Busy weekend brings Bears’ coaching interviews to six

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace speaks about the decision to fire John Fox Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 during a press conference at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)

LAKE FOREST  – A week ago, he made a decision that seemed relatively easy to Bears fans and those throughout the NFL.

Now this is the real hard part for Ryan Pace – finding the replacement for John Fox who can make his vision for the franchise a reality. Plus he has to do so with a number of openings in the league for franchises seeking to play during the first week of January rather than watch.

So far, Pace has figuratively kept it with others in the league, interviewing six coaches so far in the process.

He completed this week’s candidate discussions on Sunday as he spoke with Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. He was just a day removed from his team’s loss to the Titans in the AFC Wild Card game.

Nagy has been the offensive coordinator in Kansas City the last two seasons after spending the previous three as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. This past season, his offensive unit was ranked fifth in the NFL in yardage and sixth in the league in points per game.

He continues the current trend for Pace in the coaching search – one that’s far from a surprise considering the importance of Mitchell Trubisky to the rebuild. What’s different about Nagy, however, is that he’s done with his obligations in the playoffs.

That’s not the case for Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, whose Vikings host the Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoffs this weekend. Meanwhile John DeFilippo’s Eagles will be the top seed in the conference as they face the Falcons, with the quarterbacks coach doing so without injured starter Carson Wentz.

Meanwhile Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is back in the AFC Divisional Playoffs again as his team gets ready for the Titans on Saturday night.

Those four could be the favorites simply because of their offensive background, but Pace did his diligence to get a pair of defensive coaches interviewed as well. Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio got his interview this past week and could be a candidate to retain his position even if he doesn’t get the head coaching job.

Meanwhile the Bears also talked to Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards as well.

Could this be the end of Pace’s search, with these half-dozen candidates being the finalist to take Fox’s job in Chicago? Time will tell, but so far the Bears’ general manager is doing his best to keep “Pace” with the league.