When JoJo Wooden’s name found its way onto the Bears’ list of GM candidates, I mentally stashed it away for later discussion. Not that Wooden’s name wasn’t as important as the others. But when you reach a point when you’ve got more than a dozen names, they tend to all blend together. And my preference would be to give each candidate as much of a dive as I can.
However, there hasn’t been much Bears-centric chatter since Wooden’s name came on the scene.
But leave it to the Chargers general manager to break some news:
Telesco says JoJo Wooden has interviewed for the #Bears GM opening.
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) January 20, 2022
Associated Press reporter Joe Reedy shared the nugget of JoJo Wooden having already interviewed to fill the Bears’ GM vacancy, which comes from Chargers GM Tom Telesco’s press conference. However, there’s some clarity that needs to be shared upon further update:
Telesco's quote from today and correcting my earlier tweet: "JoJo Wooden is going to interview for the Bears job. I think he’s a great candidate for that job … he’s really smart, he came up the right way and he learned from the right people when he was with the Jets." https://t.co/60PzAEtlt7
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) January 21, 2022
So, to this point, Wooden hasn’t interviewed. While still a candidate, there’s been no meeting. Anyway … Leave it to the Bears to have a process go so quietly, that news of an interview (or pending interview) has to come from two time zones away.
No wonder this process it taking forever.
Wooden, the Chargers’ Director of Player Personnel, has an intriguing résumé. Sure, it is one that has a connection with Bill Polian, who employed Telesco while in Buffalo, Indianapolis, and Carolina. Nevertheless, Wooden’s candidacy is worth picking through. We discussed a bit of it when Wooden first appeared on our scopes after NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was reporting on Chicago’s request for an interview:
For what it’s worth, Wooden has enough on his résumé to merit a discussion without a connection. Wooden has ample front office experience. Sixteen years in the Jets organization between 1997-2012 and in many different roles. Wooden held a variety of titles in New York, with the highest being the Director of Pro Scouting in 2004. Wooden came to the Chargers in 2013 and is the overseer of the team’s pro and college scouting departments. Considering how the Chargers have been more competitive than not through those years with more winning season (5) than losing campaigns (4), why not roll through with an interview?
To this point, all of the Bears’ confirmed interviews for GM and coaches have come from the team. But I’ve got no problem with the Chargers GM beating Chicago’s social media team to the punch. That’s good hustle. And if any other general managers want to share information on possible candidates on their respective teams, our DMs, email inboxes, and phonelines are open.