I'm not saying that the Bears are handling this job search the right way. In my opinion they should have fired Phillips and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe we would have a new GM and kept Lovie, maybe we would have the same GM and a new HC. But the new team president would have had decisions to make and could have made them his way. But that didn't happen.
So, I know this will go over about as well as last years post I had on why the Bears should draft a wide receiver in the first round. That one was resoundingly shouted down. But hear me out. Ruskell makes sense as the next GM for the Bears. The McCaskey's have already stated that both Lovie and Tim will remain in place regardless of who the next GM is. The brain trust of George and Ted have declared that whomever is named the next GM must be someone who completely backs Lovie. Short of naming Lovie both coach and GM (A job I believe Lovie can't handle because not many can) Ruskell fits the bill straight across the board.
The new GM has to be someone Lovie is comfortable with. Ruskell. The new GM has to be someone with experience and scouting credentials. Ruskell was the Tampa Bay's (Lovie connection anyone?) scouting director when they won the Super Bowl. The new GM will be limited by the success of the team next season. If they make the playoffs, he may keep his job. If they miss the playoffs? Maybe he gets to name the next new head coach but do you really want our new GM already eyeing other coaching candidates this year with Lovie already firmly entrenched for this next season?
Ruskell has a shaky draft history. That is true. But as my good friend Ed pointed out, the new GM will be limited by what he can do in a perceived "make or break" season for this entire team. Why mess with the chemistry that that perception comes with? In other words, why not have a GM who also gets just how much this next season means for the team moving forward? Ruskell. Plus Ruskell has had past successes. But he butted heads with Holmgren over some draft picks but he made some keen moves. You can read about them here.
Even if this years draft is a complete success what will that mean for the Bears? They get 2 or 3 picks that can actually start? And what will said picks actually contribute in one season? Probably very little. And free agency? Who knows how Ruskell will approach this compared to the other candidates available? But everyone sees the weaknesses and most NFL personnel know who's available so that comes down to money and contract negotiation and we still have Cliff Stein, one of the leagues best.
Bottom line is, whoever the Bears hire this year his tenure is tenuous at best. Why not grab the man who is already aware of that? The man who gets Lovie and poses no threat. If the Bears have a great season then we all play "wait and see" on the Ruskell moving forward. But if the seasons a disaster, or even a disappointment, clean house and start completely fresh. It isn't an ideal situation but since we screwed the pooch from the beginning why not see this through to the end?