Jimmy Raye, director of player personnel for the San Diego Chargers, became the second candidate interviewed by the Bears for their vacant general manager spot. Jason Licht of the New England Patriots went through the process on Monday, with Phil Emery from the Atlanta Falcons and Marc Ross from the New York Giants also scheduled for interviews.

And there also is the case of Tim Ruskell, hired as director of player personnel for the Bears by former GM Jerry Angelo last April. Ruskell is perhaps the most intriguing of the group, in part because he is unquestionably the most qualified based strictly on strength of resume.

All of the other candidates are stepping up to what would be the highest posts in their careers. The Bears have a record of hiring first-timers in their respective jobs, from President Ted Phillips to coach Lovie Smith and Angelo, and extending back to Mike Ditka, Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron as well as senior staffers.

But setting aside positives or negatives with Ruskell, he has been a team president, GM, assistant GM and held other senior personnel staff spots. Whatever his merits, all four teams he has worked with (Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, Chicago) have gone to NFC Championship games.

Whether he was the architect or just a very good lucky charm, thats what the Bears will be deciding in the next week or so.