Report: Shanahan a possibility in Chicago next season?


Even now, with a potential Monday night humiliation in the offing, Jerry Angelo's refusal to give Lovie Smith the coveted vote of confidence and a bevy of suitable candidates in the wings, you don't hear much about potential replacements for the Bears' head coach.

Specifically, you don't hear much about the most obvious and most suitable prospect.

A close friend of Mike Shanahan's said the Chicago native and two-time Super Bowl winning coach with the Denver Broncos would be "extremely interested" if the Bears' head-coaching job were to become vacant.

"The job is really attractive to Mike," the friend said. "It's home [with relatives of his, including his dad, in the Chicago area, and wife Peggy's family still in the Bloomington area]. It's a great challenge because that roster needs to be made over, and the one guy there to build the team around is the one guy he has already built a team around and with whom he has a tremendous comfort level, Jay Cutler."

Among the misconceptions about Shanahan is that he has to have total control over football operations. But Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, whose first choice to replace Jim Zorn is believed to be Shanahan, hired Bruce Allen as executive vice president and general manager last week. Snyder said the Redskins are Allen's team to run, an arrangement that would be amenable to Shanahan. It is also an arrangement that has worked and does work with many experienced and opinionated head coaches.

As with most veteran coaches though, Shanahan would want final say on personnel decisions.

"Mike's contention," the friend said, "is, 'Hey if I'm working with a good GM, I have no problem with that. I want to be surrounded by a good GM, good scouting department, and I would gladly take recommendations and execute your recommendations but ultimately, I would like the final say.' If there's a disagreement between the three or four people in the room, Mike would like to be able to say, 'This is the guy I want.'"


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