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Bears have short list of 5 for GM job

Club president Ted Phillips (above) has interviews with Phil Emery JasLicht Jimmy Raye Mark Ross Tim Ruskell. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Club president Ted Phillips (above) has interviews with Phil Emery, Jason Licht, Jimmy Raye, Mark Ross and Tim Ruskell. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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The interviewees

Phil Emery

Kansas City Chiefs
college scouting director

• Broke in with the Bears in 1998, as an area scout, and he’s been a college scouting director for the Atlanta Falcons and Chiefs.

Jason Licht

New England Patriots
director of pro personnel

• In his 16th NFL season, and he has worked with the Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles, where he finished
as the vice president of player personnel.

Jimmy Raye

San Diego Chargers
director of player personnel

• After a brief NFL career as a receiver, he joined the Chargers as a scout in 1996 then became college scouting director
in 2000.

Marc Ross

New York Giants
director of college scouting
• An All-Ivy League receiver, Ross is in his fifth season with the Giants. At the age of 27, he was the league’s youngest college scouting director when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tim Ruskell
Bears director of player personnel
• He is the Bears’ interim GM, and he previously held that position with the Seattle Seahawks. He was groomed in Tampa, alongside Jerry Angelo.

Updated: Top candidates for Bears GM

Updated: May 9, 2012 10:10AM

Hours after the Indianapolis Colts introduced a new general manager, the Bears announced four candidates that they plan to interview soon for their vacancy.

Phil Emery of the Kansas City Chiefs, Jason Licht of the New England Patriots, Jimmy Raye of the San Diego Chargers and Marc Ross of the New York Giants will interview with the Bears. In addition, Bears interim general manager Tim Ruskell will also interview with president Ted Phillips.

The list is not limited to those five candidates, as a couple others could emerge.

But three candidates are off the market.

Last Friday, the Baltimore Ravens announced that Eric DeCosta — for whom three clubs, including the Bears, requested permission to speak to for general manager vacancies — would remain with the club. On Tuesday, the Oakland Raiders formally introduced Reggie McKenzie as general manager. And on Wednesday, the Colts hired Ryan Grigson as general manager.

Before Wednesday night, the Bears’ only publicized move was requesting permission to speak to DeCosta. Otherwise, they’ve quietly vetted candidates.

The Bears and St. Louis Rams are the only clubs with openings. But they appear to be taking different approaches.

The Bears’ pool is steeped in college scouting backgrounds, while the Rams’ candidates have roots on the pro side. The Rams interviewed Grigson, Atlanta Falcons player personnel director Les Snead and Tennessee Titans football operations vice president Lake Dawson. They also will interview Arizona Cardinals player personnel director Steve Keim.

Other candidates, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, include Joey Clinkscales, vice president of college scouting for the New York Jets; Brian Gaine, director of player personnel in Miami; Tom Telesco, director of player personnel in Indianapolis; and Ruston Webster, Titans vice president of player personnel.

The Rams are somewhat in limbo while they also conduct a search for a head coach. Former Titans coach Jeff Fisher is reportedly weighing whether to accept an offer from the Miami Dolphins or the Rams.

Although the Colts hired Grigson, the club also interviewed Ross.

On Sunday, Giants general manager Jerry Reese praised his college scouting director in an interview with the Sun-Times.

“He’s a veteran personnel guy, and he’s been around two or three different clubs, so he’s seen how things are done differently at different places,” Reese said Ross. “And he’s smart. He’s a people person, a terrific evaluator, and he’s qualified.”

But Reese said he believes he has several scouts ready to be a general manager, although he didn’t name them. Kevin Abrams is the team’s assistant GM and Dave Gettleman is the director of pro personnel.

The Bears are expected to begin the interviews in the coming days, although their plans could be affected by weather. In addition, Licht and Ross are employed by playoff teams.

Those clubs, however, cannot deny them an opportunity to interview for an obvious promotion.

McKenzie was the Packers’ director of football operations. But he interviewed for the Raiders’ general manager position last Friday and was introduced at a press conference on Tuesday. The club also dismissed coach Hue Jackson.

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