(WBBM) Time is valuable when hiring a new head coach, but don’t expect the Bears to make any hasty decisions when searching for Lovie Smith’s replacement.

The Bears reportedly have interest in several candidates who are still coaching in the playoffs, like Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements. General manager Phil Emery told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Thursday that the team will remain patient throughout the duration of this process.

“You have to be patient with that,” Emery said. “The NFL has rules in terms of coaches being in the playoff progression. We have to wait that out a little bit. Obviously, (there’s) a lot of impact on who wins and loses those games in terms of if they fall out of the playoffs, there’s a lot more flexibility setting up the schedule to talk to them. If they’re in it, we have to be very respectful of the teams. We request permission and look for their guidance in terms of telling us when is best for them to not cause disruptions in their practice plans.

LISTEN: Bears GM Phil Emery on WBBM Newsradio with Josh Liss

Emery said he does have a target date when he’d like to make the hire, but he won’t rush any decisions to hit that date.

“The sooner we hire a coach, the more he can get involved right away in terms of completing his staff and assisting and working with us in the All Star game evaluation,” Emery said. “That would be the ideal situation. Will that happen? We’ll just have to take each step day by day and work through it and make sure that we interview each candidate thoroughly.”

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