Chicago hired Tim Ruskell on Friday to what sounds like a role as assistant general manager. (Technically, he is the Bears' director of player personnel.) Ruskell received a three-year contract to supervise both the college and pro scouting departments and will report directly to general manager Jerry Angelo.
Like David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, I don't think this hire will have much impact on the Bears' 2010 season. So I'm guessing it won't interest many fans. But there a couple points to make on it from a longer-term perspective.
If anything, the addition strengthens Angelo's footing in the Bears' front office. He and Ruskell are long-time friends, dating back to their time in Tampa Bay together, and it's more likely Ruskell will provide extra emphasis to Angelo's existing approach than it is that he will push new ideas.
I'm told there's no evidence to suggest that Angelo is considering retiring or altering his job status in any way. But when a respected talent evaluator with experience as a president/general manager is hired in an assistant's role, it's only natural to wonder if this is a potential succession plan. Again, I have no evidence that this is the case. I'm just saying....
In general, I'm in favor of reducing bureaucracy and making the chain of command as vertical as possible. The fewer chiefs, the better. So from a pure structure standpoint, I like that Ruskell will coordinate both scouting departments rather than have separate (and potentially differing) department chiefs reporting to Angelo.