Miller: Who will be the next Bears GM?

628936.png

Miller: Who will be the next Bears GM?

With another potential general manager for the Bears now off the list, lets focus on some potential candidates in president Ted Phillips league-wide search for the Bears' next GM. Eagles Director of Player Personnel Ryan Grigson has agreed in principle today to become the next general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. Here are some names worth noting before the Bears potentially settle for Tim Ruskell.

Bill and Chris Polian
Former Chairman and GM of the Indianapolis Colts respectively.
It is hard to argue with Bill Polians track record. Polian built the Buffalo Bills into a powerhouse in the late 80s-early 90s. The Bills represented the AFC in four consecutive Super Bowls. After Buffalo, Polian put the Carolina Panthers on the map before directing the Colts to unprecedented success. Bill was grooming his son Chris to take over day to day operations of the Indianapolis Colts before 2011s devastating injury to Peyton Manning which derailed a decade of success. The Colts achieved seven years of 12 win seasons with two Super Bowl appearances. One of them being a World Championship by defeating the Chicago Bears. Chris is a tireless worker always on the road evaluating talent. The one caveat is the Polians services were no longer needed due to not having a backup plan for Manning. Peyton had not missed one game his entire NFL career. Potentially, the Polians could be hired in the same capacity for the Bears or Bill Sr as consultant with Chris Polian as GM. The positive is the Polians have drafted for a Tampa 2 defense numerous seasons in Indianapolis.

Tom Telesco
Director of Player Personnel of the Indianapolis Colts.
Telescos name has popped up on numerous teams radar. Most likely, because of Bill Polian and the Colts' unprecedented success in the AFC South. Telescos resume starts and stops with the Polians.

Nick Casario
Director of Player Personnel of the New England Patriots.

Nick is in his 11th season with the Patriots. Casario is another tireless worker who spent a number of seasons under GM Scott Pioli (now Chiefs GM). Nick understands day to day operations and works in close concert with Bill Belicheck on personnel decisions.

Steve Kiem
Director of Player Personnel of the Arizona Cardinals.

Kiem is in his 13th season with the Cardinals elevating from College Player Personnel to the pro side of things. Kiem is also well taught under current GM Rod Graves tutelage. The Cardinals have been one of the better drafting teams in terms of talent and finding diamonds in the rough that fit their scheme. Dont go by the Cardinals record this season! They were 8-8, but won seven out of their last nine games. The Cardinals were overhauling their team, restocking from a Super Bowl appearance two years ago. Off the current Cardinal 53 man roster, 51 new Cardinals were signed after the lockout.

John Dorsey
Director of College Scouting Green Bay Packers

Eliot Wolf
Asst. Director of Pro Personnel Green Bay Packers

They are good names, but not quite groomed completely in day to day operations like what Reggie McKenzie was doing alongside Ted Thompson before leaving to take the general manager position of the Oakland Raiders.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Mark Sanchez officially signs with Bears

usatsi_9603010.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Mark Sanchez officially signs with Bears

On the latest edition of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Chris Emma, Seth Gruen and Danny Ecker join David Kaplan to discuss the Mark Sanchez signing. Does this mean the Bears won't draft a quarterback in the 2017 NFL Draft? 

Later, the White Sox named Jose Quintana their Opening Day starter, but lose Carlos Rodon and Todd Frazier to injuries. 

Finally, Robin Lopez is back after serving a one-game suspension. The panel looks at the Bulls matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Listen to the SportsTalk Live Podcast below. 

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

Noise around QB Mark Sanchez misses bigger, far more important goal for Bears ’17 offseason

The tumult around the Bears quarterback position this offseason – signing Mike Glennon, cutting Jay Cutler, not signing Brian Hoyer, now signing Mark Sanchez – was to be expected. (Well, not all the brouhaha around Sanchez; if there has ever been more hyperventilating around the arriving backup quarterback, it’s escaping my recollections of a quarter-century on the beat.)

All of that, and a lot of the noise around Mike Glennon is really missing a larger point. A couple, really.

GM Ryan Pace established fixing the quarterback situation as a top priority, something it has been just about since Jim McMahon left, with the exception of a few Jay Cutler years. Doing that to any meaningful degree with the castoff options available in free agency or via trades wasn’t ever going to happen. What Pace has done with the quarterback situation, however, is more than a little intriguing.

The quarterback additions and subtractions, coupled with also suggest a draft plan far from locked in on a quarterback. The signings of Glennon and Sanchez don’t mean the Bears have solved their quarterback position, but it does mean the Bears have positioned themselves with the distinct option of NOT taking a quarterback – this year.

But here’s the bigger point.

Even with the optimum quarterback solution unavailable – Pace arguably did go best-available in his and the coaches’ minds with Glennon and Sanchez, all derision aside – Pace’s goal needs to be building a team that can reach a high playoff level regardless of quarterback.

Meaning: defense. And while the 2017 free agent and draft classes did not offer must-have quarterbacks in most evaluations, there are those elite-level defensive talents, and every indication is that the Bears will look there, in the draft, and should be. It had that feeling when the Bears, with ample, money to spend, backed away from day one free-agency runs at a couple of pricey defensive backs. The Bears simply think they can do better for less in the draft.

A perspective: With a defense at its levels during the Brian Urlacher era, the Bears could reach the NFC championship game with what they have at quarterback now. They did, twice, with Rex Grossman and with Cutler. Sanchez got to AFC championship games in each of his first two seasons. The Bears reached a Super Bowl with Rex Grossman as their quarterback. They went 13-3 in 2001 with a solid-but-unspectacular Jim Miller as their quarterback. They reached the 2005 playoffs with Kyle Orton as their starter most of that year, and should have been in the 2008 playoffs with him as well. The Bears reached the NFC championship game in 2010 with Cutler.

There is a common denominator in all of these situations, and it is within Pace’s grasp, and that was an elite defense. Rex Ryan had one with the Jets and Sanchez, Grossman and Orton and Cutler had theirs with Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Mike Brown, Tommie Harris, Charles Tillman, etc.

Forget the quarterback situation for now. Nothing anyone, including Pace, can really do anything about it (other than land possibly Deshaun Watson, based on their turnout at his Pro Day).

But if Pace and his personnel staff do this right, they can lay in the foundation for something elite on defense that will transcend the quarterback, or at least allow the Bears to play more than 16 games in a season even if they do not have a great quarterback. With the Urlacher core defense, the Bears went to postseasons with four different quarterbacks.

The prime directive now for Ryan Pace is to create precisely that model again.