Temper the enthusiasm (and expectations) for Lovie successor

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Temper the enthusiasm (and expectations) for Lovie successor

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.

Kevin White already impressing Bears QB Mike Glennon in OTA sessions

Kevin White already impressing Bears QB Mike Glennon in OTA sessions

At the point where Kevin White’s 2016 season ended with a broken leg just four games into his de facto “rookie season,” the wide receiver was leading the Bears in receptions. Informal indications are that White already is making an impression in that direction.

White was in attendance at Tuesday’s OTA but it was Monday when he gave new Bears quarterback Mike Glennon a glimpse of the possibilities the Bears saw when they made White the No. 7 pick of the 2015 draft.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Kevin on the field and off the field,” Glennon said on Tuesday. “He works his butt off. And he made some really good plays [Monday] that got me excited and the rest of the team. He’s really eager to learn. I know he’s eager to get back out on that field. Him along with a lot of other receivers, I think, have a chip on their shoulder to prove that it’s a good receiving corps.”

The Bears have never pushed White to accelerate any surgery or planned rehab program and they clearly are not doing it now. White’s 2015 season never got past a stress fracture suffered in pre-camp work, and the organization opted for a conservative approach rather than surgery until an operation was unavoidable.

At this point of White’s third offseason, the approach remains controlled, less interested in any given OTA day than in a phased return pointed toward training camp and ultimately the 2017 season.

“We’re just trying to make sure we get guys ready for camp, and even more precisely, for game one against Atlanta,” said coach John Fox. “So we’re going to do anything necessary to make that done.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: How long will Mike Glennon last as the starting QB?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: How long will Mike Glennon last as the starting QB?

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