In a surprise move taken a few days ago, the Chicago Bears escorted Pro Personnel Director Bobby DePaul out of the building. DePaul has had a hand in scouting players for the Bears for several years, helped to build the Bears' 2006 Super Bowl team, and has helped draft many of the Bears' current stars. This comes as a somewhat strange move, considering that the Bears are headed into free agency season and the draft.
Some are saying that former Seattle Seahawks general manger Tim Ruskell will be taking over for DePaul. Ruskell had a hand in drafting a lot of good players in Seattle and bringing in a lot of solid free agents there, but he has had made more bad decisions than he has made good ones. Is this the kind of guy that we want coming to the Bears?
Ruskell is a friend of current Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, and it’s possible that Angelo is stacking up people to help him make a case for keeping himself around after the 2010 season.
Did DePaul and Head Coach Lovie Smith not get along well, and this lead to the firing? We may not know for sure right now (Angelo is not speaking about any of this until next Friday) why this happened, but one thing is for sure: There is a power shift going on at Halas Hall right now, and it could be between Angelo and Smith or quite possibly between President Ted Phillips and Angelo.
Looking at this from a fan’s point of view: We have to understand that DePaul and his crew helped prepare the team for the free agency and the draft and being so close to both (in losing their personnel man) may end up making things much more difficult as the team moves forward. Also, if the Bears want their new personnel man to prepare for the upcoming draft and free agency then they better get him in as fast as they possibly can.
Will the Bears now falter in free agency and the draft? That’s possible, but what have they done in the last few drafts and in free agency is almost like not having anyone there anyway, so what would the difference be? Perhaps they were so upset with the work that DePaul has done they finally decided to get rid of him. Or did management feel that DePaul’s decision-making and scouting was so bad that they felt he was to blame for the personnel problems that the Bears have been having?
Either way, there are going to be a lot of changes coming in the near future. The scouting staff may be shaken up a little bit more, and there may be changes in the way that the Bears think about players that they draft and pick up in free agency. Keep in mind that Angelo has the final say on all personnel decisions, so DePaul just scouted and helped figure out which players might fit the Bears best. So whose fault is it?
It will be interesting to see what the Bears decide to do with this situation and how their offseason will pan out. One thing is for sure: This club is building towards a new and pretty strange future, and is leaving many of us fans wondering what is going on at Halas Hall.