Chicago Sun-Times

Chudzinski Interviews; Is Carmichael Candidate?

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As expected, Chargers assistant Rob Chudzinski interviewed for the Bears' vacant offensive coordinator position with coach Lovie Smith at Halas Hall on Thursday.

Chudzinski was the Browns' offensive coordinator for two seasons before returning to the Chargers as the assistant head coach/tight ends before the 2009 campaign. The Browns went 10-6 during his first season in charge of the offense and the unit ranked eighth in points and yards. San Diego's offense ranked fifth in passing yards this past season and was fourth in points scored.

Another intriguing candidate that might pique the Bears' interest is Saints' offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. The 39-year-old has only been an offensive coordinator for one season but what a season it has been. The Saints finished first in the league in points scored (31.9) and first in total yards (403.8) while ranking fourth in passing and sixth in rushing while winning the NFC South and advancing to Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Vikings.

Saints coach Sean Payton is heavily involved with the Saints' offense, of course, but Carmichael has coached Drew Brees for the past three years. His title last season was quarterbacks' coach/passing game coordinator, which is interesting because it's conceivable that the Bears could put Tice in charge of the running game and someone like Carmichael in charge of the passing game.

Nobody is whispering this guy's name in my ear, just so you know. But the Saints have had such a dynamic offense and Brees so much individual success that it seemed worthwhile to look for potential candidates on Payton's staff.

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And he would leave a super bowl team to go work for a lame duck why exactly?

Why would Carmichael give up the Saints job for a side-ways move to a lame duck's staff. It seems to me that this is wishful thinking at best. Should the bear's hire Chudzinski if he is interested is a 1-item I.Q. test for Angelo and cover2meister.

Thats Payton's offense, they have been great sense his first year in 2006, a year before Carmichael arrived. Not to say he is bad, he is working with one of the best offensive minds in football. But I thought it was pretty well known that Payton calls the plays. Thats why he is always running around with his chart. By they way have you ever seen his chart? Its got about three times as many plays on it as anyone elses in league. Its a complex offense and I don't actually think the Bears recievers can handle. I am sure Hester would be lost, Bennett too. The other thing to consider is the Saints offense uses zone blocking, Tice doesn't.

He would be good for Cutler, and going to a zone scheme would probably help the Bears line and Cutler sense thats what he knows better, plus it helps him get outside the pocket more and would take advantage of the Bears undersized more athletic line.

Another thing too consider about each of these guys, is the line play. The saints have given up an average of about 17 Sacks a season the last 4 years. Given how many deep drops they do and how often they throw the ball. Lets just say that number is real impressive. While in 2007 Anderson was sacked just 14 times. Again real impressive, you give even a bad QB a lot of time and he can hurt you. That number went up too 24 in 2008. Not to bad a number but their was increased pressure.

The Bears gave up 35 sacks, they were top 5 in line penalties, hits and pressures. They are also considered one of the worst run blocking lines in football. Until that line is fixed and the talent level is increased, I don't see the offense doing much.

Some may be happy with Tice, but I don't think it matters, these players don't fit his scheme or style of play. The man has had the largest line in football twice. At one point he had two 350 pounders on the right side and 3 320 pounders on the left. That was in the 90's. The first offensive linemen he drafted as the head coach was 6-8 340 pound LT Bryant McKinnie. IN jacksonville working as mostly an advisor and TE coach, he did get to work with Heck and it should be noted the Jags line got much larger at two positions, LT, RG, and it was a big line to begin with.

If your going to play man you need more talented, stronger, larger, players. A high end Man line is much harder to put together than a high end zone line. Its also better. He doesn't have the players and we don't have the picks. The man likes 340 pound guards and tackles.

I agree with you that the Saints offense has been explosive, but why would he make a lateral move to Chicago? The Saints have a great offensive scheme, and it works well so why would he take a shot at a one year position in Chicago. I understand that articles like this keep the readers happy, but its a ludicrous idea. You are right though, the Saints would be a good place to look. However, it isn't to far fetched to think the Bears could entice Joe Lombardi back into the Offensive Coordinator role then we could tap some of that success; while the Bears OC job is supposed enticing to coaches, it most certainly should not be enticing enough for any worth while offense coordinator to make a lateral move.

Neil, why in the world would an offensive coordinator on a very successful team leave to take the same position on an unsuccessful team? Hmmm, leave a stable, successful position that puts me in line for a head coaching job to take an uncertain, possibly disasterous job with a losing team that could set me back for years? It's not even a tough choice. Head coaching position, yes, same position, no. Dude, what you smoking?

Anybody hear about Forte's knee surgery. He ran on one leg and no blocking since the Seattle game. I guess if they hire Chudzinski we'll still be stuck with counterfeit Darren Sproles also known as Garrett Wolfe. Will Tommie Harris come out of retirement and play again? Will Lovie continue to play Melton as a DE when he could possibly help the running game? Will this team continue to be Univ. La. Lafayette/Abilene north? or are they finally going to start looking in the Major conferences for players. Just some thoughts from the room with the white throne. Well it's almost spring training fans.

