Chicago Sun-Times

Zampese starts interview today

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The Bears started the interview process for their offensive coordinator search with another assistant with whom Lovie Smith has worked.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese worked with Smith in St. Louis with the Rams in 2001 and 2002.

Zampese's interview with Smith is expected to end Wednesday.

The Bears interviewed Perry Fewell to be the team's defensive coordinator on Monday, and they are awaiting a decision from him. But the Bears may be moving to fill the offensive coordinator slot at a slower pace.

Fewell also interviewed with the New York Giants for their defensive coordinator opening last week.

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Oh look!
He worked with Lovie in St Louis......
Who would have guessed?
Bet he baited Lovie's hook and held an umbrella over his head in the boat too.

It is still not too late to fire Lovie and call Bill Cowher you know.

Ken Zampese has done a pretty good job with Carson Palmer over the years, and he got production out of Ryan Fitzpatrick back in 08 when Palmer went down. Not saying he made Fitzpatrick into an all-pro, but he did complete 59.4% of his passes and put up 1905 yards passing in 12 starts that year. Again, not great, but not bad for a journeyman backup type. Zampese's worth an interview. Its pretty obvious Chicago wants somebody who can come in and work with Cutler.

This offense is gonna be built around Jay Cutler, but Chicago still needs to work on their running game. I'd like to see them bring in some interior line help this off-season, probably through the draft. I realize the Bears don't pick until the 3rd, but they can still land some pretty nice prospects in that round, especially guards. I'd like either Alabama's Mike Johnson 6-6 306lbs, or Illinois Jon Asamoah 6-5 315lbs. Either one of these guys could help out inside, and could be had in the 3rd round. Angelo needs to get it right and DRAFT some interior linemen, hopefully he does this year GO BEARS!!

Yeah Kevin thats what I am hoping - we get a decent G in the 3rd, hope JA doesn't trade down again :P
Gotta move Beekman to C and sit Olin/Pace with 2 Tackles (Williams/Shaffer) already there, it's the G position thats bad.
None of us likes the Lovie networking but if I were Coach I bet I would go the same route, someone I know....It just hasnt been good with Lovie.

Didn't I hear Ted Phillips say the point of bringing in a new DC and OC was for new and fresh ideas? So why then would you bring in Fewell - who has had mediocre to poor success in the league - and believes in the exact same things as Lovie?

Recent developments out of Halas Hall are giving me that nauseous, I might puke later on kind of feeling.

I think they need to try harder to get a hold of that QB coach in Green Bay. Maybe Creighton can look up his number and give him a call. I say pay him what it takes. I think he can give Lovie the insights needed to take down Rogers - and maybe he can get that same type of production out of Cutler. If you can't beat em pay em more money than the other guy right?

dont know what the guys philosophy is.. the bengals however did have a good balance of run and pass and that may help.. oh wait benson ran the ball for over a thousand yards and their line was very good!! hmmm?????????????/


Why do you suppose they are moving so slow in regards to the OC? Why arn't they as sure of Martz as the were of Fewell? Just a thought.


As Jerry Angelo said, it's a huge hire for this franchise. They invested a lot -- both in money and draft picks -- in Cutler, and they want to make sure they get the right guy, with the right offensive scheme.

Also, maybe they have their eye on a coach who is still on a playoff team.

Zampese would be a awesome choice. The guy is a fundamentals freak. He is exactly what the Bears need to direct the offense and get the best out of that side of the ball. He is considered one of the best fundamentals coaches in the NFL. I say let's hire him.

Funny how these coaches are not kicking the doors down at Halas Hall as Lovie and that idiot JA said they would. If Martz is that good, why didnt JA hire him right off the bat? Clements woulda been a coup, but the packers are smart. They said no. Its good to see Culter involved in the decision. Zampese has a good back ground and is young considering. Like I said, all these guys have a "system". Thats great and all, but they all must adjust to the talent on hand. Cutler needs to say that during the interview. A good question would be.. do you know my strengths as a QB? And whoever takes the job needs to look JA square in the eye and say, "Go find me some legit starting OL to protect this QB of yours". As critical a year as it is for Lovie, its even more so for JA. His crap drafting, trades and FA pickups are the biggest reason for the mess we are in. Its down to this.. he cannot miss on FA and draft picks. He has no more time. 10-6 minimum or its out the door for Lovie and JA. FA needs to land a starting guard (perhaps 2), a FS and a run stuffer DT. Having a small/fast DT is fine, but match him up with a big 2 gapper NT. Fewell could do very well, but if he becomes a Lovie puppet we are doomed. JA shoulda really said, "Hire a DC that you dont know. I want some new ideas in that defensive scheme." But Lovie will do what he knows... find someone who wont buck his system. God I hope Urlacher and Tommie Harris are/stay healthy this year.

