Chicago's defensive coordinator Ron Rivera interviews for the head coaching job in San Diego then goes back to Chicago to learn his contract will not be renewed and he ends up in San Diego as their linebackers coach. Wow. What a major turn of events. It is mostly good news in San Diego when after losing their coordinators and then firing their head coach, they end up with an experienced and well respected coaching staff. The bad news in San Diego is that Norv Turner has never impressed as a head coach and Minnesota's defense improved from 19th overall under Ted Cottrell in 2005 to 4th overall in 2006 without him.
What does Rivera's departure mean for Chicago? Unfortunately for the Packers it doesn't mean too much in 2007 because it is Lovie Smith defense it is unlikely to change. Here is Windy City Gridiron's take on the move. Why did they let Rivera leave? If Rivera gets a big fat new contract as defensive coordinator, then it is possible that Chicago is on the hook for his contract when/if they let Lovie Smith. If Smith is staying long term, then this isn't a problem. Is Smith not staying because he allegedly can't get a new contract extension? Did Smith have a problem with Rivera? Clash of ego and money are not something new in Chicago. George Halas's son Michael McCaskey ran the football and business operations from 1985 until 1999 when his mother "kicked him upstairs". From 1985 until Jerry Angelo was named GM in 2001 (although Mark Hatley was defacto GM during the late 1990s) the McCaskey family didn't feel they needed anyone else. The McCaskey family has been on the right track since 1999 when they hired CEO Ted Phillips who got the new stadium built and hired Mark Hatley. Hatley made some famous bust moves like drafting QB Cade McNown, but he also built the 2001 13-3 Chicago team and drafted LB Brian Urlacher. It has taken Chicago eight years to get where they are but only one offseason of bad front office moves to tear it all down. Is Chicago uninterested in paying any of their front office staff or coaches top dollar? Smith's departure would be a huge loss for Chicago and maybe Rivera's departure is a sign that it could happen.