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In-house candidate Tim Ruskell interviews for Bears’ GM job

Tim Ruskell

Tim Ruskell

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Updated: February 21, 2012 8:45AM

Tim Ruskell, the Bears’ interim general manager, interviewed to replace Jerry Angelo full-time on Thursday.

Ruskell established himself in Tampa, alongside Angelo, ­working under Rich McKay.

When McKay was hired as the president and general ­manager of the Atlanta Falcons, he named Ruskell as his assistant GM. Then, in 2005, Ruskell was named general manager of the Seattle Seahawks.

Ruskell helped the Seahawks advance to a Super Bowl and win three division titles, but he was fired in December 2009.

Ruskell was hired by Angelo in April 2010, and he was named director of player personnel. After Angelo was fired, Ruskell was named the interim general manager.

New England Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht interviewed on Monday, followed by Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye on Tuesday and Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross on Wednesday. Phil Emery of the Kansas City Chiefs will interview Friday.

Emery has a diverse background, starting his career as a strength coach as well an associate professor at the U.S. Naval Academy for eight years. He broke into scouting with the Bears in 1998, before Ruskell hired him in Atlanta to be the Falcons college scouting director.

O-line candidates

The Bears coaches are on vacation, but several names have emerged for the offensive line ­vacancy. Former Wisconsin ­offensive line coach Bob Bostad is a candidate, according to a league source. Bostad, currently at Pittsburgh, coached Bears’ first-round pick Gabe Carimi at Wisconsin.

The Bears aren’t in a rush to fill the position since newly named offensive coordinator Mike Tice is a candidate to become the Oakland Raiders head coach. Tice is expected to interview next Tuesday with the Raiders in Mobile, Ala., during the Senior Bowl.

Another candidate for the vacancy is Steve Loney, who was Tice’s offensive line coach and, at one point, his offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings.

Meanwhile, Greg Olson, whom the Bears interviewed last week for the quarterbacks/ passing game coordinator position, has been named the quarterbacks coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jedd Fisch and Jeremy Bates, both of whom have worked with quarterback Jay Cutler, could be candidates for the quarterbacks coach vacancy. In addition, Clyde Christensen and Jim Caldwell — both let go by the Indianapolis Colts — have connections to Tony Dungy, whom coach Lovie Smith ­formerly worked under.

Forte cleared

The Bears announced that running back Matt Forte, who missed the final four games of the regular season with a sprained MCL, has passed a physical exam and has been cleared to play in the Pro Bowl.

Forte led NFL running backs in yards from scrimmage for most of the season until a week after he suffered the knee injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. Forte had 203 carries for 997 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team with 52 receptions for 490 yards and one touchdown.

Forte is the Bears’ first running back to make the Pro Bowl since Neal Anderson after the 1991 season.

Contributing: Mark Potash

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