Friday, June 2, 2023

Chicago Bears Exploited The Jim Harbaugh Connection After All


GM Ryan Poles has spent a considerable amount of time reshaping the Chicago Bears’ scouting department over the previous months. Three new area scouts and two new executives in, Trey Koziol and Ian Cunningham, are in place. He also hired Matt Feinstein as the new Director of Football Administration. As significant as the changes are, Poles isn’t finished. Yet another new face will join the team—somebody who, ironically, has close ties to Jim Harbaugh.

Everybody remembers the rumors. Many insiders felt that the former Bears quarterback and current Michigan head coach hoped for a chance to take the same job in Chicago. It was a “dream” he’d had for many years. There was said to be informal contact between the two sides, but the Bears never brought him in for an interview. Poles was hired, and he quickly moved to secure Matt Eberflus as the new head coach.

The Harbaugh buzz died entirely after that.

That didn’t stop the organization from dipping into his program for help. Michigan associate athletic director Sean Magee stated on his LinkedIn that he has joined the Bears as their new Chief of Staff. While it’s unclear what his exact duties will be, such a role typically involves being an “air traffic controller” of sorts. He provides a buffer for the man in charge, gathering information from every department of the franchise, organizing it, and presenting it for evaluation.

Magee would seem perfect for this role. During his time at Michigan, his role included the management of the player personnel department, football operations, and handling the football-related budget. He also served as a liaison to NFL people. So not only will he help the Bears’ overall operations run smoothly, but he’ll also be another set of eyes in their personnel department that Poles can lean on.

Jim Harbaugh is losing somebody good at his job.

If one traces Magee’s history, you will notice that success seems to follow him. Before joining the Wolverines, he was a primary personnel guy at the Naval Academy. During his time there, from 2012 to 2016, the program enjoyed one of its greatest runs of success, including three bowl victories in five years and their highest ranking in the AP poll (18th) since 1963. Their 11 wins that year was the highest in school history.

It’s been much the same since going to Michigan. He directly recruited several great players for that program, including future 1st round picks Devin Bush, Rashan Gary, Cesar Ruiz, Kwity Paye, Aidan Hutchinson, and Daxton Hill. The Wolverines’ 12-2 season in 2021 was the best of the Jim Harbaugh era and the program’s highest win total since their national championship run in 1997.

Poles may have gotten himself a good one here.

There is no such thing as too many competent people in a football front office. Magee should be a big help to them in several facets. His strong connections at the college level alone make his hiring worth it. This serves as another reminder the Bears GM is intent on building this team through the draft. Most of his new hires to this point illustrate that.

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