Bears coaching search continues with interview of Vikings DC

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards Thursday became the second candidate to interview with GM Ryan Pace for the Bears' head-coaching vacancy.

It was 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 13-3 Vikings finished No. 1 in yards and points allowed and in third-down efficiency and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. They were also No. 2 in rushing yards and average gain per pass allowed this year.

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 takeaways.

Three of Edwards' players were voted to the Pro Bowl this year - defensive end Everson Griffen, outside linebacker Anthony Barr and cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

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.

A day earlier, Pace interviewed Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the only in-house candidate for the top job.

The Bears are expected to interview Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur on Friday.

Migration south continues:

Offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn became the second member of the Bears' 2017 staff to join Adam Gase's staff in Miami, taking over as the Dolphins' O-line coach.

A day earlier, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains accepted the same position with the Dolphins. Gase was the Bears' offensive coordinator in 2015 before leaving to take the Dolphins' head-coaching job.

Looking ahead:

The Bears' 2018 schedule includes home games against the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Road games are against the Lions, Packers, Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants.

The 2018 schedule includes five games against 2017 playoff teams - the Vikings (twice), Rams, Patriots and Bills. The Bears will play four games against teams that have new head coaches - the Lions (twice), Giants and Cardinals.

The waiting game:

Only two teams have suffered longer playoff droughts than the Bears, who haven't been to the after-party since 2010.

The Cleveland Browns haven't made the postseason since 2002, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't been since 2007. The New York Jets also haven't gone to the playoffs since 2010.

Extra points:

The Bears have exactly 8 interceptions in each of the past three seasons, which is the franchise-record low. … The 2017 Bears were called for 115 penalties, their most infractions since the 2004 team had 124. The Bears' opponents were penalized 118 times this season. … The Bears have seven selections in April's draft.

They're missing a third-rounder but have two fourth-round picks.

Head-coaching candidates on the Bears' radar

Vic Fangio, Bears DC (Wednesday)

Other teams interested: None yet.

Steve Wilks, Carolina Panthers DC

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

John DeFilippo, Philadelphia Eagles QB coach (weekend)

Other teams interested: Arizona Cardinals.

Josh McDaniels, New England Patriots OC (Friday)

Other teams interested: Indianapolis Colts (Wednesday), New York Giants (Friday).

Pat Shurmur, Minnesota Vikings OC (Friday)

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

Matt Nagy, Kansas City Chiefs OC

Other teams interested: Indianapolis Colts.

George Edwards, Minnesota Vikings, DC (Thursday)

Other teams interested: None yet.

Note: Parentheses indicate day interview was conducted.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Chad Greenway (52) talks with defensive coordinator George Edwards during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in 2016 in Detroit. Edwards on Thursday became the second candidate to interview with GM Ryan Pace for the Bears' head-coaching vacancy. Associated Press
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