A complete house cleaning is underway at Halas Hall. Three football seasons have passed since Matt Nagy, and Ryan Pace won top honors for their efforts in leading the 2018 Chicago Bears to a 12-4 record and NFC North title, and the time has come for the franchise to find their replacements.
Despite this team’s issues, the head coach and general manager vacancies are highly sought-after. And with Super Bowl-winning Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian lending a helping hand, the Bears are in a position to make some impact hirings. Over the following days, weeks, or however long it takes, we’ll be diving into the top available candidates, including their history, what they offer schematically, how they fit culturally, where they can take this team, and more. Let’s do it.
Name, Current Team, and Position
Morocco Brown, Indianapolis Colts Director of College Scouting (2016-present)
• Cleveland Browns Vice President of Player Personnel (2014-15)
• Washington Football Team Director of Pro Personnel (2008-13)
• Chicago Bears Assistant Director of Pro Personnel (2001-07)
• Indianapolis Colts Scouting Intern (2000)
Morocco Brown has been working in the scouting and personnel field for the last two decades, including his seven years with the Chicago Bears as the Assistant Director of Pro Personnel, so Brown brings plenty of collegiate and pro scouting experience to the table as he interviews to become the GM of the Chicago Bears.
Existing Rumors and Bears Ties
Brown was one of the early interview requests by the Chicago Bears for their GM vacancy after the team dismissed former GM Ryan Pace on January 10 and the current Colts director of college scouting is reportedly set to interview with the Bears on Monday.
Brown worked for th Bears from 2001 to 2007 as the assistant director of pro personnel under former GM Jerry Angelo and has made stops in Washington and Indianapolis since leaving the Bears.
The #Bears GM interviews will stretch into next week, with #Colts college scouting director Morocco Brown expected to interview with the team’s brass on Monday, source said. His work in Indy scouting college players alongside GM Chris Ballard is well-documented.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 20, 2022
Brown’s eye for talent is highly regarded around the league, and why not? Look at some of the players that the Colts have drafted while he’s been there. Quenton Nelson (2018) and Darius Leonard (2018) are three-time All-Pros. Nyheim Hines (2018) and Jonathan Taylor (2020) make up a backfield tandem that ranked second in the NFL in yards per game this season. Michael Pittman Jr. (2020) just posted a 1,000-yard season.
The list of starters and impact players on the current Indianapolis roster that came from the draft in recent years goes on. Rock Ya-Sin (2019), Bobby Okereke (2019), and Khari Willis (2019) are all starters for the Colts.
Former Bears (and current Colts) beat reporter J.J. Stankevitz shared a story on a recent episode of NBC Sports Chicago’s Under Center Podcast on another impressive draft pick in Indy, one that Brown fought for:
“In 2018, the Colts are, you know, they’re going through their second draft under the Chris Ballard leadership. They’re talking about this guard from Auburn, and they’re一 it’s like, alright, well, he played guard in college, yeah, he’s probably a guard. He’s got shorter arms than you would like for a tackle. And Morocco, Brown goes, ‘Hey, this guy can play tackle. Here’s a play in eval; he can play tackle.’ And you know, there were some butting heads about this. It took a lot of convincing for the Colts to go ahead and say, ‘Alright, yeah, this guy can play tackle.’ That guy’s Brayden Smith, one of the best right tackles in the NFL today. And that kind of outside-the-box thinking, that vision for a player, is something Morocco does so well. And he did that on the pro personnel side. He does it on the amateur side.”
This is what Colts GM Chris Ballard told The Athletic’s Stephen Holder last spring about that particular instance of unwavering conviction by Brown:
“When we drafted Braden, it was the furthest thing from my mind that he was going to be our right tackle,” Ballard said. “But Morocco was dead set (saying), ‘This guy can be a right tackle in the league.’”
Ballard said, “Morocco is as talented an evaluator I have been around in the NFL.”
Stankevitz added: “When Morocco brings a guy in, there is a plan for him to succeed. And it’s often a plan that is attainable for that player to succeed. So, you know, you talk about his ability to lead a room; he absolutely can do that, too.”
If the Bears are looking for a candidate who comes from the scouting mold for their next GM, then Morocco Brown has as impressive a resumé as anyone on their list of candidates.
In The End …
Brown will interview with the Bears on Monday. I thought Eberflus getting a second interview might have signaled the Bears were close on on a GM hire. Then, I immediately tied Eberflus to Ed Dodds in my head as a logical GM/coach pairing. Especially given that Dodds already interviewed with Chicago and has a working relationship with Eberflus from Indianapolis. But Dodds withdrew his name from consideration for the Bears GM job on Wednesday. So maybe the Indy pairing we might see is Brown-Eberflus.
Honestly, I can see Brown-Eberflus ending up in Chicago together. And in the respective roles that they’re interviewing for next week. I just have a feeling.
If that ends up being the case, the Bears could start 2022 with a seasoned talent evaluator who has spent time working at Halas Hall and in other organizations. And a rookie head coach he is plenty familiar with from being together in Indianapolis. That could be a thing. We’ll se what happens.