It's still not absolutely certain what hastened Bobby DePaul's departure from the Bears, but Tim Ruskell's name pops up again and again as a potential replacement.
That's assuming the Bears replace DePaul, that is.
Tuesday's firing was surprising because the start of free agency is only 17 days away. On the other hand, with as restricted as free agency is expected to be this year because of an expiring collective bargaining agreement, a pro player personnel director will likely have fewer pressing duties, which may tempt ownership to save the salary and promote from within.
If that's the case, the logical candidate would be the team's assistant director of pro personnel, Kevin Turks.
DePaul has had an above average track record with the Bears, leading to speculation that his reportedly being escorted out of Halas Hall by security was more likely the result of a personality clash than a lack-of-performance issue.
Either way, as long as there are people around who worked with general manager Jerry Angelo or coach Lovie Smith there will always be candidates for openings at Halas Hall. That's what makes Ruskell, who worked under Angelo for 14 years in Tampa, an obvious option.
The Seahawks advanced to the Super Bowl in Ruskell's first season in Seattle in 2005. However, his personnel decisions also contributed to the team losing 19 of its next 27 games before he resigned in December.
Before arriving in Seattle, he spent one season as Atlanta's assistant GM.