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Reasons to like finalists

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Did Jimmy Johnson tweet anything else today?

Hey, don’t laugh. There’s more information about the Bears coaching search coming off a houseboat in Miami than from the offices in Lake Forest.

But until we see white smoke coming out of Halas Hall, we can take a look at general manager Phil Emery's next phase, and there’s a lot to like.

For instance, here’s one reason to like Emery’s choices of Darrell Bevell, Marc Trestman and Bruce Arians as finalists to replace Lovie Smith: The GM saw the same miserable offense that you suffered through and decided that changes would have to start at the top.

So, instead of doing it the usual, clunky Bears way that results in hiring the "hot" defensive assistant who devolves into failure, Emery is dragging the heritage franchise into this offensive millennium. 

Arians has some form of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck – their development and/or their offenses – on his resume. Nice fantasy draft there, huh? Oh, and would you take Jay Cutler over any of those three?

Moving right along, Trestman goes back to his buddy Johnson’s University of Miami teams, coaching Bernie Kosar to big years in college and the pros and guiding Scott Mitchell and Rich Gannon to big seasons in the NFL. Yes, Scott Mitchell.

Somewhere in that bunch has to be the combined experience to deal with Cutler’s lack of improvement, and look at that: Trestman worked with Cutler as he prepared for the NFL draft.

Bevell is younger than the other two, but the breadth of his offensive coordinator experience runs from Brett Favre to Russell Wilson.

For what it’s worth, Bevell replaced Cutler quarterback wrangler Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator in Seattle and had a better season with a rookie quarterback than Bates endured in a reunion with Cutler and Brandon Marshall that somehow made the Bears offense worse.

Here’s another reason to like Emery’s finalists: He wanted a coach who has displayed excellence, and his finalists appear excellent in deciding whether Cutler is worth a new contract.

Cutler needs work on his mechanics and his mental and emotional game. Nobody has to worry about Cutler’s arm or toughness, but his frequent regression to bad form and worse decisions under pressure is no way to win a Super Bowl. The new coach will be chosen to deliver those lessons.

You could argue that a 7-year quarterback already should’ve solved those problems, but I don’t think anyone would argue that the first coach Emery chooses represents the last chance for Cutler here.

Another reason to like Emery’s choices: Two of the three finalists have head-coaching experience, even if it’s not conventional NFL head-coaching experience.

I think that’s important in this situation, starting with breaking the Bears’ "Peter Principle" practices. The Bears like to promote people beyond their level of capability, and it tends to involve family. Maybe people in Halas Hall can get over being intimidated by someone who has done the job before.

Another reason to like Emery’s finalists: The offensive emphasis of the new coach probably means the Bears would try to keep defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.

Yeah, the defense is aging in spots, but Marinelli has developed some young quality along Julius Peppers’ defensive line, Lance Briggs is still a Pro Bowler no matter what voters say, and the cornerbacks steal games. That side of the ball isn’t the one that’s hooked up in the intensive care unit.

In my world, then, there are a lot of reasons to root for Emery at this point.

I don’t know if he can make a wrong choice among his finalists, but I think he’d have a better chance of winning a Super Bowl with Arians or Trestman because they have head-coaching experience and more experience in wrangling a variety of quarterbacks.

Oh, and here’s one last reason to like Emery’s choices: Nobody named McCaskey asked him to give a second interview to Mike Singletary.

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