The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 11 general manager and nine coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the interview process, we’re looking at each of the prospects.
Jeff Irleand was set to be interviewed for the general manager position Friday, according to NFL Network.
Title: New Orleans Saints assistant general manager – college personnel
Ireland join the Saints in 2015, effectively replacing Ryan Pace after he left New Orleans to become the Bears GM.
Irleand has been in the GM chair before, holding the title with the Miami Dolphins from 2008-13. He inherited a 1-15 team that made an immediate and remarkable turnaround with an 11-5 record and AFC East title.
Eight players Ireland acquired earned 14 Pro Bowl selections during his tenure. In the season between being in Miami and landing in New Orleans, he was a consultant for the Seattle Seahawks. He spent seven years (2001-07) with the Dallas Cowboys, beginning as a national scout and becoming a vice president of college and pro scouting.
Ireland was an area scout with the Kansas City Chiefs for four years, and from 1994-96 he was an area scout for National Football Scouting Combine.
Ireland was a kicker at Baylor from 1988 through 1991 and coached special teams at North Texas from 1992-93. Ireland got two GM interviews last year, meeting with the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions.
You should know
Ireland was instrumental in some terrific drafts in New Orleans, including the 2017 class that helped propel the Saints to four straight seasons of 11 wins or more after three straight 7-9 finishes.
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and running back Alvin Kamara swept rookie of the year honors, the first duo from the same team to pull off that feat since 1967. The class also included right tackle Ryan Ramczyk, pass rusher Trey Hendrickson, safety Marcus Williams and inside linebacker Alex Anzalone. It’s easily one of the best draft classes in the last 30 years.
Ireland was a ball boy for the Bears in the 1980s. His grandfather Jim Parmer was a legendary scout for the Bears, working for the team from 1973-92. Parmer is credited as the driving force behind the Bears drafting a lot of great players, including defensive lineman Dan Hampton and middle linebacker Mike Singletary.
What has been said
“Getting Jeff was huge for us,” Saints coach Sean Payton said during the 2017 season. “(Our draft process) was completely revamped. I think Jeff has done an outstanding job and how we look at players, all of that, was overhauled. And I think that the results are paying off, fortunately, for us.”