Temper the enthusiasm (and expectations) for Lovie successor

Temper the enthusiasm (and expectations) for Lovie successor
January 3, 2013, 6:02 pm
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Nestled down at the very bottom of a ProFootballTalk news item is a bit of perspective that would be wise to keep in mind as the Bears go through their search process for a new head coach.

Mike Florio reported that Pete Carmichael Jr. is interviewing with the Bears. Carmichael is the New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator, a significant post this season with coach Sean Payton suspended and has been since 2006 after stints with Cleveland, Washington and San Diego.

The immediate resume is borderline jaw-dropping: The Saints averaged 411 yards per game last season. Averaged. The Bears topped 400 just three times all year.

But heres Mikes note of note: Of course, it helps that Carmichael has had Drew Brees playing quarterback.

Beware the hot new guys

Various candidates will inspire differing degrees of euphoria in the media and general public. But apply Mikes qualifier to each one.

Mike McCoy, Denver Broncos offensive coordinator

McCoy is hot after his Mile-High results. But he is unlikely to be getting on the plane with Peyton Manning, and its worth recalling the training-camp and OTA footage of Manning directing the offense. Thats no slight of McCoy, who clearly was fine with one of the games greatest serving as at least a co-coordinator.

RELATED: Under new head coach, how much can change?

That McCoy and the Broncos got to the playoffs and won a game with Tim Tebow also is impressive. Remember, though, that the Broncos are home in January if Marion Barber does not go brain-dead twice in a couple minutes vs. the Bears. And the Broncos were the NFLs No. 1 rushing team, not passing. They were 23rd in yardage per game and 24th in scoring at 19.3 per game. Even with six games using Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown and four with no Matt Forte, the Bears last year were 24th in yardage but 17th in scoring.

Keith Armstrong, Atlanta Falcons special teams coordinator

Joe DeCamillis, Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator

GM Phil Emery said on Tuesday that no one was excluded when asked whether Dave Toub was a candidate. Toub is arguably the NFLs best Teams coordinator but may have damaged any chances with his passionate support of Lovie Smith. The organization may not be seriously interested in someone who wanted someone it didnt.

Armstrong and DeCamillis are solid candidates. And Mike Ditka and John Harbaugh were special-teams coaches immediately before becoming first-time head coaches. But in the Gosselin composite rankings for special teams, the Bears ranked No. 4 in 2010 and No. 3 in 2011. The Falcons were10th and 23rd; the Cowboys were 20th and 21st.

Mike Sullivan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator

Sullivan has gotten something out of quarterback Josh Freeman, from a train wreck in 2011 to respectable this season. But Freeman threw nine interceptions over the final three games and Tampa Bay lost five of its last six, failing to score more than 23 points in any of the six and went from 6-4 to out of the playoffs.

The Bears didnt need to change coaches and offenses to achieve that kind of result. Freeman did rank one slot ahead of Jay Cutler, however, so Sullivan could help.