General manager Ryan Pace conducted his second interview for the Bears’ head-coaching position Thursday, meeting in Minnesota with Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards.
Edwards, 50, has spent 28 seasons as a coach, including 20 in the NFL, most notably as a defensive coordinator with the Redskins (2003), Bills (2010-11) and Vikings (2014-17).
This season Edwards led a Vikings defense that ranked No. 1 in the league in total yards (275.9 per game) and points (15.8 per game). Under his tutelage last year, the unit ranked third in the NFL in total yards (314.9 per game) and fifth in points (18.7 per game).
While Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer calls the defensive plays, Zimmer recently said that Edwards “does everything other than call the game on Sunday.”
“George does everything,” Zimmer said last week during a conference call with Chicago reporters in advance of the season finale between the Bears and Vikings. “He helps with the game plan. He runs a lot of the defensive meetings. Him and I sit down and talk about all the different things that are going on. He studies the game just like he’s calling the game.”
Edwards is on the Fritz Pollard Alliance list of recommended head-coaching candidates that’s given to all NFL teams. The Alliance works with the league on the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head-coaching and top executive jobs.
Edwards entered the NFL with the Cowboys as linebackers coach from 1998-2001. He served as assistant defensive coordinator and linebackers coach with the Redskins in 2002 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2003. He then worked as linebackers coach with the Browns (2004) and Dolphins (2005-09).
Edwards left the NFL for one season, serving as defensive coordinator with the Florida Gators in 2010. But he returned to the league as Bills defensive coordinator (2010-11) and served a second stint with the Dolphins as linebackers coach (2012-13) before joining the Vikings in 2014.
As a player, Edwards was a four-year letterman at Duke, where he played linebacker and starred on special teams. He began his coaching career at the collegiate level at Florida (1990-91), Appalachian State (1992-95), Duke (1996) and Georgia (1997).
On Wednesday, Pace interviewed Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the vacant head-coaching position at Halas Hall.