Bears interview Marc Ross for GM job

New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross met with the Chicago Bears at Halas Hall on Wednesday marking the third interview the team has conducted in its search to replace Jerry Angelo, who was terminated on Jan. 3 as general manager.

The Bears brought in New England Patriots director of player personnel Jason Licht on Monday, and plan to meet this week with Kansas City Chiefs director of college scouting Phil Emery, and internal candidate Tim Ruskell, who currently serves as the Bears' director of player personnel.

Close to finishing up his fifth season as the Giants director of college scouting, Ross is believed to be high on Chicago's short list of candidates, according to a source. Ross was charged with running the Giants' draft in 2007, and used his last three No. 1 picks to select safety Kenny Phillips, receiver Hakeem Nicks and rookie defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who finished the regular season ranked fourth in sacks (16.5).

Ross became the youngest college director in the NFL at 27, when he was promoted to the job in 2000 with the Philadelphia Eagles. With the Eagles, Ross played a role in the team drafting players such as running back Brian Westbrook, cornerback Lito Sheppard and defensive end Derrick Burgess.

Ross came into the league in 1995 with the Giants as a public relations intern during training camp before working his way through the ranks on the personnel side. A graduate of Princeton, Ross has developed a reputation within the scouting community for his intelligence and ability to work with people, which might be a major factor in Chicago's decision making.

Team president Ted Phillips pointed out the team's criteria for the new general manager on Jan. 3. "Let me just comment on a couple of key attributes I looked for last time I hired a general manager, and we're going to do it again," Phillips said. "Talent evaluation is going to be key, chemistry with [head coach] Lovie [Smith], understanding the coaches, solid character and work ethic and a clear strategy to get us to win a championship."

Ross previously interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts before they hired Ryan Grigson.

While it's expected the team will interview Emery and Ruskell later this week, the team hasn't ruled out bringing in more candidates. Phillips also pointed out the process could drag out indefinitely.

"We're going to be thorough, and we're going to be thoughtful about it and find the right fit," Phillips said. "If that takes two weeks: great. If it takes into February, again, it depends on candidates who might be with playoff teams as well. The potential of going into February exists."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.