Chicago Sun-Times

Phil Emery or Jason Licht will be Bears GM

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The Bears have whittled their initial list of five candidates to two, and they'll conduct a second round of interviews with Phil Emery of the Kansas City Chiefs and Jason Licht of the New England Patriots, according to three league sources.

Eliminated from the process were Marc Ross of the New York Giants, Jimmy Raye of the San Diego Chargers and Tim Ruskell of the Bears.

Emery and Licht will interview at Halas Hall later this week. Emery is already in Mobile, and Licht is expected to arrive, at some point.

The Bears were free to interview Emery at any time. But, they needed written permission from the Patriots to interview Licht again, since his club's season isn't over. The Patriots will play the Giants Feb. 5 in the Super Bowl, in Indianapolis.

That Ruskell has eliminated puts him in a compromising position. It's believed he still has at least another year on his contract, but he's now at the mercy of either Licht or Emery.

And those two may elect to go with a more traditional route, hiring a college and pro director, instead of one to oversee both. Ruskell was hired by former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo as the director of player personnel in April 2010.

Ultimately, in the second round of interviews, the Bears will have to flesh out the plans of each man. For instance, given his familiarity with the Bears and some of the scouts on staff, Emery may not be as inclined to make massive changes to a scouting department that is fairly well-respected. Licht, meanwhile, could insist on an overhaul, implementing new scouts and systems he picked up while in Philadelphia, New England and Arizona.

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14 Comments

Well-respected by whom?! With an atrocious draft record and a free agent history that has only recently sought proven vets (only in the waning moments of Angelo's tenure), I would call the scouting department anything but respected.

I could perhaps see excusing them from the free agency inaction since the McCaskeys are fairly widely known to be tight with $$$, but what about the draft record?

Not that my viewpoint will matter, but I would weigh in here for Licht. Experience with New England and Philadelphia is impressive,with Arizona, not so much.

What is this? Where is my exclusive? As reported by me on:

Creighton | January 21, 2012 5:12 PM | Reply
"Anyway these guys all kinda seem like lateral moves or step backs. I have heard that the Bears plan on bringing some of these guys back for a second interview. I wonder if that's true."

Where is my scoop Sean, where is my damn scoop? Well I scooped it from Zach when he said they would probably do this last week. But I don't care, if Glazer can do this all the time with his you heard it hear first crap which is just about always a lie then I can do it. Youo heard from me first Sean, from me. Now if I can just work on becoming a short, bald, unatractive, narcissist, with a napoleon complex, who thinks he invented mma, and believes all athletes ##### where sent from god for him to personally kiss.

"You want to see me put someone in a rare nacked choke? Okay, okay, but don't move, no I said don't move, I can't do it if resist and don't let me. Okay now tap, I don't care if you don't feel anything, tap so I look hardcore on youtube. Yeah, I'm an mma fighter too. You heard it hear first"

Them not crowning Ruskell GM is a surprise, but window dressing in the long run anyway. Really, what are either of these two guys going to do? If they were any good some other club would have landed them.

It has to be Licht.
Emery worked under Angelo and Ruskell so he has connections to the organization.
How's he going to fire Ruskell then?
They need someone completely new. Not someone they think they know who they think will save everyone's jobs.
Just being around Belichick, Licht must have picked up a notion how to run a team.
Just like everyone picked up the stink of failure around Angelo.
If they're serious, they'll pick Licht.

No brainer here. Licht has been to Super Bowls in New England and Philly. Even the one year he was in Arizona, they went to the Super Bowl. Coincidence? I think not. No wonder the Patriots hired him back. Do the math.

You gotta wonder, had Jay Cutler and Matt Forte stayed healthy this season, would Chicago be in the search for a new GM right now? I think had Cutler and Forte stayed healthy, Chicago would have made another playoff run. Ultimately, Angelo's fate rested on the health of his players. Like or hate Jerry Angelo, he had the Bears right in the thick of things when his players were healthy, just like he would have this year had Forte and Cutler not gone down with season ending injuries. Oh yeah, 4 Angelo drafted players, Forte, Tillman, Briggs, and Graham are headed to the Pro-Bowl. I still don't think Jerry Angelo was as bad as many think he was, but, its time to move on.

