Uncoordinated

In most cases coordinators are the first to be hired by a new coach, but Lovie Smith named one assistant over the weekend and added a second on Tuesday.

While it seems that Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Terry Shea is still the top choice for the offensive coordinator position there is word that Smith and Jerry Angelo will interview other candidates.

Shea is currently in Mobile, Ala, scouting the talent at the Senior Bowl. When asked if he could run a similar scheme in Chicago that the Chiefs have had success with over the past three seasons he responded by saying that the Bears personnel would limit the offense initially.

Meanwhile the defensive coordinator opening remains a mystery, but it is not considered as pressing because of Smith's defensive background.

In other news, Pete Hoener, a 30-year coaching veteran, was named the team's offensive line coach today. Bob Babich, who coached linebackers with Smith at St. Louis, joined the staff Saturday (1/17) and will work with the linebackers in Chicago.

Hoener, a Peoria, Ill. native, just completed his second stint with the Cardinals, coaching the offensive line in 2003 following two seasons of overseeing the tight ends (2001-02). During his first stint with the Cardinals

(1985-86), Hoener served on the staff of head coach Jim Hanifan, considered one of the best offensive-line coaches in NFL history. Hanifan currently serves in that capacity for the Rams. Hoener has coached the offensive line at seven previous coaching stops -- Iowa State (1998-99), Texas Christian (1992-97), Purdue (1990-91), Illinois (1986-88), Indiana State (1978-84), Illinois State (1977) and Missouri as a graduate assistant (1975-76). While at Iowa State, TCU and Indiana State he served the dual role as offensive coordinator and held the title of assistant head coach at TCU.

During his 30-year coaching career, Hoener has spent 26 years as an offensive line coach and 15 as an offensive coordinator. Hoener, who attended Richwoods High School in Peoria, played football and graduated from Bradley University then began his coaching career at Belvidere (Ill.) High School before serving as the graduate assistant at Missouri.

Babich spent one season overeseeing the Rams linebackers after a six-year stint as head coach at North Dakota State University (1997-2002) where he amassed a 46-22 career mark, with five winning seasons and two NCAA Division II playoff appearances.

A native of Aliquippa, Pa., he served 12 seasons as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level at five different schools, most recently Pittsburgh (1994-96) where he coached the linebackers. Babich began his career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Tulsa (1984), before being promoted to tight ends coach (1985), assistant offensive line (1986) and strong safeties (1987). Babich was an assistant coach at Wisconsin for two seasons, one as an assistant offensive line coach (1988), and one as tight ends coach (1989). Babich coached linebackers at Bowling Green (1991) and East Carolina (1992-93) before joining the Panthers in 1994.


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