In the worst kept secret in sports since Mark McGuire’s steroid use, the Bears brought in Jerry Angelo’s buddy Tim Ruskell as their new Director of Player Personnel. But why was he available? Because he couldn’t meet Seahawks ownership’s “exacting standards.” Check out what Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke had to say about their decision on Ruskell:
“This is a tough business,” Leiweke said. “Ownership has exacting standards, not just for Tim but everybody else in this organization. Clearly injuries were a significant factor in our 4-12 season, but at the end of the day we were 4-12. There were then increased pressures and expectations put on this season and to this point, we haven’t met those expectations. Period.”
So continues a strange offseason in Chicago. First you fire the Pro Personnel Director just before Free Agency opens, then you fire the college scouting director right after the draft. If you didn’t trust Greg Gabriel or didn’t like the job he was doing, why exactly did you let him run your draft?
Here’s what bothers me about the Ruskell hire – it further homogenizes the Bears front office. What I mean by that (in case there are any Packer fans reading this and need help with the big words) is that there are no differing opinions; there is no dissenting voice. It’s all Jerry and Lovie’s boys from the good ol’ days in Tampa.
Ruskell spins his relationship with Angelo by saying:
Asked whether his familiarity with Angelo and the Bears coaches would be a plus, Ruskell said, “I believe it does because communication is such a big thing in this business, any business. … I think I know just about every one of the scouts, got to get to know the pro guys a little bit better, but having that relationship already established and having worked with some of those guys, I just think it tears down a lot of the barriers you have to fight through and get right to the matters at hand.”
You know what makes organizations strong? Voices. Different voices. People who are willing to question the status quo. People who will do more than nod and smile and collect a paycheck. Tim Ruskell is not that person and not that voice.