No surprise Kelly is on Bears' radar

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No surprise Kelly is on Bears' radar

It was funny reading reports Wednesday night concerning Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. They were, to quote Pro Football Talk, almost spontaneously and simultaneously about the Philadelphia Eagles being interested in Kelly for their vacant head coaching position. The Eagles' interest was so piqued that they interviewed Kelly following the BCS Championship game. As I stated before -- and tweeted out more than a month ago -- Kelly was on NFL radars. A coach with one losing record in 23 years of coaching does not go unnoticed.

MORE: Miller: Kelly, Saban among possible Bears candidates

But all of a sudden the media was caught with their pants down regarding a candidate they did not take seriously. Now reports have Kelly returning to South Bend. This, of course, is after Kelly during the week, leading up to the game, stated his only interest was Notre Dame. Love him or loathe him, Kelly has won wherever hes coached; that is why he is of NFL interest.
Speculation runsamokin the media, where reporters were quick to link the Browns, Bears, pretty much any head coaching vacancy on the planet to Kelly as most teams seem to interview the same candidates. Its called slap-it-out-there journalism and hope it sticks. It normally is camouflaged as fact with an unidentified source to provide validity because, is anyone really going to check anyway? The writer sure isnt going to reveal any source.
As I have written before, Bears GM Phil Emery is not a newbie to scouting players and coaches. There are plenty of files regarding both. The Bears, and every other NFL team, have walked weekly through the Irishs door in South Bend, Cincinnati, or Central Michigan to scout players and coaches. General managers and scouts are present every college weekend to scout talent of interest. It is not regulated just to the young men running around on the field. How coachs delegate, their decision making, and sideline demeanor is all scouted, assessed, and filed.
An NFL presence is even greater if universities are located in proximity of an NFL team. For instance, the Bears are in proximity to Northwestern, Illinois and Notre Dame. They have had plenty of opportunity to converse with Kelly, along with the Cleveland Browns, who are also within proximity and searching for a new head coach. Contact for interest and interviewing a candidate are two completely different actions.
For instance, Jon Gruden is still the number one coaching candidate on my Chicago Bears head coaching list. No one in the media has indicated Gruden as a serious candidate. After all, interviewing only seems to be what counts among the media. I wonder if Grudens been contacted though...hmm...

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

The Bears try to get a third win in 2016 when they host the 49ers, and CSN has you covered.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Jim Miller and Chris Boden airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Insert title of this "Bowl" game here...

Two teams. Three wins combined. December. So much for holiday cheer. The snow may provide a certain Christmas element on the lakefront Sunday. But something different has to happen for the Bears defensively. In their spirit of giving, the 49ers have allowed a league-high 76 points off their turnovers. Problem is, the Bears have just eight of them in eleven games. If that San Francisco generosity doesn't change – either by Vic Fangio's defense finally making plays despite the core of their defense missing, or by the visitors finding a way to protect the ball in those conditions after practicing in Orlando all week – it's a golden chance for the Bears to gain a smidge of momentum before becoming a factor in the division race (because they face all three other NFC North contenders in their final four games).

1. Read zone read

Colin Kaepernick has grown much more comfortable with time in Chip Kelly's offense. He had the Dolphins hanging on for dear life until the clock struck zero last week. He became just the sixth quarterback in league history to pass for three touchdowns in a game while rushing for over 100 (no, Bobby Douglass isn't one). The challenge becomes greater minus the talented inside linebacker tandem of Danny Trevathan (injury) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). It becomes even greater if Leonard Floyd's quickness and speed is taken away as a shadowing option as he recovers from being carried off the field on a flat board two weeks ago. He's listed as questionable. So that makes it imperative for inside replacements John Timu and Nick Kwiatkowski to find a way to be instinctive while remaining disciplined enough to contain the league's best rushing quarterback by yards per attempt (8.1).

2. Don't stray from the run

Give this Niners defense without NoVorro Bowman and Eric Reid enough opportunities to be gashed, and they'll let you. Too many times the pregame formula has been for Jordan Howard to get the ball, only to find reasons not to – whether it's looking at the clock while trailing by double digits, too much traffic at the line of scrimmage or panic after injuries up front (to name a few). The 172 rushing yards per game allowed by San Francisco is the worst in eight years (Detroit).  Howard's 5.14 average gain per attempt is fifth in the NFL. Enough said.

3. Catch the ball!!!

Okay, Marquess, Josh and Deonte. Okay, Cam, Jordan and Jeremy. Okay Daniel (and/or Eddie?). We know conditions might be a little slick if it's snowing/sleeting/raining. You're supposed to be among the best in the world at what you do, even if you're down the original depth chart. Can you get your mitts on the football and hang on to it this week? Help your guy Matt out a little bit? After all, if you cut last week's nightmare in half, and maybe you're shooting for (oooh!) a fourth win Sunday, not a third.

Get set for Sunday's noon kickoff at 11 a.m. on CSN as ex-Bears Jim Miller, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Chris on "Bears Preagme Live." Then as soon as the second quarter ends, come back here to CSNChicago.com, where Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments. And finally, when the game goes final on Fox, switch immediately back to CSN as Chris and the three former Bears give you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live."