By Chris Emma–
(CBS) Adam Gase’s newest window to become an NFL head coach is officially open, with Tuesday bringing an interview in Philadelphia with the Eagles.
Nearly a year after the 49ers pulled a failed power play in attempting to make Gase their head coach, the Bears’ offensive coordinator of a year made the first of three stops set this week for interviews. John Fox confirmed Monday that the three teams were granted permission to interview his offensive coordinator in Denver and Chicago, those teams being the Eagles, Browns and Dolphins.
The Eagles last week made the decision to fire Chip Kelly after three seasons as coach. An offensive innovator like Gase, Kelly as dismissed with one game remaining in the 2015 season after compiling a 26-21 record. Kelly’s termination was largely fueled by his failure to communicate within the organization.
In Gase, the Eagles could add an offensive-minded coach touted by his players as an excellent communicator.
“He’s going to be good,” Bears quarterback Cutler said of Gase’s head coaching potential. “If he gets that shot, I’m going to be excited for him. He deserves it.”
One of Gase’s greatest credits in Chicago was maximizing a depleted Bears offense to respectable success. He worked well with Cutler and made the quarterback efficient — 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 15 games — despite a lack of talent surrounding the offense.
Next up for Gase will be a trip to Cleveland to meet with the Browns, who fired their eighth coach since the turn of the century and will bring in their fifth since 2010. The instability of the Browns organization, combined with uncertainty at the quarterback position, could sway Gase from strong interest, a source suggested. Last January with the dysfunctional 49ers management offered a lesson for Gase.
After the Browns, the Dolphins will make their pitch to Gase on Thursday. The team fired Joe Philbin midway during the 2015 season, replacing him with interim coach Dan Campbell. Miami boasts a promising young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and some pieces to work with on offense.
The Bears have long been prepared for Gase’s likely move this offseason, knowing they hired a coordinator who simply was cheated out of a seat in coaching musical chairs last January. His move seemed to be inevitable, not impacted by the results of 2015 and an offense with many replacement-level parts.
On Monday, Fox expressed confidence in the Bears’ ability to replace Gase. One of the potential first choices could be quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, a trusted confidante for Cutler.
“We have a plan in place,” Fox said. “Finding good, quality coaches have never been a problem.”
Joked Bears general manager Ryan Pace: “One of the benefits of John (Fox) being 100 years old is that he knows a lot of coaches.”
Gase is expected to hear out all three pitches this week, plus potentially any more than could come his way, a source said. He was expected to be of interest for the Colts, but they opted to sign Chuck Pagano to a rather surprising four-year deal. The Giants, who saw Tom Coughlin resign on Monday, reportedly requested to interview Gase, too.
The tour of head coaching opportunities will continue on this week and possibly into next, but this time, Gase likely won’t miss out on his big chance.