Rumors Swirl Around Lovie and Vinny

Speculations building around replacements for Bulls' and Bears' coach

By Marcus Riley
|  Saturday, Dec 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:21 AM CDT
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Jay Cutler Can Still Party

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Speculation continues to build about the future of Bears coach Lovie Smith and Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro.

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The Vinny and Lovie employment parlor game refused to take a break for the holidays.

Speculation continues to build around who may be considered as replacements for each coach. Keep in mind, nobody has been fired -- yet.

First up, from the department of potential moves that would make absolutely no sense, ESPNChicago.com reports that the Bulls are said to be eyeing the recently-fired Nets coach Lawrence Frank as a possible replacement for Vinny Del Negro.

The Bulls are 4-13 in their last 17 games and fading fast.

Quoth NBC Chicago sportscaster Bruce Wolf:

 

    "How do you become attractive to Chicago when you're an 0-16 coach? Oh yea, Rod Marinelli."

Speaking of the Bears, one move that would seem to make sense, on paper at least, continues to gain steam -- the possibility of former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan taking the reigns away from Lovie Smith.

ESPNChicago.com spoke to a close friend of Shanahan's who said the coach would be "extremely interested" if the Bears' position were to open up.

The source said the job would be attractive because Shanahan, who's from Oak Park, still has family ties in the area.

Plus, there's the Jay Cutler factor -- reuniting the only untouchable on the Bears' roster with the coach who had a hand in drafting him, and helped him to develop into a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Wolf notes Shanahan at least has the necessary experience for the Bears job -- he didn't make the playoffs with Cutler either.

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