Bears schedule four GM interviews
The Chicago Bears' search for a general manager to replace Jerry Angelo turned up a few names the club has scheduled to interview in the coming days, the team announced Wednesday on its website.
The team received permission to interview Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery, Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht, Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye and Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Raye and Ross "are high on [the Bears'] short list."
The team website also reported the Bears have not ruled out additional candidates, adding that current player personnel Tim Ruskell remains under consideration.
By interviewing Raye and Ross, the Bears will satisfy the "Rooney Rule," a league policy that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching jobs and positions in senior football management.
The NFL's Diversity Committee, which includes commissioner Roger Goodell and Pittsburgh Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney, met recently with the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which shared with the committee its short list of minority candidates that included both Raye and Ross.
Raye worked four seasons with the San Diego Chargers from 1996-99 before the club promoted him to director of college scouting in 2000. A former receiver in the NFL, and son of longtime assistant coach Jimmy Raye II, Raye currently directs San Diego's pro and college scouting departments.
Ross joined the New York Giants in 2007, and quickly moved up the ranks, running his first draft in 2008, when the club selected standouts such as receiver Mario Manningham and safety Kenny Phillips. Ross originally came into the NFL as an intern with the Giants, before working in the personnel department and as a scout for the Philadelphia Eagles (1997-2000). In 2000 at age 27, Ross became the NFL's youngest college scouting director, and played a role in the team selecting running back Brian Westbrook and cornerback Lito Sheppard.
Ross worked three years with the Buffalo Bills (2004-07) before joining the Giants. He was an all-Ivy League receiver at Princeton in 1993 and 1994.
Emery, the Chiefs' current director of college scouting, previously worked for the Bears as an area scout from 1998-2004. After leaving Chicago, Emery took a job as the Atlanta Falcons' director of college scouting for five seasons (2004-08).
During Emery's tenure running the college scouting department in Atlanta, the Falcons' notable draft picks included quarterback Matt Ryan, guard Justin Blalock, wide receiver Roddy White, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, quarterback Matt Schaub and wide receiver Laurent Robinson.
In 2010, the Chiefs used the No. 5 overall selection to take safety Eric Berry, who became the first Kansas City rookie to be named to the Pro Bowl since Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas in 1989.
Emery is described as being "smart" and "extremely professional" by a handful of Bears employees that were around when Emery was a scout for the organization.
Emery was also the director of strength and conditioning services for the U.S. Naval Academy from 1991-98.
Licht is currently in his second stint with the Patriots, serving as their director of pro personnel since 2009. He was a college and national scout for New England from 1999-2001 then bumped up to assistant director of player personnel for the 2002 season. Besides New England, Licht has made stops in Miami, Carolina, Philadelphia and Arizona. While with the Eagles, Licht held various titles including assistant director of player personnel and vice president of player personnel.
Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson cover the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.