NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is at it again, reporting that the Bears have requested to speak to their 6th potential head coaching candidate. This time, it’s Minnesota defensive coordinator George Edwards that is getting a look by Ryan Pace and his staff.
Edwards, a 50-year old former linebacker at Duke, started his pro coaching career in 1998. After spending three seasons manning the linebackers for Dallas, Edwards moved on to a similar position with the Washington Redskins. In Washington, he was also given the title of assistant defensive coordinator.
However, just the next year, he impressed enough to be promoted to full-time defensive coordinator for the Skins. That only lasted one year, however, as by 2004, he had taken a role as the linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Edwards’s longest stint in one spot came in Miami, where he served as the linebackers coach for five seasons. That tenure in Miami helped him land his second defensive coordinator position, this time with division rival Buffalo.
Edwards only lasted in that job for two years, however, eventually being replaced with former Bears signal caller Dave Wannstedt. Following his tenure in Buffalo, he was right back to his familiar place as the linebackers coach for the Dolphins. After another two-year stint in this position, he was hired by Mike Zimmer as the defensive coordinator of the Vikings.
It is currently in Minnesota that Edwards has had the best work of his career. In his first season for the Vikes, Edwards’s defense finished 5th in scoring. The Vikings regressed to 6th in his second season but improved from 13th to 3rd in yards allowed.
This season, however, Edwards and his group have left no room for debate as to who the best defense in the league is. The Vikings lead the league in both points and yards allowed, and their defense has springboarded them to a 13-3 record and a first-round bye.
Like fellow Vikings coach Pat Shurmur, Edwards will be able to be interviewed this week because of that first-round bye. The Bears are reportedly Edwards’s only scheduled interview, so timing shouldn’t be an issue.
An Edwards interview would also satisfy the Rooney Rule and allow the Bears to hire a head coach quickly. Prior to this report, the only minority candidate being interviewed was Steve Wilks, who couldn’t be interviewed until next week. Edwards being interviewed this week theoretically allows them to hire this week.