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Rick Dennison can interview for Chicago Bears' top job

A long list of head-coaching candidates for the Chicago Bears continues to swell.

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NFL.com's Ian Rapoport confirmed Sunday that the Bears have received permission to interview Rick Dennison, according to sources close to the Houston Texans offensive coordinator. ESPN first reported the Bears were granted the option to speak with Dennison on the heels of the Texans' 19-13 wild-card win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

Dennison has experience relevant to the Bears' roster, having worked with quarterback Jay Cutler and wide receiver Brandon Marshall during their time together with the Denver Broncos.

The Texans have looked anything but machine-like on offense of late. They were sluggish against the Bengals, but Dennison's overall body of work has been impressive under coach Gary Kubiak, who already has been through three offensive coordinators during his seven-year Houston tenure.

The Bears have spread a wide net in their search to replace the fired Lovie Smith. Looking almost exclusively at offensive-minded candidates, Chicago also has met or plans to meet with New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, among others.

UPDATE: Dennison told The Houston Chronicle that he has not yet heard from the Bears. Kubiak simply has told him the Bears have asked for permission to interview him.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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