The Bears have Another Coaching Hole to Fill

Lovie Smith decided to shake things up among his offensive coaches, but with the departure of defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, the Bears head coach has had to do as much work on defense.

Dunbar is headed back to LSU where he spent a stint as a player (1986-89) and as the team's strength and conditioning coach (2000-02). He has agreed to be defensive line and assistant head coach to Les Miles, who takes over for Nick Saban.

Dunbar spent two seasons as the d-line coach at Oklahoma State before being hired by the Bears at the same position.

In his only year with the Bears, Dunbar helped to develop first round pick Tommie Harris into a 16-game starter. He also turned Ian Scott from a long shot to make the roster to a 13-game starter and one of the most improved players on the team.

In '04, the defensive line doubled its sack production from the previous season going from 12 to 24.

Dunbar is arguably leaving the deepest area on the team. Adewale Ogunleye and Alex Brown both received contract extensions in the past six months joining starters Harris, and Scott. Tank Johnson and Michael Haynes are headed into year two and three in the league respectively and are both part of the rotation. Alfonso Boone is the veteran of the unit at 29 years old.

At this point there is no clear-cut favorite to replace Dunbar, but Smith has shown he likes to go with defensive coaches that he's worked with in the past. That could lead the Bears to Tampa Bay Bucs defensive line coach Rod Marinelli, who was denied permission to interview for the defensive coordinator position a year ago.

In other coaching news, Terry Shea has also returned to Kansas City. The Chiefs announced that he has rejoined Dick Vermeil's coaching staff as quarterbacks coach. Shea spent three seasons with Kansas City in the same position before leading the worst offense in the NFL with the Bears in 2004.

The Bears also claimed tight end Darnell Sanders off waivers from Atlanta.

The Ohio State product was chosen in the fourth-round (122nd overall) by the Browns in 2002 NFL Draft. He has started 15 games over three years with Cleveland and Atlanta. His best season came in ‘03 when he established career-highs while starting 12 of 16 games played, catching 15 passes for 95 yards with one touchdown for the Browns. Last year he played in two games for the Falcons and was inactive for 12.

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