By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) — The Bears’ coaching wish list began to take shape in the hours after John Fox was fired by the team Monday.
Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo were the first names to be requested for interviews, and the Bears followed through later by requesting to speak with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, according to NFL Media reports.
McDaniels, 41, has worked the last six seasons as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, a job that puts himself alongside future Hall of Fame head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. He has been part of five Super Bowl champions during his two separate tenures in New England.
McDaniels was head coach of the Broncos in 2009 and 2010 but was fired after going 13-19. His time in Denver was most notably marred by a clash with quarterback Jay Cutler, who was then sent to Chicago in a blockbuster trade.
The Patriots had the league’s second-best scoring offense this season, which is tied with the Eagles at 28.6 points per game, and lead all teams with 394.2 yards per game.
McDaniels would have an interesting evaluation of the Bears’ head coaching opportunity as his brother, Ben, has worked the last two seasons as an offensive assistant and analyst for Fox’s coaching staff.
Shurmur, 52, has worked most of the last two seasons as Vikings offensive coordinator. He served as head coach of the Browns in 2011 and 2012, going 9-23 in that time. He also added a win as interim coach of the Eagles in 2015 after the team fired Chip Kelly.
In Minnesota, Shurmur has sustained continuity for a Vikings offense that lost its starting quarterback and running back early in the season. He has helped Case Keenum transform from career backup to leader of the NFC North champions and developed an offense that ranks 10th in scoring at 23.9 points per game.
McDaniels and Shurmur are expected to be two of the most coveted coaching candidates for teams seeking an offensive mind.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace declined to touch on the team’s qualifications for their coaching search, though he expressed an openness to all types of candidates — not necessarily requiring an offensive background. He also denied Monday afternoon that the team had submitted requests for interviews.