I don't know about Pete Carmichael as a potential offensive coordinator in Chicago. First, why would he come to Chicago to do basically the same job, especially when he's already got a good thing going in New Orleans? You can't sell the idea of working with Cutler to Carmichael either because he's already working with the NFC's best passer in Drew Brees, again, why give that up? I can't see it. And at the end of the day, thats Sean Payton's offense, lets not kid ourselves here. Also, as far as Carmichael working with Drew Brees, thats not saying much either for the simple fact Brees was already a pretty good passer when he was in San Diego, before Carmichael even worked with him. I still like Chudzinski, or maybe even Greg Knapp for the job in the windy city.

Creighton, to answer your question back on the other page of who preceded Mike Tice as line coach for the Minnesota Viking's back in 2002, the answer is Steve Loney. Loney would go on to coach the Viking's line from 2002-05. GO BEARS!!

Why would he leave New Orleans?

1. To be an offensive coordinator. Sean Payton is the OC at New Orleans. I'm sure Carmichael is involved, but Payton designed the offense, calls the plays, and makes the call on game plans. The OC is going to do all that in Chicago.

2. To come to Chicago and be a Bear! Are you kidding!!! Talk about the instant gratification generation!! I can't believe you people think anybody would prefer New Orleans to Chicago. New Orleans is owned by a half-crazy used car salesman. Ever been there? A weekend in the French Quarter and then you are ready to go back home. New Orleans, the city, is not a pimple on the neck of Chi-town. New Orleans is to the NFL, what Kansas City is to baseball. This year's current playoff run already equals the best EVER for the New Orleans Aints. Books can, and have, been written about the tradition of da Bears. You could print the Saint's on a two-page brochure.

3. Maybe he wants to eat something he can pronounce and watch live baseball during the summer.

I think he's worth investigating. At least to bring him in and see if he's learned anything while working under Payton. Andy Reid called the plays in Philly, and Brad Childress didn't turn out too bad in Minnesota. It's possible. Which brings me to my next point. Payton calls the plays. Carmichael might be wanting a job where he could call his own plays, establish his resume some more and turn that into a head coaching gig. What better way to boost your resume than to say I'm the guy that turned Jay Cutler back into a Pro bowler after a lousy first season in Chicago. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but I want a guy that believes he can do it. I also want a guy that believes he can turn this offense around, and knows this isn't a lame duck season, if he improves the offense enough to improve the overall team record, or god forbid help them get back to the playoffs. Let's say the new OC turns the offense into a top 10 offense, but the team record doesn't improve. If Lovie gets fired, and Cutler buys into this guys system, don't you think the new OC has a good chance to take over as head coach. Same goes for the DC if he turns the D around. I don't think this is a bad opportunity. I don't want a guy who says I'm not going to do a good enough job, so we'll probably all be fired next season. I want a guy that has the confidence in himself to get the job done. Now, I just hope the Bears organization can find him and not screw it up.

Kevin, are sure Looney was Tice's predessesor with the Vikings? I know he followed him but I don't think he preceed him. I am talking about the guy under Burns.

Oh and Kevin thanks for at least taking a shot at it.

Anyway when it comes to Tice. I don't hate the guy, but when he inherited the offensive line in MIN. He had McDaniel who was reguarded as the best linemen in football, a highly reguarded first round pick at LT in Steussie who was comming off a good year, one of the better centers in football in Christy, Stringer who had just been named to the Pro Football all rookie team and 350 pound Dixon.

He was given a great line to work with with lots of talent when he took over and they were young at 4 out of 5 positions. He never brought in a new scheme or new drills. He worked with good players in a scheme that he played in.

Its not the same in Chicago. He doesn't have the same level of talent and he has to introduce, a new blocking scheme and new drills with an older, smaller less talented line. Olin is past his prime and proved it again, Omiyale is not close to McDaniel, Shaffer is not Stringer, and Garza is a lot smaller than Dixon.

Word is Chud has gotten the job, but was not Lovie's first choice, his first choice was Martz. But the powers that be said Cutler took enough hits this year and do not want him in an empty backfield. Good for them for recognizing Martz tends to get his QB's hammered.

As for Chud it makes sense. For good or bad, why wouldn't Chud want to work here? Its a raise and promotion, and I can't imagine his last year as an OC left a good taste in his mouth. Who wouldn't want to redeem himself? He got his face kicked in his last year. At the very least he gets Cutler, who is far better and more talented than Anderson, and he gets Shaffer who was his RT with the Browns. He doesn't have as good of a line though and his recievers were better in 07. But still I can see him wanting a shot at redemption and considering their not many openings left for an OC, he has a choice between the Bears a OC and being a TE coach. Hope it works.

Now the real intresting search begins, the DC job who was put on the backburner. Who's out their looking for a job?

