With Bears head coach John Fox on the way out later today, the coaching search is about to really ramp up.
Pete Carmichael is the longest-tenured offensive coordinator in the NFL, having served in that capacity for the New Orleans Saints since 2009. His teams have finished in the top-10 in total yards in each season, among the top-5 in points scored five times, and in the top-10 three other times.
Ian Rapoport has put together a snapshot of candidates for head coaching jobs that will open up after the regular season ends. The list of 22 will likely grow in the coming days and weeks, but this is a good start if you’re trying to get a grasp of who is available. Carmichael isn’t on the list, but Rapoport separately tweets he expects the Bears to look at the Saints’ offensive coordinator as a possible head coach candidate to replace the outgoing John Fox.
Considering Carmichael and Bears GM Ryan Pace crossed paths in New Orleans – Pace worked in operations, scouting, and player personnel for the Saints from 2001 to 2014 – the Saints’ long-time offensive coordinator is a logical candidate to be interviewed for the head coach position.
Carmichael is 46, and started his coaching career at age 23 as the University of New Hampshire’s assistant offensive line coach. He moved on to become Louisiana Tech’s quarterback coach for five years before making the leap to the NFL, starting with one-year stints with the Browns (tight ends), Redskins (quality control), and a four-year run as an offensive assistant for the Chargers.
The New Orleans Saints made a big splash when they hired Sean Payton as their head coach in 2006 and the first move they made was to bring on quarterback Drew Brees. Carmichael followed Brees from San Diego to New Orleans where he would serve as the quarterbacks coach for three years before taking over as the offensive coordinator in 2009 when Doug Marrone left to be the head coach of Syracuse University.
If the Bears insist on hiring a coach who can mold Mitch Trubisky, Carmichael’s history coaching on the offensive side of the ball (specifically, quarterbacks) makes him a strong fit to be considered for the job. Given his long track record of success, and no opportunities to become a head coach, though, the Bears will at least have to vet why he hasn’t yet received that shot. Maybe it was just a matter of the right opportunity opening up.