New Orleans Saints tight ends coach Terry Malone said it was "fun to hear my name tossed around" last week, linking him to the Bears search for an offensive coordinator.
"I've got a bunch of family in Chicago now, so they were on fire," he said. "I've also got friends on that staff.
"I think certainly the reason my name got thrown out is because of our success, so it's the good and the bad of it. But I have no complaints at all."
That's because he's coaching in the Super Bowl and because the Bears filled the spot by hiring Mike Martz on Monday.
Still, he's wrapping up his fourth NFL season, having spent the rest of his 22-year coaching career in the college ranks. And he ultimately wants to go back.
"I guess there's a lot of different roads I could take from here," he said. "But I've kind of had it set in my mind to be a head college coach, to tell you the truth."
So what drew him to New Orleans and the NFL?
"Sean Payton," Malone said, referring to the Saints head coach.
They briefly worked together, and they have stayed in touch ever since.
"I always said, 'When you get your head coaching job, I'd like to be a part of your staff.' Never imagining it would be New Orleans," Malone said.
But Malone has helped Payton slowly build a winner, culminating in the Super Bowl.
Malone said it has been a thrill to "take a program and build it from scratch the way we did."
"We had to find out why the Saints had never won, and then make adjustments, then we had to change the locker room," he said. "And the culture did get changed."
Malone, at heart, is a teacher, which is why he's drawn to the collegiate level. He was an offensive coordinator at Boston College and Michigan but also worked extensively with offensive linemen.
His most famous student is Minnesota Vikings All-Pro left guard Steve Hutchinson.