Zamp.. Who??

This Entire Situation Is Caused By Giving A (So Called) Head Coach (That Was Not Wanted After Throwing Away A Superbowl) Too Much Mulha To Stay, Only Because It Was The Politically Correct Thing To Do.

The Team Is Now Looking For "New Ideas", But The Boss's Will Only Accept Aplicants That The "My Way Or The Highway" Coach Can Keep Under His Thumb.

It Just Now Appears, That Nothing Is Going To Change Next Season, And We'll Be Reading & Listening To More.. "Player Execution" Excuses & Speaches.

This Organization Is Run Way Too "Mom & Pop" For Such A Once Great American Football Icon.

I honestly don't think Zampese will take the job. The Bears coaching situation is unstable. It's a one and done - maybe two and done scenario.

Since we're talking about the Bengals, does anybody remember that game against the Bears this year? You know, the one where Bengal players said they knew what the Bears were going to do on D on ALMOST EVERY SINGLE PLAY.

The defense is broken. The offensive line needs major work. The Bears could also use a receiver that doesn't give up on plays.

Mike Martz is the only viable candidate.

He is not the best fit for this team, but I really don't know that there's anyone else suitable--and desperate enough for the job.

This is an interesting wrinkle...I wonder how he came into the conversation. He could be an interesting choice. I love the fact the Cutler is in on the hiring process, I was really worried that Lovie would look for a bubba that said "we get off the bus running". Martz while maybe improving the teams he has coached is not what we need in Chitown. How in the hell do you philosophically rationalize havinga an OC that does not worry about turnovers on a team with a defense built for them, I don't think Lovie and Martz gel at all.

Are the Bears really ready for a Coryell system? I am not sure our OL could protect. I think we should stay WCO and rebuild the OL. The idea of win now is going to lead to more dumb JA acquistioins...let's hope that Gaines Adams lives up to the hype in '10.

The question is who does Zampese have in the back of his mind to be a QB coach? If he wants to do the job himself (certainly not the first time that has happened), that would be a good move, as Cutler and Hanie would both be on the same wavelength of the OC and what he is trying to accomplish. If goal #1 is to improve Cutler's mechanics and decision making, we have to make sure the right attention is paid to him and his development. I would suggest goal #2 is getting the skill position guys on the same page as Cutler, seeing the defense how he sees it, and making the same reads when necessary. We kept Spencer and Drake in their position, but if you look closely, their failures are a significant reason for Cutler's INT total. Cutler owns the blame for a lot of it, but not all of it.

If Zampese is a fundamentals freak, how is he going to react to wide receivers that can't run the right route, or make lazy breaks, thinking their speed will automatically give them separation? How will he react to Forte's almost too patient style, after a year of Benson attacking the hole with some anger and aggressiveness?

I think all the candidates they would talk to would be qualified enough to install a system, but the coaching staff they would want to assemble is just as important. Who would he tag as his OL coach? Maybe Tony Wise would come back for another tour of duty in Chicago. I would be scared if I were Drake or Spencer, because the new system could put a lot of pressure on them to improve their group of players. In all honesty, we probably had the most inexperienced group of RBs and WRs in the league this season. And it showed during games.

I still am surprised that Jeff Jagodzinski has not shown up on the list, but since no one had any idea Zampese was interviewing until he showed up, he might be on the radar as well.

Clements, Bates, and Zampese have one thing in common: all have gotten rave reviews for the work they have done with QBs. So at least they are staying consistent in that they want someone who can develop Cutler to the peak of his potential, which in my opinion is 4000-4500 yards per year, 25-40TDs, and a 63-68% completion %. That is not going to be easy with this team.

I see that they allowed Jay some input...that's nice. I also think that people need to realize that they will have to work with the same talent that got the last guy fired. Troy Aikman was correct when he talked about getting a good relationship with his OC, but alot of people forget that his ownership was willing to pay the big bucks for elite help. Systems are great, but you need elite talent around you to make it work. There is NO magic formula to success in the NFL because the same rule applies:find the best talent money can buy because one person can't do it alone. It appears we're headed to an uncapped year so the bears will either play in the big league like Dallas and the New York Giants or sit back and still believe what we have is good enough.

