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Experience was good for Grimm

January 21, 2004

BY MIKE MULLIGAN Staff Reporter Advertisement


MOBILE, Ala. -- Russ Grimm, the only Bears coaching candidate other than Lovie Smith to visit Halas Hall, says he's grateful for the opportunity to interview for the job and predicts there are winning days ahead for the franchise.

''Lovie will do a great job,'' said Grimm, who admitted he knows the new Bears coach only by reputation. ''The whole setup is there to win. The organization is good. I know they have had some rough times, but I think things are going to turn for the better.''

Grimm has landed on his feet since losing out on the Bears job. The Pittsburgh Steelers refused to give the Washington Redskins permission to hire him as offensive coordinator, instead promoting him to assistant head coach under Bill Cowher, although Grimm still will coach the offensive line.

''They bumped me up,'' said Grimm, who is on the fast track for a head-coaching job after having his profile raised by the Bears. There already are rumors in Miami that he eventually could replace Dave Wannstedt now that Dan Marino, Grimm's old college buddy from Pittsburgh, is calling the shots for the Dolphins.

''I've always been a guy that just sits back and waits to see what happens,'' Grimm said. ''I'm not going to be out there looking for anybody's job.''

Grimm laughed when asked how he took all the comparisons made between him and another famous Pitt graduate, Mike Ditka.

''I guess it's a compliment coming out of Chicago,'' he said, ''but you never know.''

If Grimm was disappointed he didn't get the Bears job, he's not saying.

''Not really,'' he said. ''Obviously, I wanted the job, but things came up kind of fast and then it was over, so I just have to look at it as a good experience.''

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