Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears already interviewed one of the Denver Broncos coordinators. As the Broncos were on the first round bye, Ted Phillips and George McCaskey (and maybe Ernie Accorsi, depending on who you believe) interviewed Broncos OC Adam Gase. Now that the Broncos are moderately surprisingly out of the playoffs and the Chicago Bears have GM Ryan Pace in place, they’re free to continue that discussion. Instead, I’d urge them to look across the hall and talk to Broncos defensive coordinator Jack del Rio to fill their head coaching vacancy.
While Peyton Manning and Adam Gase have gotten most of the attention the last couple of season, let’s not overlook what del Rio has done with the Denver Broncos defense. The Broncos defense finished second and third in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Even in their loss to the Colts on Sunday, you can’t hang it on the defense, which only gave up 24 points to the high-powered Indy offense.
Del Rio has been linked to the Raiders job and all reports indicate that he’ll get a second interview this week.
Del Rio has a tie to both the Saints and the Bears, as he was first hired by the Saints in 1997 to be the strength and conditioning coach by none other than Mike Ditka. Del Rio moved up to be linebackers coach for the Ravens from 1999-2001 before becoming DC for the Carolina Panthers and John Fox in 2002. Del Rio was hired to succeed Tom Coughlin as the head coach in Jacksonville in 2003. JDR coached the Jaguars from 2003 – 2011 to a record of 68-71 in that span, including a pair of playoff appearances. He was fired in 2011 after posting a 3-8 record through the first 11 games.
I like the fact that he’s worked under Super Bowl head coaches including Ditka, Brian Billick in Baltimore and John Fox in both Carolina and Denver. He’s a defensive-minded, hard nosed guy. I think he’d be a great fit for the Bears. If you’re a young and inexperienced GM like Ryan Pace, wouldn’t it make some sense to bring in a head coach with a little bit of experience? Wouldn’t it at least make sense to sit down and interview him?