LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - To Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith, it’s no surprise defensive coordinator Ron Rivera is in demand.

“He will be contacted, I’m sure,” Smith said Monday. “If you’re looking for a head football (coach) right now, wouldn’t you want to contact him?”

The St. Louis Rams would like to do that.

After firing Mike Martz Monday, Rams president John Shaw said the team asked permission to speak to Rivera. New Orleans, Green Bay, Minnesota, Houston and Kansas City also have openings. Detroit, which fired Steve Mariucci during the season, might not keep interim coach Dick Jauron, and the Oakland Raiders are considering letting Norv Turner go.

When suitors call, Rivera could mention that the Bears went from 5-11 last season to 11-5 with a first-round playoff bye. He could point to a defense that was ranked No. 1 for seven weeks before relinquishing the top spot in Sunday’s 34-10 loss.

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you