Of the 2 GM candidates left, I'm all for New England's Jason Licht. You gotta like the work he did as a sout in New England, in 2000, when Licht was a college scout for the Patriots, they drafted a guy in the 6th round named Tom Brady, probably the leagues best QB in the last 10 seasons. Now, I'm not saying Licht was solely responsible for the Pats drafting Brady, but, he probably had a hand in it. When Licht became a national scout in 2001 for the Patriots, they drafted defensive lineman Richard Seymour in the 1st, and offensive lineman Matt Light in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft, both these guys went on to be very good players in the trenches for New Enland. My point, Licht, a former lineman himself, probably knows what to look for in linemen, and it all starts up front. This next couple weeks should be interesting GO BEARS!!

You gotta wonder, had Jay Cutler and Matt Forte stayed healthy this season, would Chicago be in the search for a new GM right now? I think had Cutler and Forte stayed healthy, Chicago would have made another playoff run. Ultimately, Angelo's fate rested on the health of his players. Like or hate Jerry Angelo, he had the Bears right in the thick of things when his players were healthy, just like he would have this year had Forte and Cutler not gone down with season ending injuries. Oh yeah, 4 Angelo drafted players, Forte, Tillman, Briggs, and Graham are headed to the Pro-Bowl. I still don't think Jerry Angelo was as bad as many think he was, but, its time to move on.

Of the 2 GM candidates left, I'm all for New England's Jason Licht. You gotta like the work he did as a sout in New England, in 2000, when Licht was a college scout for the Patriots, they drafted a guy in the 6th round named Tom Brady, probably the leagues best QB in the last 10 seasons. Now, I'm not saying Licht was solely responsible for the Pats drafting Brady, but, he probably had a hand in it. When Licht became a national scout in 2001 for the Patriots, they drafted defensive lineman Richard Seymour in the 1st, and offensive lineman Matt Light in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft, both these guys went on to be very good players in the trenches for New Enland. My point, Licht, a former lineman himself, probably knows what to look for in linemen, and it all starts up front. This next couple weeks should be interesting GO BEARS!!

Kevin,
It's a pretty broad-sweeping brush to give someone credit for drafting Tom Brady just because he was a scout that year for the team. I agree that he probably has a better feel for OL and DL, but that doesn't necessarily translate into success.

And I don't think you can credit Angelo for hanging desperately on his paper-thin depth chart of aging stars to compete. He drained the team from a developmental standpoint by mortgaging draft picks and making bad decisions. He doesn't deserve all of the blame for how badly we faltered, but he also shouldn't get much credit for building a winning team, because quite frankly, even with a decent record, we were not competitive on either side of the ball consistently. A lot of that is coaching, but front office does the shopping for the groceries, as Parcells used to say.

I heard an interesting take on NFL radio the other day regarding the coaching philosophy of the teams still alive in the Conference Championship round. The main difference between those teams and many others in the league centers around their philosophy on winning. The Giants, Niners, Pats, and Ravens all try to win games, where teams like the Bears try to make you lose games. That is why we can't get top notch coaches here, and why no one wants to coach with Lovie on the offensive side of the ball. The best players on the team is Jay Cutler, and we do very little to maximize his talent. We should be putting the game on his shoulders, but to do that, we have to 1)protect him for longer than 2 seconds, which means Webb, Louis, and Garza need to be upgraded, and 2) give him weapons to throw to, which means a receiving TE (I am fine with getting rid of Olsen, and think we can do better with Davis or a young TE in the draft), and a couple of professional WRs, of which we have one (Bennett).

I believe if you want to succeed in this league, you pull talent from the consistently successful organizational trees that are present. Those are:
Pats
Giants
Steelers

They are the most consistent winning organizations in the league right now, and have maintained a standard of excellence that we simply do not have. I would prefer someone who is more focused on college scouting, which right now is Ross or Emery, but Ross is out of the running. But Emery has the downside of being a McKay/Angelo/Ruskell cronie...
Licht should be the choice, but I would lay odds it will be Emery. If it is Emery, Ruskell may keep his job. If it is Licht, he goes in my opinion.
The Bears missed by not making Ross part of the final group, but they can salvage it by purging the remainder of the connection between McKay, Angelo, and Ruskell.

Wasn't Licht the guy who was not allowed in the pats draft room?

