Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison is scheduled to interview for the Chicago Bears' vacant head-coaching position on Friday evening, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.
According to reports earlier this week, the Bears were granted permission to interview Dennison by Texans general manager Rick Smith and head coach Gary Kubiak. Because the Texans are preparing to face the New England Patriots on Sunday, Dennison will not travel to Chicago for the interview.
"Obviously, it's a great honor to have somebody inquire about a job of that type," Dennison said on Wednesday. "But I'll have to handle that at the end of the week because my big focus – my only focus – is getting this team ready to play the Patriots."
In 2011, Dennison was a finalist for the Denver Broncos' head coaching job, which went to John Fox. Dennison has been the Texans' offensive coordinator since 2010, during which time the Texans rank fifth in the NFL in offense with 390.1 yards per game and eighth in scoring with 24.7 points per game.
Dennison has coached and played in the NFL for 27 seasons. He was an assistant coach with the Denver Broncos from 1995-2009, serving as offensive coordinator for three seasons, offensive line coach for six seasons and special teams coach for four seasons. He played linebacker for the Broncos from 1982-90 and has a master's degree in civil engineering from Colorado State, where he was an Academic All-American as an undergraduate.
"I think he's been ready for awhile," Kubiak said on Monday. "I think Rick is a very smart guy. He's selective. I've been called on him for about three years in a row now, but I think Rick knows what he wants to do with his life, and if he's going to take an opportunity to be a head coach, he's going to be selective in what he does. He's got a great background in the National Football League. He's a 10-year defensive player in the National Football League. He's been a special teams coach in the National Football League. He's been an offensive line coach. He's been an offensive coordinator. There's nothing this guy hasn't done. He would do an excellent job if he gets the opportunity."
Kubiak called Dennison is a "leader," "teacher" and "class act" on Wednesday. He has no qualms about endorsing assistant coaches for head-coaching jobs, even though it means he might lose valuable members of his staff.
"I'm a little bit different there," Kubiak said. "I think guys bust their tail for you and for you as a coach, a head coach, you as an organization, you should want the best for your people. Opportunities for guys and stuff don't come along very often in this business. When you've got somebody who has been giving you everything he has and he's got opportunities like that, then we should support him."
Dennison coached Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall to Pro Bowl seasons as the offensive coordinator in Denver.