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Bears GM Phil Emery has six-hour interview with Buccaneers’ Mike Sullivan

Bears general manager Phil Emery had six-hour interview Friday with Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan (left). | Chris O’Meara~AP

Bears general manager Phil Emery had a six-hour interview Friday with Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan (left). | Chris O’Meara~AP

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Updated: January 4, 2013 11:33PM

Bears general manager Phil Emery said his search for a coach to replace Lovie Smith will be thorough with a sense of urgency. Early signs indicate he has been true to his word.

On a whirlwind tour of interviews with at least seven candidates by Sunday, Emery spent Friday with Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.

Emery is generally thorough and detailed and a good listener — and the more evaluations of the Bears’ roster he can get, the better. So the meeting might not be the indicator it would appear to be. And he has a long way to go. Up next are Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and Dallas Cowboys special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

As expected, he’ll have to take a number to talk to the red-hot McCoy. The Arizona Cardinals confirmed they will interview McCoy on Saturday.

Other known candidates are Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. The Philadelphia Eagles announced they have received permission to talk to Arians. They are expected to interview him next week.

In Rusty they trusty

The Bears lost 11 players to injuries in the second half, including linebacker Brian Urlacher (four games), guard Lance Louis (five games), wide receiver Earl Bennett (two games) and cornerback Tim Jennings (two games). Louis, safety Craig Steltz, kicker Robbie Gould, cornerback Sherrick McManis and defensive tackle Matt Toeaina finished the season on injured reserve.

But Emery, a former strength-and-conditioning coach at Navy, said he didn’t think it was a conditioning issue and praised Rusty Jones, the Bears’ director of physical development, as one of the best in the business.

‘‘I think it’s just a coincidence of the NFL,’’ Emery said. ‘‘I have complete trust in Rusty. I’ve spent a lot of time with him. I’ve circled back on players [to see] how our players are progressing. I don’t have any lack of confidence in Rusty. He’s as good as you’re going to get.’’

Golden signs

The Bears signed wide receiver Brittan Golden to a contract for the 2013 season. The 5-11, 186-pound Golden, an undrafted free agent in 2012, had three receptions for 20 yards for the Bears in the preseason but was cut when the roster was trimmed to 53 players. He was on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad for the last two weeks of the regular season.

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