The Chicago Bears have reached out to at least 15 general manager candidates and 10 coaching candidates for interviews. As they go through the interview process, we’re looking at each of the prospective hires.
Reggie McKenzie interviewed for the GM opening Thursday, the team announced.
<mark class=”hl_orange”>Reggie McKenzie</mark>
Title: Miami Dolphins senior personnel executive
Before joining the Dolphins in 2019, McKenzie spent seven seasons as the Oakland Raiders general manager. He was named the Sporting News and PFWA executive of the year in 2016 after a 12-4 playoff season that included seven players making the Pro Bowl.
That was the Raiders’ only winning season in his seven as his teams went 40-72.
Among the players he drafted were Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Latavius Murray.
Before joining the Raiders, McKenzie spent 18 years with the Green Bay Packers as a pro personnel assistant, the director of pro personnel and the director of football operations. The Packers won two Super Bowls in that span.
You should know
McKenzie was an NFL linebacker who played 60 games over five seasons with the Raiders and San Francisco 49ers from 1985-92. He played in college at Tennessee.
In 2014, McKenzie drafted current Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack fifth overall.
In 2018, after coach Jon Gruden was hired and negotiations for an extension soured between the Raiders and Mack, the team traded Mack, a second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2020 to the Bears. The Raiders received two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick over the next two seasons. The Bears then gave Mack a six-year extension.
Mack was named a Pro Bowler each of his next three seasons with the Bears but missed 10 games this year with injury.
What has been said
Before firing McKenzie in December 2018, Raiders owner Mark Davis spoke to ESPN about the Raiders’ roster issues.
“It’s been all part of an evolution, but I think it’s becoming clearer and clearer to Jon (Gurden), as well, that the talent is just not here at this time,” Davis said. “The drafts did not help supplement what we were doing in the free-agent market. If you look at our roster now, it’s a bunch of free-agent, one-year guys that are mercenaries. And they’re great guys, and they’re Raiders. Once a Raider, always a Raider … but we just don’t have the overall talent of a 22-man roster.”
Before the Raiders hired McKenzie in 2012, former Packers executive Ron Wolf told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “Reggie’s a tremendous evaluator. He can tell you who can play and who can’t play. That’s what it’s all about. Some can write reports but can’t tell you who can play. Whatever that is, he has that. He has a feel.”