Quick Turn to Turner

Several names have been bandied about in the early going. Former Illinois coach Ron Turner appears to be early frontrunner. He spent four seasons with the Bears as offensive coordinator before going to Illinois after the 1996 season.

Turner reportedly spent Wednesday at Halas Hall meeting with Bears brass. While no formal offer is believed to have been made, Turner could be a hot commodity this off-season.

There could be as many as twelve teams looking for an offensive coordinator. His 35-57 record at Illinois, including 4-19 the past two seasons, doesn't jump out. But while he failed as a head coach on the collegiate level, he led some of the most productive offensive campaigns the Bears have ever seen.

In 1995 Erik Kramer threw for franchise records in passing yards (3,838) and touchdowns (29). Overall the Bears finished with 5,673 yards of offense, which is the third highest total in team history.

Minnesota's Scott Linehan, San Diego's Cam Cameron and Bears quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson (a long shot) have also been mentioned, along with USC's Norm Chow.

The departure of Terry Shea may not be the only change in the staff. Defensive backs coach Vance Bedford is in the final year of his contract and could receive offers from other clubs.

Bedford, who is one of two holdovers from Dick Jauron's staff, has coached every member of the secondary since their rookie season. If the Bears are unable to retain him the likely replacement would be Leslie Frazier. He was recently relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator of the Cincinnatti Bengals and spent five years with the Bears at cornerback. He's also a former teammate and close friend of defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.


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