Want a big name Bears coach? First, choose the right prism


Want a big name Bears coach? First, choose the right prism

Looking at an object through a prism bends the light and distorts what you are seeing. Time is a prism, for instance; it obscures things. Like coaches performances.

In his breaking story on Pete Carmichael Jr. interviewing with the Bears, Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com throws in that Carmichael had success as New Orleans offensive coordinator, but with Drew Brees as his quarterback.

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Apply that same qualifier to some other, bigger-name coaches:

Want Jon Gruden? I would, as long as he brings with him Simeon Rice, Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber all in their primes. Gruden, by the way, made the playoffs twice over his final six years (Lovie Smith was three times in nine season), losing both times in wild-card games. The Bucs were 18th in scoring their Super Bowl season and 24th in yardage (the Bears were 16th in scoring, 28th in yardage last year).

How about Bill Cowher? Definitely the one you want, as long as Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison and Troy Polamalu get off the plane with him. And that was when he won his Super Bowl in his 14th season. He did win one conference championship, in his fourth year. Lovie Smith got one of those in his third year.

Andy Reid is in demand, interviewing at Arizona and Kansas City. Presumably the Cardinals and Chiefs know that Reid isnt bringing Donovan McNabb in his prime.

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

This is apparently the week of Jay Cutler news.

Reports surfaced earlier this week the Bears are pushing hard to find a trade partner for the enigmatic quarterback, though Ian Rapoport reported the organization informed Cutler in mid-January they were shopping him around.

It seems clear Cutler's time in Chicago has come to an end and an ensuing move is more of a formality at this point.

But apparently Cutler may not even suit up again...for ANY team.

Rapoport reported on NFL Network Wednesday night Cutler is mulling over retirement, even as he's healthy and working out now after shoulder surgery.

"There's no guarantee Cutler even plays in 2017, one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play or not play, retire, walk away. A lot of things at play here for Jay Cutler."

Host Dan Hellie immediately followed up, asking for clarification on the retirement part.

"It is a consideration; it's something he's confided in people," Rapoport said. "But Dan, I would say, it's not a surprise for quarterbacks this age. We've heard [Ben] Roethlisberger talk about it; we've heard Tony Romo talk about it. If it's not perfect, if he can't find the team he wants or the contract he wants, it's very easy for Jay Cutler to walk away."


Cutler, 33, has made more than $112 million in his 11-year career and is owed at least another $2 million in 2017, even if he's cut by the Bears.

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.