The Chicago Bears are down to (or up to) a list of 13 men to replace Lovie Smith and become their new head coach. The list is comprised primarily of top-level assistants from around the league.
The Bears fired Smith after finishing the season 10-6 and failing to make the playoffs following a 7-1 start. The Bears offense struggled, and finished the season ranked 28th in the league with 4,969 yards. Smith served as the Bears head coach for nine seasons, making three playoff appearances and one Super Bowl appearance. Since Smith's departure, general manager Phil Emery has been busy, interviewing a wide array of coaching candidates.
A quick rundown of the 13 candidates:
The most recent interview was current Bears special teams coach Dave Toub. Toub has been the special teams coach in Chicago since 2004 and was named special teams coach of the year in 2007.
Former Bears star linebacker Singletary is currently the linebackers coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He served as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers from mid-2008 through mid-2010 and racked up an 18-22 record. He spent his entire 12-year playing career with the Bears.
Bevell is in his second season as the offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to coaching in Seattle, he served as offensive coordinator of the Vikings for five seasons.
The offensive coordinator of the Houston Texans for the past three seasons, Dennison has experience working with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall from their time in Denver. Dennison served as the Broncos offensive coordinator from 2006-2008.
The most unexpected name of this list, Trestman is the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. Trestman has been in Montreal since 2008 but does have a history in the NFL, serving as offensive coordinator for four different teams between 1989 and 2003.
Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is one of the hotter names in NFL coaching searches right now. Arians served as interim head coach in Indianapolis while Chuck Pagano was out due to medical issues and helped lead the Colts to an 11-5 record and one of the best turnarounds in NFL history. Prior to his time in Indy, Arians served as the offensive coordinator for the Steelers for five seasons.
Carmichael has served as the offensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints since 2009. New Orleans has featured a high-powered offensive attack under Carmichael that always ranks near the top of the league.
Clements replaced Joe Philbin as the Packers offensive coordinator this past season and Green Bay continued to have a strong passing attack.
Another special teams guy, DeCamillis has been the special teams coordinator of the Cowboys since 2009.
Sullivan spent the 2012 season as the coordinator of a strong, if somewhat inconsistent Buccaneers offense. Prior to his time in Tampa, he spent eight seasons with the Giants, six as the wide receivers coach and two as the quarterbacks coach.
The special teams coordinator of the Falcons, Armstrong has been leading special teams units since 1997. He has been with Atlanta since 2008.
The Broncos offensive coordinator is another one of the hottest names in the league. He has been the Broncos coordinator since 2009, achieving success with both Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow as his quarterback, before lighting up the league with Peyton Manning this season.
As the Bears coaching search continues and the list of candidates gets narrowed down (or continues to grow) keep an eye on Windy City Gridiron for all the Bears coaching news.