Bears GM search begins


Bears GM search begins

When Ted Phillips was looking 11 years ago for Mark Hatleys replacement to head up Bears personnel, the team president employed a search firm experienced in pro sports executive recruitment.

The firm conducted preliminary interviews with prospects and narrowed the field to 10 candidates. Those were interviewed by Phillips and a list of three finalists developed. One of those was Angelo.

To find Angelos replacement, however, Phillips is running the search himself, with help from coach Lovie Smith.

My feeling is that over the last 10-11 years, my experience, my contacts in the league with other teams, talking to some folks internally, I think we'll be able to handle that search and come up with the right candidate ourselves, Phillips said Tuesday in the aftermath of Angelos exit.

This will be Phillips first solo foray into hiring for this area of NFL operations. He did not hire Hatley, a holdover from Michael McCaskeys time as Bears chairman.

But he was explicit in the first area for considering candidates to take over football operations for an NFL charter franchise.

I think it will be someone with an emphasis on talent evaluation, said Phillips, targeting the No. 1 stated reason for Angelos dismissal. I think well probably lean toward someone who has a talent evaluation background to at least some extent.

Lovie Smith rapport

It will be a hire with a condition: keeping Smith as head coach. The Bears have 11 million committed to Smith over the next two years and they have declared that they believe him to be the right one to stay the course of pursuing and overtaking the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

Talent evaluation is going to be key, Phillips underscored, in addition to, chemistry with Lovie; understanding of the coaches; solid character and work ethic and a clear strategy to get us to win a championship.

That will mean getting past Green Bay and Detroit, two teams in the postseason with their best players acquired through the draft.

It's not just the Packers, said Bears Chairman George McCaskey. The Lions finished ahead of us this year, so we need to target them. The Vikings have a good coach; they played us pretty tough just a couple of days ago.

I think we're the only division in the NFL that has had every team in the playoffs sometime in the last three years. So we're one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and we need to close the talent gap in order to compete in the division.

Playoff chase

The Bears are expected in particular to pursue candidates from currently successful programs, meaning ones already in the 2011 playoffs and especially ones with the best draft histories.

The blizzard of names will swirl until the Bears begin to settle on finalist. But sources told that Green Bay director of player personnel Reggie McKenzie and Baltimore director of player personnel Eric DeCosta were high on Phillips preliminary list, both with teams in the playoffs on the strength of their organizations draft performance.

The Bears are expected to make a strong play in free agency and with free agency beginning in mid-March it's going to depend on whether there are any candidates on playoff teams as to how long it'll drag out, Phillips said.

Reports: Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould to sign with Giants

Reports: Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould to sign with Giants

Robbie Gould has a new home in the NFL.

According to multiple reports, the former Bears kicker is expected to sign with the New York Giants.

Gould is heading on a plane on Thursday night to join the Giants in London, where they'll take on the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday morning.

The Giants were in need of a kicker in light of the news that Josh Brown would be missing the trip due to the new information on his domestic violence incidents. Brown was suspended for the first game of the regular season.

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Gould is the Bears' all-time scoring leader with 1,207 points. He has an 85.7 percent career field goal percentage.

Gould was cut by the Bears in favor ot 26-year-old kicker Connor Barth, ending an 11-year run in Chicago.

Bears shift Pernell McPhee from PUP onto active roster

Bears shift Pernell McPhee from PUP onto active roster

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – In one of the few recent positive personnel developments for a beleaguered Bears team, linebacker Pernell McPhee was moved from his physically unable to perform status onto the active roster on Thursday.

The team waived fullback Paul Lasike to open a spot on the 53-man roster for McPhee, who has been working his way back from offseason knee surgery and only began practicing last Friday.

McPhee being active for the Green Bay game was still unknown mid-afternoon, and the outside linebacker has had just two practice sessions plus the team’s walk-through on Wednesday.

But McPhee was voted as one of the defensive co-captains and universally considered one of the emotional leaders on a team that has taken emotional hits for much of this season. Additionally, McPhee projects to provide a major lift for a spotty pass rush, although how soon he will be able to contribute in more than selected situation remains to play out.

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McPhee is not expected to play the majority of opponent’s snaps in whichever game he makes his return.

McPhee has appeared in 74 games over five seasons with the Ravens (2011-14) and Bears (2015), starting 18 contests, posting 155 tackles, 23 sacks, one interception, 10 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He also owns one blocked field goal on special teams.

McPhee set career highs in tackles (64) and interceptions (one) in his first season as a Bear in 2015. He also ranked third on the Bears in sacks (six) and tied for second in tackles for a loss (10) in 2015. He helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl Championship after the 2012 season, posting four tackles, one sack, two pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery during the playoff run.