You mean they only interviewed one frickin guy for DC and they're waiting for him to accept?

Ken Zampese??? He would be a huge mistake, he has done nice work with Palmer but again, he is all about the Air Coryell system. You put Cutler in this system and he will fail. Its a pocket passing system, the QB has to make more reads and needs a ton of protection. You don't roleout, you don't bootleg, you don't run.

The Bengals passing attack was not as good as the Bears last year, they also didn't score as many points as the Bears. Their passing attack was ranked 26th. The Bengals where all about running the ball and ball control. Thats not what Ken Zampese does. He is a Martz boy, no running all passing. Its the wrong system for Cutler and the Bears. Lovie wanted a wide open spread style offense when he first got here. If Ken Zampese wanted to be his QB coach that would be one thing, but as a OC he will not be working with Cutler as much as people think. He will not be working on his mechanics as an OC, he will be going over the game plan with him and watching film with offense.

Lovie wants a certain system, but once again he is not thinking about the players he has, he is thinking about what he wants rather than what the team needs.

Right now the Bears are just looking for a warm body. Bates and Clement run WCO, Zampese is all about Air Coryell. These are two differnt offenses, Cutler is not suited for one of them and has never worked in one of them. The Bears should be calling Jeb Fisher, or Greg Knapp. If they really wanted the Coryell system Martz is right their wagging his pointy tail. You bring in the Air Coryell system and the whole offense is going ot have to start over from scratch. How is that going to help anyone on the offense.

The Bears have already done their best job of trying to ruin Cutler, now they want to make it worse with a whole new system. How do you think Hester will do starting over, how will Knox and Bennett do in a whole new offense with both of them only being in their second year of playing. They were already making a ton of mistakes, so lets start from scratch so they can make more mistakes.

Oh and by the way Carson Palmer was turned into nothing more than a game manager last year. For all the guys that do like Air Coryell, I doubt thats the offense Lovie is looking at with Ken Zampese, no he wants that Bengal ball control offense. Just remember when Palmer was asked to takeover the game this year he couldn't do it cause the Bengals ruined him. The guy was average this year. Just looking at this, Lovie wants to make Cutler into Orton. If he the Bears really wanted Air Coryell they would just grab Martz.

I think the Creighton has nailed this one. After doing some digging and picking the brains of cincy fans I know Zamp ain't our guy. Air Coryell aint our system. Since we kept the tweedle dee duo, we should have just stayed with RT. Don't like it much tho'...who are you thinking Creighton?

What about Mike Tice? Hes an old school running game guy. The problem with this whole OC gig is that Lovie wants to run, run, run. Cutler is a mobile WC guy who likes to throw, but needs a strong running game to balance it. Martz and this Zampese guy are air it out all day types. The best guy for the gig woulda been Clements from Green Bay. Did Denver run a WC type scheme? Maybe Turner shoulda stayed one more year. Whatever game plan he drew up the last 2 weeks worked very well. Lovie and JA should decide what they want in an OC and interview those that match up with the game plan. Problem now is that the pickings arent all that great. This is gonna be interesting to see who they pick.

Keep looking fellows the search is just getting started I HOPE ! Looking at Zampese was a good start we now know they are serious about two things on offense 1) getting someone to work with Jay (Well) and 2) that we are looking at some fresh faces for the position. My hope is that the person we get understands that he will need to be able to move the ball on the ground and have a passing game that will utilize cutler's strengths to the max, putting him on the move took turner too long and cost him his job. I still think we will look at N.O. Sr. Asst. Aaron kromer before its all said and done, other sleepers would be Alex Van Pelt who was getting raves for the work he was doing with Trent Edwards before he went down with injuries this season, and Rob Chudzinski from the Chargers TE & Asst. Head coach there.

What about the offensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota? Did he also work with Mike Shanahan and Jay Cutler? He also uses the WCO.

None of this matters. As frustrating as the offense has been, it's the defense that has been the bigger problem the last three years. With the same head coach, same defensive philosophy, and same players, guess what? We're going to get more of the same. Which means a defense that can't get off the field, can't stop third and long, and lets the other team score on their first four drives. Unless Urlacher and Harris can somehow turn the clock back to 2005, it doesn't matter who the OC is.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 12, 2010 6:37 PM.

Closer look at a few more o-c candidates was the previous entry in this blog.

Tice to interview with Bears Thursday is the next entry in this blog.

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