For now, Gase's only concern is Chicago Bears

  • Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase (left) is already being mentioned for head-coaching job openings, and he gets a big endorsement from quarterback Jay Cutler (right).

    Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Adam Gase (left) is already being mentioned for head-coaching job openings, and he gets a big endorsement from quarterback Jay Cutler (right). Associated Press File Photo/June 16, 2015

Updated 11/8/2015 10:04 PM

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase was one of the hottest head-coaching candidates last off-season.

And he's already being mentioned as a top candidate for the Tennessee Titans' job after Ken Whisenhunt was fired Tuesday and replaced on an interim basis by Mike Mularkey.


"That stuff's so far away," the 37-year-old Gase said. "We need to focus on winning games. That's the furthest thing from my mind right now."

But in a couple of months Gase could follow in the footsteps of Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, who was John Fox's offensive coordinator with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos before taking over the top job in San Diego in 2013.

Gase and McCoy also have strong ties, which makes Monday night's Bears-Chargers game more interesting as the two offensive minds match wits and game plans.

Before he followed Fox to Chicago to become the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator, Gase spent the previous two years in the same job, also under Fox, with the Broncos.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Before that, Gase was a wide receivers coach and then a quarterbacks coach for the Broncos under McCoy, who was Denver's offensive coordinator.

Gase and McCoy originally were hired in Denver by Josh McDaniels, who preceded Fox as head coach. Fox retained Gase and McCoy when he took over in 2011.

"They worked together a year before I got there, so they built that relationship there," Fox said of Gase and McCoy. "I knew Mike from the Carolina days (but) did not know Adam before that."

Fox did know Gase's father-in-law, Joe Vitt, a longtime NFL coach.

"I had a chance to interview (Gase) when we went in new as a staff," Fox said. "I was impressed. He's a good young coach, very smart, good playcaller in my estimation. He's done a terrific job in my tenure with him."

Fox was asked last week if he would grant his assistants permission to interview for future head-coaching positions. It's not something he wants to contemplate as he tries to rally a 2-5 team.


"That's way down the road," Fox said. "There are procedures involved, permissions from the organizations involved, so I'm not quite into head-coaching searches yet on my calendar."

Quarterback Jay Cutler readily endorses Gase as prime head-coaching material.

"I think he'll make a great head coach," Cutler said. "I think he proves that daily out here just in his (attention to) detail. Being around Fox the last four or five years or however long they've been together, he's seen how to do it the right way."

Most recently it has been Gase's work with Cutler that has furthered his cause. Cutler's passer rating of 87.5 is just a couple of points higher than his career mark.

But his current passer rating has been achieved without go-to wide receiver Alshon Jeffery for four of seven games and with a patchwork offensive line. And with just 4 interceptions, Cutler is on pace for his fewest picks ever in a full season.

"He's been around a lot of really, really good coaches," Cutler said. "He's taken bits and pieces from each one. Offensively, I think he's one of the best in the league, too. If he does get his shot, it's going to be well-deserved."

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


Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.