EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Chicago Bears wide-ranging search for a new coach has extended to the Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier confirmed Tuesday that Chicago has asked to speak to Mike Singletary, the Vikings co-linebackers coach and special assistant to Frazier, and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. The Bears reportedly have or are planning to interview at least 13 candidates to replace Lovie Smith, who was fired after Chicago missed the playoffs due to Minnesota’s win against Green Bay in the final-regular season game.
“The Bears have requested some information, and I’ll let that organization talk about their candidate,” Frazier said in his season-ending press conference. “The things, the rumors that you read and heard, they have been asked to come in and interview for the job there.”
The Chicago Tribune first reported Chicago general manager Phil Emery’s interest in Singletary and Priefer. Singletary, a former Bears Hall of Fame linebacker, has head coaching experience with San Francisco. He’s spent the past two seasons in Minnesota as an assistant to Frazier, a friend from their playing days in Chicago. Priefer has coached the Vikings’ special teams the past two seasons and is highly regarded.
After a big rebound this season from 3-13 in 2011, Frazier is hoping to keep his coaching staff intact.
“I mentioned earlier that our coaches did a great job getting our players ready to play every week,” Frazier said. “Barring someone getting a promotion, I’m hoping all our guys are back. They did a terrific job throughout the season.”
The Tribune reports that the Bears have or will interview, special teams coaches Dave Toub (Bears), Keith Armstrong (Falcons) and Joe DeCamillis (Cowboys); and offensive-minded coaches, Bruce Arians (Colts), Darrell Bevell (Seahawks), Pete Carmichael (Saints), Tom Clements (Packers), Rick Dennison (Texans), Mike McCoy (Broncos), Mike Sullivan (Buccaneers) and Marc Trestman of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.