Passed over

Chances were <!--Default NodeId For Greg Blache is 449107,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:449107]>Greg Blache</A> wasn't going to be hired as the <!--Default NodeId For San Francisco is 121,2005--><A HREF=>49ers Francisco</A> head coach, but San Francisco surprised everyone by hiring <!--Default NodeId For Oregon State is 554,2005--><A HREF=>Oregon State</A>'s Dennis Erickson.

Although, Blache was among three finalists being considered along with New York Jets defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and 49ers defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. there has been talk all along that San Francisco was considering bringing in someone from the college level.

"I don't know when coach Erickson entered the process or not, I only know about my own involvement in the process," Blache said. "As far as time schedules and deadlines, when they told me I'd be notified, those were held right to the letter."

Blache was confident that he did enough to earn his first head-coaching job.

"When I went in I thought I was going to hit the ball so hard and far, they weren't going to want anybody else," he said. "If you go into a contest not feeling totally confident in yourself, then you're beat before you start. Regardless of where they started in the process, my whole point in entering was to sell myself, sell my beliefs, and if they did have that mindset to being with to change their minds.

Now Blache's attention must turn back to the Bears and the first priority is to hire a defensive line coach to replace the departed Rex Norris.

During the interview process Blache said he in a win-win situation and is now excited about having a healthy unit in place for 2003.

"I have some work that wasn't finished here," he said about the Bears 4-12 record and a defense that gave up over 25 points per game. "I feel real good about still being here and having a chance to get this corrected.

"We were pretty darn good when we were a healthy defense the year before. That's huge in itself. That's 99 percent of it. When we were a healthy football team, we were a pretty good football team. When we got banged up and beat up, we were very average to poor.

"There are some pieces we need. We're going to go to the combine next week. We're going to do all the parts and pieces and get ourselves into camp, into summer school, and get ready to go play a season and, like I said, make a run for the championship."

Bear Report Top Stories