MS Bearsfan makes a good point when it comes to comparing Chicago to N.O, but I don't think it really matters at this point when it comes to Carmichael. I have said Chudzinski all along he brings a solid track record, has worked with some of the BEARS players, has run his own system successfully with a lesser talent at QB than Cutler, has run offense in a cold weather climate, and this job puts him one step away from a head coaching job which I'm sure is his real motivation. Annoucement will come next week once the Gaines Adams thing dies down a bit.

Creighton I'm not sure about your Lovie comment about Martz being his first choice, pure conjecture to me. Lovie knows he needs something different than what Martz brings to the table, he has proven in two O-coordinator jobs since he left the RAMS he's a one dimentional offensive mind, his program just won't work in Chicago and everyone knows it including Martz, he's just trying to get back into the league.

As for the d-coordinator job the candidadtes will be at the Senior Bowl, they will come out the wood work, BEARS should find someone solid, a sleeper at this point might be Jerry Gray, been well-thought of around the league, worked with Blache who is a solid 4-3 man, and he was an all-pro DB, who could help us if we bring in a young (REAL) free safety instead of trying to make a strong into one here in Chicago as we have done the past few years.

I'm on New Orleans in the NFC can't ever root for Farve bad karma......Sorry A.P. your'e a stud.........Go BEARS

Considering Lovie's tendency towards his old buddies, it is probably pretty safe conjecture to figure Martz was his first thought, but when they approached the idea of ball control and then pass, Martz was a square peg in a round hole. Good for Angelo and Lovie to recognize this, and also see that their jobs are on the line, and they need immediate improvement, and that means a less complicated system, which means run to set up the pass, and move the pocket, leaving Cutler one half of the field to read until we solve our protection issues.

I am in agreement with you about the D coordinator position. I like Gray, and with our current personnel, Blache's interpretation of the 4-3 makes the most sense. We have ends who are not dynamic pass rushers, and linebackers who are not especially adept at getting off blocks from free linemen. But he won't play the "bend over and take it" defense Lovie seems addicted to. There are bound to be disciples of the Cover 2 in Mobile, and Alan Williams is still a possibility for the job, and they should be able to interview him next week, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's game. Hopefully they are prepared to move to talk to him right away, because after Tuesday or Wednesday, he will be in full prep mode for the SB if they win, but no rush if they lose.

But Jerry isn't going to the Senior Bowl. He is sending the scouts, and is staying in Chicago to work on the open coordinator and coach spots. There will be all sorts of candidates there, and we could surely use Al Gore's creation to keep up with resumes, background checks, and references. Jerry could scout players during practice, and then talk to coaching candidates after practice. He doesn't need to schedule interviews in Mobile, but he should get to know who is out there, so he has a more comprehensive pool of candidates.

I still think this helps our draft prep with him not going to the Senior Bowl. The scouts can make their assessments and not have to worry about Jerry falling in love with a prospect and taking them well before they should go (Okwo, Bazuin, Wolfe, Melton, etc.) in the draft. We should if nothing else be more clinical in our approach this year.

If Chud is the guy on offense, make the move and get a QB coach in for Cutler. Either Chud has one in mind, or they need to find one. Steve DeBerg and Jim Zorn are two guys I think of when I think of QB tutors. Both are big on fundamentals. DeBerg probably won't take a coaching job, as it is more fun for him to tutor QBs as they prepare for the draft.

Either way, they need to lock in their system and staff, so the offensive and defensive players can start working on the playbook and getting used to the new terminology. The offense especially needs to be well into it by the time training camp starts, or we are going to be in deep trouble in September.

What about Wade Wilson?

I didn't actually comment on Lovie and Martz. I repeated a comment reported by the score 670.

Now for the intresting news boys and girls. Chud will not be comming to Chicago. It has been reported that the Chargers want him back and he may have intrest in other teams. But he will not be comming to Chicago.

Now MS I know you feel the Martz comment is pure conjecture. But if Chud turns down the Bears to stay a TE coach with the Chargers, then something is wrong with that picture. Now either he really didn't like Lovie or he really enjoys working with Gates. This just seems very strange to me.

That leaves two candidated for consideration. Martz who I believe Lovie wants, and Zamp who we have heard nothing about sense his interview.

This is just really bad for the bears right now. Now I believe that Lovie wants Martz, and I believe Angelo doesn't. Martz already said he wanted to coach here. However I have also said they may have already hired their coordinator in Tice. Thing is, in order to not get sued by the Jags he had to be hired as a line coach in order to get out of his contract.

Either way it is very strange for the Bears to talk about how great the interview with Chud went and then to have this latest news that he will return to the Chargers.

Either that or Pompei is just blowing hot air, but usually as one of Lovies gophers, he is allowed to break stories. He is also the guy who has been talking about Martz.

Just remember Chud is now a dud and the only guy who seems to want to coach here is Martz. What a great organization, so popular.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on January 21, 2010 5:11 PM.

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