clear is the Bears are taking a deliberate approach in their search process, with McCaskey and team president Ted Phillips leaning on Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian in his consultant role along with director of player engagement LaMar “Soup” Campbell and senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion Tanesha Wade.
The Bears have also taken advantage of technology in a way that wasn’t as feasible during previous hiring cycles, as they're using virtual meetings that have allowed for multiple interviews each day since Jan. 10, when coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace were fired.
The Bears won't prioritize candidates based on whether they have an offensive or defensive background, McCaskey previously said.
“The primary quality we’ll be looking for in both the general manager and the head coach is leadership,” McCaskey said of the Bears’ searches.
“We’re looking forward to hearing the candidates’ plans are for getting the Bears back to the top. We’ll leave that to them to present the details to us. We don’t have a particular approach in mind.”
The Bears have interviewed six candidates for head coach: Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell, Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, former Dolphins coach Brian Flores and former Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
The Bears have also interviewed eight candidates for general manager: Wolf, Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds, Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen, Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, Browns vice president of player personnel Glenn Cook, Browns vice president of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Bears assistant director of player personnel Champ Kelly and Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland.
While the Bears haven't yet publicly narrowed down their list of candidates to hire either a head coach or general manager, the Giants on Tuesday became the first of the eight teams searching for either position to set up second interviews. New York was set to interview Schoen again Tuesday and also arranged an additional interview with Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, both of whom are on the Bears’ list of general manager candidates.
There are currently eight teams searching for a head coach – including the Raiders, who have requested to interview candidates despite not parting ways with interim coach Rich Bisaccia – while four teams are searching for a new general manager.
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.