With the firing of Phil Emery yesterday, the Bears are back in a situation where they were three years ago, but with the additional twist of not having a head coach they were attached to. The best move would be to act swiftly and decisively in the GM search, so that person can have input into the head coach search. Ian Rapoport of the NFL brings us the first list of interview targets for the Bears:
Four interview targets for #Bears GM opening: Chris Ballard (KC), Mark Ross (NYG), Lake Dawson (TEN), Vince Newsome (BAL)— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2014
A quick look at each name, in order:
Chris Ballard (KC)
Ballard just finished his second season as the Director of Player Personnel in Kansas City, and his 14th season overall. With the Chiefs, Ballard oversees college and pro scouting and works with current GM John Dorsey on acquisitions.
Prior to joining the Chiefs, Ballard spent 12 seasons with the Bears - 11 as a scout in the Southwest, and then one year under Phil Emery as the Director of Pro Scouting. Ballard helped draft players like Forte, Knox, Tillman, Harris, Vasher, and Melton.
Kev's Take: Ballard's previous time with the organization serves as a warning to some. Direct ties to the Angelo regime will do that to you. Some believe that Chicago would be Ballard's first choice, based on familiarity. If that happens Dave Toub could become a coaching candidate, if that bridge wasn't completely burned by Emery.
Marc Ross (NYG)
Marc Ross just finished his second season as the VP of Player Evaluation for the New York Giants. He is presently in charge of college scouting and drafting. He started running the draft for the team in 2008. Some players brought in during Ross' tenure include Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul, Prince Amukamara, Justin Pugh, and Odell Beckham, Jr.
Prior to joining the Giants, he spent three years as a national college scout for the Buffalo Bills.
Kev's Take: Ross was pushed heavily towards the Panthers when Accorsi fulfilled a similar role for Carolina in 2012. I would expect the same to occur this time around, as well. Of this group, I find Ross to be one of the more exciting. In the time that he has been with the Giants, they've won two Super Bowls, and have drafted some young talent. It remains to be seen what he can do with pro personnel, but he seems to be on the right track.
Lake Dawson (TEN)
Lake Dawson is finishing his third year as VP of Player Personnel for the Titans. He is responsible for both pro personnel and college scouting departments. Some players they've recently brought in include Bishop Sankey, Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, and Jake Locker.
Before his promotion to VP of Player Personnel, he spent several years as the Director of Pro Personnel.
Kev's Take: Dawson was a candidate for the TB job, as well as the Dolphins job. The player intake of the Titans causes concern, as I'm not seeing any overwhelming amount of talent sitting on that roster. TB and MIA were winnable jobs - he didn't win them.
Vince Newsome (BAL)
Vince (no relation to Ozzie) has served for five years as the Director of Pro Personnel. The team has recently won a Super Bowl, and is active in scouting and player acquisitions. He oversees pro scouting, evaluates free agents, and provides the staff with scouting. He also works to value players and decide salary cap levels. He joined the team in 1993, and was a 10 year safety before that.
Kev's Take: Newsome is the other most exciting man on the list. The Ravens do very well in all facets of the organization, this year's fiasco notwithstanding. It may be tough to pry him away, but not as tough as the other Ravens golden boy, Eric DeCosta
Let us know what you're thinking. Names you want to see that aren't on this list?