Iagree on the take of Lovie tries to make you lose games rather than attacking and winning games. But it is nothing new. One of the reasons Lovie got rid of Rivera is because Rivera liked to attack on defense and Lovie doesn't. Lovie looks for the turnover, in other words he wants the other teams QB to make a mistake or a receiver. He want's a fumble. But there is no question that when it comes to football Lovie is and has been offensivly challenged his entire head coaching career.

I think Kevin needs to remember one thing while he is naming the 4 great Angelo players. Graham is a special teamer, Briggs is probably Angelo's best draft pick, Forte had a big year but it would be nice if he had finished the season, one of the dangers of the position and if Kevin didn't know this he should, Forte was a Lovie pick. Tillmn is a good player, how many All Pro's do the Bears have?

Angelo was fired not for the players that were on his team, but the players that were not on the team. The missed drafts, and when I say missed I mean entire classes who are not on the Bears. Take Cutler , Urlacher and Peppers off this team and you can't even compete. He couldn't draft, he could bring in a big FA but he couldn't build around them.

Every team has injuries, the Texans had more Injuries than the Bears, the Texans made the playoff's and even won a game there. Even with the injuries there was no excuse to lose some of those games during the weakest part of your season. They had no excuses to lose to the Broncos or Chiefs, and the beating Seattle put on them was a joke. Lovie should have gotten taken to the wood shed for that game, he got so out coached it wasn;t even funny. They almost lost to the Vikings a 3 win team who used two really bad QB's. The one big difference between the Bears and being a 3 win team is Cutler. Peterson was out for the Vikings but played most of their season. Angelo didn't draft Jay and Bobby DePaul is the guy who got Cutler here and did most of the work on the trade. If the only way you can make your team competative is to wait for a team like the Broncos to do something insane, then you are not doing a good job.

Julius Peppers should have been the cherry on top of the D-Line, not the foundation for one, that's not what FA's are for. They are a finishing piece not a starting piece, you can't start building your line around a 30 year old, by the time your done he has retired.

Their is no excuse for the lack of recievers, O-Line, number 2 corner, depth and actual nfl starters on the D-Line, and their is clearly no excuse for the Safety situation. How many years has theat been going on? What Angelo couldn't couldn't find anyone after being handed Mike Brown? Hell they don't even have LB depth.

ahhhhhhh.....oh loojk kevin is back time for me to attack him lioek i allwaye do!! lest see hear..

tiilman...BUST!!!

Peepers...BUST!!!

urlooser...BUSDT!!

BRIGGS...BUST!!

FOTRE...BIGGEST LOOSER BUST EVER!! LOOSER CANT EVEN FINISH A SREASON!! THEY SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED THAT HUNK MRNDENHALL!!! OH RASARD WAHT A DREAM!!!!

jay cutler...my hero!!! hes soo cute wehn he smiles!! but aas we al now anngelo had NOYHING to with getting him!! i now this a s a 100 pecrent trur sense i am allways write and i only give facts!!!

so eaht do u have left oh yea teh teh worst team in al of footyball ever!!!!!!! wow iam king.

im crap-ton ans i approve this massage!

LOL!! Is that you, Jerry Angelo?

Got a lot of new spare time on your hands after you cleaned out your office at Halas Hall?

Looks to me like we are poised to make the worst selection of the five candidates, Tim Ruskell excepted, of course. He shouldn't have even been in the conversation. We have to divorce ourselves from the whole Tampa connection, but can't do it. Time to part our ways, boys! Ross was the right choice but was too dynamic for the sleepyheads at Halas Hall. Emery sounds like a "Father Knows Best," kind of guy, one who won't ruffle any feathers, a good father/husband kind of guy, when what we need is a young kickass, ambitious Turk. Once again, let's hear it from everyone, "it's the McCaskeys!"

I'm sure I am the only one, but I find the potential headline amusing should the Bears grow a brain and choose Licht:

"Bears Get Licht"

Thank you, thank you--I'll be here all week--try the veal.....

In all seriousness, since this started I wanted either Ross or Licht. I have heard Ross is just short of a savant with a fantastic memory for players. You can't argue with Licht's having been at least involved in winning organizations and the Pats have a nice track record of picking up re-treads and making hay with them. Look at Mark Anderson---he seems to be doing okay since the Bears decided he wasn't worth their effort.

Fingers crossed--GO BEARS!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on January 23, 2012 5:23 PM.

Giants and Patriots determine if Licht or Ross take a GM job this week was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Tice will not interview for Raiders head coaching job is the next entry in this blog.

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