Bears President Ted Phillips said on the day that he fired general manager Jerry Angelo that the Bears wanted to stay with their philosophy of being a draft-driven organization. That means college talent evaluation and that is a clear thread running through the
first batch candidates scheduled to be interviewed as Angelos replacements:
The list as released on the teams website ChicagoBears.com:
Phil Emery, Kansas City Chiefs director of college scouting;
Jason Licht, New England Patriots director of pro personnel;
Jimmy Raye III, San Diego Chargers director of player personnel;
Marc Ross, New York Giants director of college scouting.
All four have direct experience with college scouting, past or present. Weve always been a philosophically draft-driven team, Phillips said. I think its been shown that thats been successful at a lot of places. Id like to be able to keep that philosophy intact if we can.
Current Bears director of player personnel Tim Ruskell is on the interview list as well. The team has not closed the search process and said via the website that there could be additional candidates.
Teams typically pursue candidates in order of priority. However, the Bears search pattern in the 2001 hiring of Angelo developed a list of 10 candidates, with three finalists being culled from the initial group.
Ross and Licht are with teams still in the playoffs.
Emery came into the NFL in 1998 as an area scout for the Bears under the late Mark Hatley. He stayed on when Angelo was hired in 2001 and scouted for the Bears through 2004, when he left to become the Atlanta Falcons director of college scouting.He has been the Chiefs college scouting director for the last three years.
Licht was with New England from 1999-2002, starting as a college scout. He moved to the Philadelphia Eagles as assistant director of player personnel in 2003 and then vice president of player personnel from 2006-2007. Licht was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2008 and returned to the Patriots in 2009.
Raye joined the Chargers in 1996 as a college scout and was San Diegos director of college scouting from 2000-2007 before moving into the player personnel directors spot. He is the son of Jimmy Raye II and was under consideration in 2009 for the GM job at Kansas City, having gotten into NFL front-office circles initially with the Chiefs in 1995 as an assistant offensive quality control coach.
Ross was interviewed by the Indianapolis Colts for their GM post, a job subsequently taken by Ryan Grigson, also under consideration by the Bears at the time. Ross began with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997 and became the NFLs youngest (27) college scouting director in 2000. He joined the Giants in 2007 and ran his first college draft in 2008.
Former college scouting director Greg Gabriel was a member of the Giants college scouting department for 16 years prior to joining the Bears under Angelo.