The List of Candidates for QB Coach/Passing Game Coordinator is Thinning..
Van Pelt may be last man standing for Bears
With other QB coaching candidates dropping by wayside, he gets plaudits from former boss
By Vaughn McClure, Chicago Tribune reporter 9:13 p.m. CST, January 25, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. — When the Bears initiated their search for a quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator to pair with Mike Tice, former Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt was on the list.
As the search continues, fired Bucs head coach Raheem Morris sees no reason why the 41-year-old Van Pelt shouldn't be near the top of that list.
"I think the world of Alex,'' Morris said from the Senior Bowl, where he is scouting as the Redskins' defensive backs coach. "As far as being a football mind and being smart and sharp … a guy who can come in with a detailed plan and dynamic ideas to find a way to score, Alex is definitely one of those guys.''
The Bears might want to keep Van Pelt's number handy considering how matters have unfolded thus far.
Tice, now the team's offensive coordinator, wanted to bring in Dirk Koetter, with whom he coached for the Jaguars. But Koetter was named the Falcons' offensive coordinator.
The Bears remain high on University of Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, the former Broncos receivers coach when quarterback Jay Cutler played there. But several coaches familiar with Fisch said the duties of the position aren't exactly appealing to him with Tice set to call the plays. Also, Fisch apparently doesn't want to uproot his family.
Another top candidate, Colts offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen, remains in limbo as the team named Chuck Pagano as coach Tuesday. The Bears already were denied permission to interview Titans quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains and former Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has been eliminated from consideration.
The only candidate the Bears interviewed so far — at least publicly — is former Bucs offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who accepted the quarterbacks coach job for the Jaguars last week.
Morris, who was fired along with his entire staff after a 4-12 campaign, said the combination of Olson and Van Pelt was a bright spot.
"The second year, we got a chance to bring Alex in and he was really able to work with (Josh) Freeman in the offseason,'' Morris said. "And I had that tag team between him and Greg Olson. They were phenomenal together. That's really why we had the good record (10-6 in 2010), with those two working together.''
Maybe Van Pelt can establish the same chemistry with Tice, if the opportunity presents itself.