Bears ax college scouting guru Gabriel
The shake-up at Halas Hall continued Tuesday afternoon with the Bears making the decision not to renew the contract of director of college scouting Greg Gabriel.
The departure of Gabriel falls in line with the sweeping changes alluded to by general manager Jerry Angelo at the end of the season. Angelo planned at the conclusion of the 2009 season to re-evaluate the front office. Not long after, the Bears fired Bobby DePaul, former senior director of pro personnel.
It's rumored that former Seahawks personnel executive Tim Ruskell could join the team in some capacity, perhaps overseeing the college and pro personnel departments.
Gabriel was set to enter his ninth season with the Bears. A 28-year veteran in pro personnel, Gabriel worked 16 seasons in the New York Giants scouting department, one with national scouting, and two more years part-time with the Buffalo Bills.
With Gabriel leading the college scouting, the Bears hit on several players, including Pro Bowlers Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Nathan Vasher. During Gabriel's first seven drafts with Chicago, the Bears selected 16 players who started at least one game for the Bears in 2008.
But the club's drafts have recently come under scrutiny, after missing the marks on high draft picks such as running back Cedric Benson (first round 2005), receiver Mark Bradley (second round 2005), defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek (third round 2006), defensive end Dan Bazuin (second round 2007) and linebacker Michael Okwo (third round 2007).
Michael Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com.