Monday, January 24, 2022

Chicago Bears’ Expanding GM Search Has Some New Details


With a month left in the regular season and the Chicago Bears sitting at 4-9, the focus of fans has shifted towards 2022. What will the team do regarding changes? It is obvious they’re coming. The trick is figuring out how high they’ll go. Expectations are now that head coach Matt Nagy is gone at some point in the near future. Will GM Ryan Pace follow? That is what team chairman George McCaskey is working to figure out.

Given recent updates? It is a safe bet Pace will not be running the show for much longer. Two former players already hinted the organization is looking at potential GM replacements. That was soon supported by Adam Hoge of NBC Sports Chicago. He not only stated McCaskey was looking at potential options but had even gauged interest through back channels with at least one college scouting director.

“With head coach Matt Nagy seemingly on his way out, the Chicago Bears have also begun to do their homework on potential general manager replacements for Ryan Pace, according to multiple league sources. That homework has included gauging back-channel interest from at least one college scouting director employed by another club, which isn’t uncommon practice when contemplating a major change.”

SM followed up on this update.

Some interesting details came back from a source. It is believed the college scouting director they had floaters out to was Lake Dawson of the Buffalo Bills. This makes sense for two reasons. The first is that Chicago actually interviewed Dawson for the GM job back in 2015. This would suggest he left a solid impression on them despite the hiring of Pace. Secondly is the recent revelation by ESPN that there is interest in Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for the head coaching position.

It would be a logical move to bring the two men in as a package deal given their familiarity with each other. However, Dawson is not the only one they’ve explored. A number of other names were mentioned as well including Tim Gribble (Washington), Morocco Brown (Indianapolis), Mike Biehl (Tampa Bay), and Ryne Nutt (Kansas City). It is pretty evident the Bears are leaving no stone unturned in their search.

Chicago Bears know they have to get this right

As disappointing as the 2021 season has been, they have a huge opportunity in front of them. Justin Fields looks like he can be a franchise quarterback. Somebody that can carry the organization forward for a decade if cultivated properly. That means finding a GM who understands how to build around one. Not just with talent on the field but also a proper coaching staff capable of teaching and motivating.

Is Dawson that kind of guy? His track record is interesting. He spent six years in Seattle as a pro scout from 2001 to 2007 before becoming a personnel director in Tennessee for the next eight through 2015. During that time his teams didn’t have a ton of success. Not until he landed with Buffalo in 2017 did his fortunes change. The Bills have done a great job building a playoff-caliber roster around star QB Josh Allen. Maybe Dawson can bring that blueprint to Chicago.

Then again one can make a case there are more viable candidates.

It is still quite early in the process. Right now the Chicago Bears aren’t focused on making the hire. They’re focused on gathering information. Who are the guys that deserve a look? Which ones might be interested in the job? Do any of them have a problem with Fields as a quarterback? These are the questions they need answers to. Within the next couple of weeks, this process should start reaching conclusions.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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