Coaching Carousel

It doesn't appear that Greg Blache is the mystery candidate that Jerry Angelo spoke of Tuesday, but the indecisiveness of the search is beginning to make many remember the debacle of their last head-coaching hire.

When GM Jerry Angelo met with the Chicago media for the first time since firing Dick Jauron he mentioned a possible third candidate in the head-coaching search. The initial talk was that defensive coordinator Greg Blache would get a curiosity interview, but it turns out that despite a Tuesday meeting the opening was not discussed.

Angelo dismissed former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel as a possibility, but described the mystery candidate as a coach currently in the NFL, but not with a playoff team.

While Angelo wants to make the right decision, he knows something will have to be relatively quickly because the Oakland Raiders are the only other team looking for a head coach. That leaves five teams already in the process of filling out their coaching staff, which means the Bears could be in a similar position to when Jauron was the last coach hired in 1999. Jauron was then forced to rummage through the leftovers for his assistants.

"I've been mulling a lot of things guys in these last two-three weeks," Angelo said. "I just need a little time to breath here and right now I'm going to take that time, but it can't be a lot of time either. We've got to get moving and I'm sensitive to that as well."

The talk of a third candidate cold also be used as leverage in contract negotiations with either Lovie Smith or Russ Grimm. Jim Mora Jr. received a five-year contract worth $5.75 million, reportedly Smith is seeking the same deal.

Steve Mariucci is interested in upgrading the defensive coaching staff. Jauron, the former Chicago Bears head coach is atop of his list of candidates to replace Kurt Schottenheimer as their defensive coordinator.

If Jauron were hired, Mariucci would give him wide latitude in assembling a staff on the defensive side of the ball. Mariucci trusts Jauron implicitly and the two are good friends dating back to their days on Mike Holmgren's staff at Green Bay. Former Lions safety Dick LeBeau, also on that Green Bay staff, would likely be one of the first coaches that Jauron would call if available. LeBeau has interviewed for coordinator jobs in Pittsburgh and New York.

However with Jauron out of the running in Buffalo Bills job with the team hiring Mike Mularkey, he could turn to another old friend in Tom Coughlin. While the New York Giants have already hired a defensive coordinator there are rumors that Jauron could join the staff as the assistant head coach.

Now that Mularkey has officially taken the head coaching position in Buffalo and become the Steelers former offensive coordinator, the Steelers are hoping that the Bears don't hire Grimm, who is the prospect No. 1 to become Pittsburgh's new offensive coordinator.

Greg Blache is in Pittsburgh today interviewing with the Steelers for their defensive coordinator opening, but the job will be LeBeau's if he wants it.

Mularkey may also make a play for Pittsburgh quarterbacks caoch, Tom Clements, as his offensive coordinator. Grimm had been rumored to be considering Clements for the same position if he gets the Bears job.

Two of the assistant coaches on Jauron's staff that the Bears were hoping to keep are on their way out. Special-teams coach Mike Sweatman, one of the best in the league, was hired for Tom Coughlin's staff with the New York Giants. Quarterbacks coach Greg Olson is expected to rejoin forces with Steve Mariucci in Detroit, where he will visit today.

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