By Dan Pompei and Brad Bigg Chicago Tribune
Some were hoping the Bears would hire a coach Tuesday.
Instead they lost one, as longtime special teams coordinator Dave Toub cleaned out his office at Halas Hall and headed to Kansas City to join the Chiefs.
But the team inched closer to naming a head coach, going deeper into the interview process.
In town Tuesday, according to sources, were Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.
Also in the mix is Marc Trestman, coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.
It is possible one of the three could be named the 14th head coach of the Bears as early as Wednesday.
From the beginning of the coaching search, the Bears had been suspected of being enamored with Mike McCoy. But McCoy was not brought back for a second interview, and the former Broncos offensive coordinator was named coach of the Chargers on Tuesday.
McCoy’s appointment eliminated Arians as a Chargers candidate. He had been scheduled to interview Wednesday. Arians also had been scheduled to interview with the Eagles on Tuesday, but he opted instead for a second interview with the Bears.
If the Bears don’t move quickly on Bevell, they could lose him. He is scheduled to interview with the Cardinals on Wednesday, according to NFL Network. He also he is expected to interview with the Jaguars.
Toub was one of the 13 candidates and four special teams coaches to interview with Bears general manager Phil Emery, but he was eliminated from consideration for the top job.
Emery had granted Toub permission to interview with the Chiefs and Panthers for special teams openings. It is believed he allowed Toub out of his contract because it would have been awkward for Toub to work for a coach who beat him out for the head coaching job.
In Kansas City, Toub will be reunited with coach Andy Reid, who gave him his first NFL job with the Eagles in 2001. The two worked together previously at Missouri and Texas-El Paso.
It is believed Toub also had an offer from Ron Rivera and the Panthers.
Lovie Smith brought Toub to the Bears in 2004 and special teams excellence has become a Bears staple since. His units finished in the top 10 in comprehensive special teams rankings in eight of nine seasons. The Bears special teams placed eighth this season.
Under Toub, Devin Hester became the NFL’s all-time leading scorer on special teams returns. He also was one of five special teams players to reach the Pro Bowl under Toub. The others were Johnny Knox, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Corey Graham and Robbie Gould.
It is not known who will replace Toub. Special teams assistant Kevin O’Dea remains under contract to the Bears. He could be considered for the job, but indications are he may prefer to go with Toub to the Chiefs.
Former Bears special teams assistant Chris Tabor could be released from his contract with the Browns and become a candidate for Toub’s old job.