Biggs: Bears' search will touch all the bases

There is no doubt for the Chicago Bears where Perry Fewell is headed today.

While Thursday began with a report that he would accept a job as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, and then follow-up stories indicated he was still undecided, before the day ended he had indeed joined forces with Tom Coughlin.

That leaves the Bears heading to Plan B today, whatever that might be. While the organization has repeatedly said it will take time to find the right candidate on offense—and the Bears have denied that Jeremy Bates was their first choice on that side of the ball—Fewell was the clear favorite and the leader in a one-horse race to be the defensive coordinator.

He had experience working with coach Lovie Smith in St. Louis and then with the Bears as the secondary coach in 2005. He had experience as a coordinator from the last four seasons in Buffalo, and he had some fresh ideas to apply to a defense that Smith doesn’t want to change much.

Now, Smith must seek a man to run his version of the Tampa Two when fewer teams are running the defense. Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune reported that Gus Bradley, hired last year as the defensive coordinator from Seattle, Larry Marmie, the assistant defensive backs coach for the Seahawks last season, and ex-head coach Herm Edwards could emerge as candidates. Bradley is an interesting candidate who would likely come with a sterling endorsement from Monte Kiffin, who hired him in the NFL ranks in Tampa. He’s also worked before with linebackers coach Bob Babich, one of the former Bears defensive coordinators, at North Dakota State.

Otherwise, Smith could be forced to look internally for someone to run the defense. He already shot down the idea that defensive line coach Rod Marinelli could be the guy. Marinelli was targeted by Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo to be the defensive coordinator when the staff was first assembled in Chicago in 2004. The Bucs blocked the move, threw a title of assistant head coach at Marinelli, and Smith wound up with Ron Rivera. Unfortunately, his defense has gotten progressively worse since he ran Rivera off following Super Bowl XLI.

Stay tuned, but be mindful it might take some time to sort this situation out.

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