As unsettled as the Bears general manager situation may be, it seems almost settled compared to what is lining up in Oakland.
Reggie McKenzie left his job as director of football operation in Green Bay and went to the Raiders, skipping any interview with the Bears, who have made it clear that the new GM inherits Lovie Smith as head coach.
Evidently that is not the case in Oakland with coach Hue Jackson.
Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk.com reports that McKenzie has the juice to fire Jackson, whos been head coach just one year and that ended badly. He ripped his own team after missing the playoffs, the ninth no-postseason in a row for the Raiders, and that never plays well in front offices.
GMs typically want to hire their own head coaches; that was a very, very difficult situation for Jerry Angelo when he came in 2001 and had Dick Jauron in place.
The difference there was that Jauron handled himself and the job with class, and he proceeded to have a 13-3 season in 2001, which put Angelo in an untenable position as far as making a coaching change. Jauron parlayed that into a contract extension, which was enough to get him two more years.
Smith is off the table as a decision for the incoming Bears GM. Whether thats a good thing or not doesnt matter, because its fact. And no reflection on Smith, but it also is not a plus for a GM candidate.
The reason is that if the Bears rebound and have a good year, Smith is a virtual lock to return for the 2013 season, particularly if next year includes a playoff win or better.
Then the situation becomes even more murky, because Smith would be on the brink of his final contract year (2013). If hes coming off a season like Jaurons in 2001, the pressure will switch, for the organization to give Smith another extension or stand to lose a coach coming off two playoff seasons in three years.
The Bears GM hire wont have the melodrama Oakland has. But after next season.