Saturday, May 28, 2022

Joe Hortiz Is The Bears’ 15th GM Candidate (And A Good One)


When the Chicago Bears interviewed for a new GM in 2015, they had a shortlist of four candidates they were looking at. It was originally five but Baltimore Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta chose to decline an interview. The Bears eventually settled on Ryan Pace. It became evident as time went on the Bears had no intention of conducting a proper search. They collected a small list of guys they had some connections to and Pace got the nod. It seems as if George McCaskey isn’t cutting corners this time around. Joe Hortiz, the Ravens director of player personnel, is expected to interview for the job according to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog.

Together with the added news that Dolphins executive Reggie McKenzie would also get a look, that brings the Bears’ total to 15 candidates. A staggering amount compared to years past. One must attribute this change in approach to Bill Polian, the Hall of Fame executive that McCaskey brought in as a special consultant for the search. Polian is known for being detailed in his approach and he has cast a wide net in search of the best possible options.

Hortiz is certainly deserving.

He has been a staple of the Ravens front office since way back in 2009 when he became their director of college scouting. He would hold that position for the next decade, earning a promotion to personnel director in 2019. There is a good reason the man held his job for that long. He helped provide the organization with a steady stream of young talent. Players that allow the Ravens to be near-constant playoff contenders.

  • Jimmy Smith
  • Torrey Smith
  • Kelechi Osemele
  • Brandon Williams
  • Kyle Juszczyk
  • Ricky Wagner
  • C.J. Mosley
  • Za’Darius Smith
  • Darren Waller
  • Ronnie Stanley
  • Matt Judon
  • Marlon Humphrey
  • Lamar Jackson
  • Orlando Brown
  • Mark Andrews
  • Patrick Queen
  • Justin Tucker
  • Patrick Richard

Joe Hortiz would bring a much more methodical approach

One thing about the Ravens is they are not known for their aggressiveness. Not in the draft, not in free agency, and not in trades. They are an organization that operates strictly to their board. Compile draft picks and let the draft dictate which players they take. Never overreach unless the player is a no-doubter. This is a big reason why the team is so good at getting talented players. It isn’t about specific needs. It’s about collecting good players.

After years of watching Pace constantly trade away picks in bold move after bold move, Joe Hortiz would be the complete opposite. His goal would be to collect picks whenever possible. Never overpay players unless they’re confirmed superstars. Build through the draft. Hire coaches that are capable teachers and can develop young players. It might not sound like the most exciting approach, but it works when done right.

The Bears used to do it this way.

Somewhere in the past decade or so, they stopped. Hortiz can be a guy that gets them back in that mode of thinking. He also has tons of experience building around a young quarterback. Especially when it comes to the offensive line. He might not be the flashiest hire, but the qualifications are 100% there.

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