Bears Search Update: Day 6

The Chicago Bears will interview two general manager candidates this week, are reportedly not interested in Rex Ryan and could be in the market for former Bills head coach Doug Marrone.

A Pair of GM Visits

We reported last Friday the Chicago Bears’ interest in Chris Ballard, player personnel director for the Kansas City Chiefs, for the club’s open general manager position. That interview will take place this Wednesday in Chicago.

Ballard today turned down an interview request with the New York Jets, which confirms reports the Bears are his first choice.

Yet Ballard isn’t the only GM candidate coming to the Windy City. Lake Dawson, vice president of football operations for the Tennessee Titans, will interview with the team tomorrow.

Dawson was an NFL wide receiver for the Chiefs from 1994-1996. His first front-office role came in 2001 as a pro personnel assistant for the Seattle Seahawks. He then worked as assistant director of pro personnel for Seattle, before joining the Titans as director of pro personnel in 2007. He was named VP of football operations in 2011.

Here is Dawson’s official job description, from the Titans’ official Web site:

Dawson works alongside general manager Ruston Webster by managing day-to-day football operations with a primary focus on player personnel. He is responsible for overseeing both the pro personnel and college scouting departments.

A highly respected talent evaluator, Dawson assists general manager Ruston Webster and head coach Ken Whisenhunt with the team’s daily roster moves and all transactions via free agency and the annual NFL Draft. In his role, he manages draft meetings, assists with all draft selections and oversees off-season pro personnel free agent visits or acquisitions. He scouts all levels of professional football, including the NFL, CFL and Arena Football League.

Marrone In, Ryan Out

Pro Football Talk has reported the Bears do not have any interest in former New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan.

Ryan has been working in the NFL since 1994 and has had success as a defensive coordinator and head coach. He led the Jets to two straight NFC Championship games in 2009 and 2010.

It appears the Bears don’t have any interest Ryan – whose father, Buddy Ryan, was the franchise’s defensive coordinator during the 1985 Super Bowl season – possibly due to the fact he hasn’t had a winning record the past four years and is coming off a 4-12 campaign that ultimately led to his release.

The same can’t be said for former Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone, who opted out of his contract last week. The New York Post is reporting Marrone, who has an interview scheduled with the Jets, will also interview with the Bears and the Atlanta Falcons.

Under Marrone, the Bills went 15-17 the past two years combined. An offensive-minded head coach, Marrone served as the OC for the New Orleans Saints from 2006-2008. He began his NFL coaching career with the Jets in 2002, where he was the offensive line coach for four seasons.

From 2009-2012, Marrone was head coach at Syracuse, where he amassed a 25-25 record.

The Bears have also scheduled an interview with Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles on Saturday. For the GM position, they have an interview scheduled with Brian Gaine, director of pro personnel for the Houston Texans, later this week.



Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.

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