Mike Sullivan has some of what Bears are looking for
The Bucs are closely watching the situation in Chicago, where the Bears are scheduled later this week to interview Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for their open head coach post.
The Bucs have plenty to worry about. Their offense played at record levels this year, as did several offensive players – quarterback Josh Freeman, running back Doug Martin and receiver Vincent Jackson among them. And now, the man who orchestrated it all is being considered for a job elsewhere.
So, how concerned should the Bucs be?
While we can’t know for sure how serious the Bears are about Sullivan, we can get a sense for their criteria based on what general manager Phil Emery outlined this morning.
In a press conference in the Chicago area, Emery told reporters that Lovie Smith was fired after nine seasons in part because he didn’t have sustained offensive success.
That would suggest a candidate like Sullivan would fit the bill in that regard. Emery said he’ll look at candidates of various backgrounds – offense, defense and special teams – but someone who possesses the ability to help quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte improve is likely to have significant offensive experience.
Emery said he’s also looking for leadership, and Sullivan can check that box, too. The graduate of West Point served as an infantry officer before tackling his career in coaching.
Sullivan will have competition, including known candidates Mike McCoy, the Broncos’ offensive coordinator, and Keith Armstrong, the Falcons’ special teams’ coordinator.
But based on what the Bears are looking for, Sullivan could warrant a long look from the club. Stay tuned.