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updated: 1/3/2018 12:00 PM

Two more names to watch in Bears' coaching search

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  • Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said the team is looking for the best coach, regardless of what side of the ball he comes from.

    Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said the team is looking for the best coach, regardless of what side of the ball he comes from.
    Associated Press


Common sense says the Bears need an offensive-minded head coach who can get the most out of young quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but GM Ryan Pace has insisted the team won't be limited in its search for John Fox's successor.

"I don't want to paint ourselves in a corner," Pace said. "We're looking for the best coach; best character, best leadership. So I don't want to paint ourselves into offense or defense. It's going to be a broad, thorough search."

The Bears added two more names to their list of head coaching candidates, one from each side of the ball.

It's impossible to ignore the credentials of Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards, whom the Bears will interview later this week, probably Friday, when they are also scheduled to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

It will be the first NFL head-coaching interview for the 50-year-old Edwards. He had the NFL's No. 1 defense this season in his fourth year as coordinator, although Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer does the defensive play-calling.

The Vikings were No. 1 in yards and points allowed and in third-down efficiency. They finished No. 2 in rushing yards and average gain per pass allowed. In 2016 the Vikings were No. 3 in total defense and No. 5 in points allowed (18.7 per game). That team also tied for fourth with 41 sacks and tied for seventh with 27 take-aways.

Edwards previously coordinated the defenses in Buffalo (2010-11) and Washington (2003).

He is on the Fritz Pollard Alliance list of recommended head coaching candidates, which is distributed to all NFL teams.

The alliance works with the NFL on the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and top executive positions.

Nagy, 39, is in his second year as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator. He took over play-calling duties from head coach Andy Reid on Dec. 3.

In the four games before Reid relinquished the decision-making role, the Chiefs were 1-3 and averaged 16 points and 300 yards per game.

In the next four games, the Chiefs went 3-1, averaging 29 points and 421 yards.

Before becoming the coordinator, Nagy was the Chiefs' quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 and helped quarterback Alex Smith make his first Pro Bowl.

Before he got into coaching, Nagy played quarterback for six years in the Arena Football League.

The Bears cannot speak with him until after the Chiefs' wild-card-round game Saturday in Kansas City against the Tennessee Titans.

Other Head coaching candidates on the Bears' radar

Steve Wilks, Carolina Panthers DC

Other teams interested: Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, New York Giants.

John DeFilippo, Philadelphia Eagles QB coach

Other teams interested: Arizona Cardinals.

Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots OC

Other teams interested: Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants.

Pat Shurmur, Minnesota Vikings OC

Other teams interested: Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants.

Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs OC

Other teams interested: Indianapolis Colts.

George Edwards, Minnesota Vikings, DC

Other teams interested: None yet.

Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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