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Bears interview Ross for GM spot

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Associated Press
January 19, 2012

The Bears would like to be where the Giants are, preparing for the NFC championship game.


Maybe one of the men who helped the Giants get there, college scouting director Marc Ross, one day can help the Bears get there as well.


The Bears interviewed Ross for their vacant general manager position Wednesday.


He was the third candidate to be interviewed after Patriots pro personnel director Jason Licht and Chargers personnel director Jimmy Raye. The team also is scheduled to interview Bears personnel director Tim Ruskell on Thursday and Chiefs college scouting director Phil Emery on Friday.


Ross has been with the Giants since 2007, working under general manager Jerry Reese. During Ross’ tenure, the team has used first-round picks on safety Kenny Phillips, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and cornerback Prince Amukamara.


Ross is a veteran of three NFL teams even though he’s only 38. At 27. he became the NFL’s youngest scouting director while working for the Eagles, who gave him his first full-time NFL job.


“He loved sports and knew his stuff,” said former Eagles player personnel man John Wooten, who gave Ross his first NFL job. “With the knowledge he had, you knew he was something special. He has shown that in Philadelphia, Buffalo and New York.”


Ross also worked for Tom Modrak with the Eagles, and Modrak later hired him to be his national scout for the Bills.


“He has a great feel for what needs to be done,” Modrak said. “He’s able to see what the job is all the time. He’s a really good talent evaluator.”


It’s almost cliche to say Ross is bright, but everyone says it anyway. He has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton in sociology and a master’s in sports administration from Massachusetts. At Princeton, he played wide receiver and still holds the school record for average yards per reception in a season with 20.2 in 1993.


But those who know Ross say he isn’t one of those brainiacs who doesn’t deal well with those around him.


“He is smart about football and people,” Modrak said. “He has a feel for the room. He has the ability to pull things together. He draws from everybody around him because he’s very aware.”


That doesn’t mean Ross can’t be strong-minded. Modrak said Ross sticks to his convictions even if others disagree.


However, like former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, Ross is considered a consensus builder.


“Here we do everything together,” Reese said. “Wherever Marc goes, he knows everybody’s voice is important. I think he’ll take that with him. We come to a consensus on guys. We don’t necessarily have one guy say this is our guy. If we can’t come to a consensus, we’ll pick somebody else.”


Ross does not have extensive administrative experience, but he has done some contracts and Reese gives him considerable autonomy.


“Reese has him run the draft, very similar to what Ernie Accorsi did with Reese,” said Wooten, who endorsed Ross in a phone conversation with Bears coach Lovie Smith. “He’s ready. He’s ready to run a team.”


Reese agrees.


“On draft day he does a tremendous job,” Reese said. “He has veteran scouts around him and young scouts around him and he manages those guys really well. He stays out all year long looking for players just like our scouts. He’s definitely qualified. Obviously I’m biased, but there’s no reason for him not to succeed. He’ll do a tremendous job wherever he goes.”



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