Sources: Colts’ Morocco Brown a candidate for Bears’ GM job originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Brown is expected to be interviewed for the position and is a “strong” candidate, according to league sources. That said, the Bears could focus on hiring a head coach first, which would heavily influence the general manager decision. The team began to do its homework on potential GM candidates last month and Brown was identified as a potential candidate. He is said to be interested in the position.
There are a number of factors that make Brown a logical fit the Bears. For one, he spent seven years as the team's assistant director of pro personnel from 2001-07, so George McCaskey and Ted Phillips have familiarity with him. Brown has been Colts general manager Chris Ballard’s right-hand man for the last five years in Indianapolis, largely directing the Colts’ drafts, which have been strong. Ballard was a finalist for the Bears’ general manager job in 2015, but the Bears hired Ryan Pace instead. Hiring Brown now could be seen as somewhat of a do-over for that decision.
Brown interviewed for the Atlanta Falcons’ GM job last year and is considered one of the top GM candidates around the league. Ballard is said to be pushing Brown as a GM candidate to other teams. Brown is known for his detailed scouting eye, with one example being Colts right tackle Braden Smith, who was drafted in the second round in 2018. Smith has shorter arms and was a guard at Auburn, but Brown had a plan for Smith to play right tackle right away, which surprised even Ballard, who thought he was better suited at guard. Smith ended up starting at right tackle as a rookie and just signed a four-year, $72.4 million contract extension in July.
The 2018 draft alone netted the Colts All-Pro left guard Quenton Nelson, All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard and Smith.
Bears chairman George McCaskey is scheduled to speak to the media Monday afternoon and it's possible the team takes a different approach to its GM and head coach hirings this time around. In 2015, they hired Ryan Pace first and allowed him to have a say in hiring John Fox as head coach. This time, the Bears could focus on the head coaching hire first.
In addition to Brown, Colts director of player personnel Ed Dodds could also receive consideration from the Bears.