Just because the Bears sent Ryan Pace packing doesn’t mean their front office is some barren wasteland.
In fact, one of the front office’s most highly touted employees is getting a shot to interview for a promotion.
Bears’ Assistant Director of Player Personnel Champ Kelly is interviewing for Chicago’s GM job today, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2022
Hours after Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog mentioned Champ Kelly (and the Browns’ Kwesi Adofo-Mensah) were interviewing for Chicago’s GM opening, ESPN’s Adam Schefter chimed in to confirm through a source of his own that Kelly is interviewing. And that’s a wonderful development for a deserving candidate. So, let’s discuss.
Kelly could ultimately be an example of how the sum of the front office’s parts isn’t totally representative of the organization as a whole. Because while (now former) GM Ryan Pace was taking a licking in recent years, Kelly was still a hot name on the GM hiring circuit. Since 2019, Kelly has been in GM interviews with the Jets, Broncos, and Panthers. The Falcons were reportedly interested at one point, too. Last offseason, league circles were acknowledging Kelly as someone to keep an eye on as a GM candidate around the league. And in 2020, I couldn’t help myself from entertaining the idea of Kelly unseating Ryan Pace in the event management had to decide between retaining the GM who built the team and the one who was seen as someone who could build a better one down the line.
Fast forward two years and Kelly has a chance to pitch himself, his vision for the future, and what the Bears could look like if they choose him to lead the franchise in a new direction. Kelly could make a compelling case for maintaining some stability, while also providing a new path to travel. I’ll be curious to see how far he can go. There could be some unknown value in promoting a worthy in-house candidate.
And, for what it’s worth, Kelly is a compelling interview:
So let’s keep an eye on him as we move throughout this process. After all, not all internal candidates are the same.