On Jan. 1 when Bears general manager Phil Emery addressed the media after head coach Lovie Smith was fired, he did not rule out special teams coordinator Dave Toub as a candidate for the vacant job.
“No on is excluded,” Emery said when asked about Toub. “We have some excellent coaches on our staff and I’m not excluding anybody.”
Toub’s candidacy became official after interviewing for the position on Monday, according to multiple sources. Toub’s interest brings to 13 the number of coaches Emery has or will interview for the job, by far the most extensive search undertaken by any of the seven teams that parted ways with their head coach at the end of the regular season on Dec. 30.
The Buffalo Bills (Doug Marrone) and the Kansas City Chiefs (Andy Reid) had much shorter lists and have already hired new coaches.
The perennial success of Toub’s special teams since he joined the Bears in 2004 has made him a head-coaching candidate in recent years. He interviewed for the Miami Dolphins’ top spot last year that went to former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
In eight of his nine seasons, Toub’s special teams have ranked in the top 10, according to the comprehensive system devised by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. The Bears’ special teams finished No. 1 in 2006 and 2007, they were No. 3 in 2011, No. 4 in 2010 and No. 8 this season.
Before joining the Bears, Toub spent three seasons as an assistant special teams/assistant defensive line coach with the Philadelphia Eagles after 12 years as Missouri’s defensive line and strength and conditioning coach. Emery spent 18 years as a college strength and conditioning coach.
Toub, 51, is one of the four special teams coordinators who are under consideration for the Bears’ job. That list includes Keith Armstrong of the Atlanta Falcons, Joe DeCamillis of the Dallas Cowboys and Mike Priefer of the Minnesota Vikings.
The competition also includes eight coaches who are, or have been, offensive coordinators in the NFL.
The New Orleans Saints’ Pete Carmichael, the Denver Broncos’ Mike McCoy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mike Sullivan and the Montreal Alouettes’ Marc Trestman have all spoken with Emery. The Indianapolis Colts’ Bruce Arians, the Seattle Seahawks’ Darrell Bevell, the Houston Texans’ Rick Dennison and the Packers’ Tom Clements are all scheduled to do so later this week.
Bears Hall of Fame middle linebacker and Vikings assistant head coach Mike Singletary, 54, is also scheduled to interview, although he is not considered a serious candidate. However, Singletary is the only member of the list with experience as an NFL head coach, compiling an 18-22 record in parts of three seasons directing the San Francisco 49ers (2008-10).
Meanwhile, Smith, who hired Toub nine days after he became the 13th head coach in Bears history on Jan. 15, 2004, is scheduled to interview for the Eagles’ head-coaching vacancy Thursday. Smith previously interviewed for the Bills’ job that went to Marrone, and he has also been mentioned as a possible candidate in San Diego to succeed fired Chargers head coach Norv Turner.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.