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Could Pace hire result in Marrone reunion?

Doug Marrone

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone works with the offensive line during their NFL football training camp in Pittsford, N.Y., Tuesday, July 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)


With Ryan Pace unexpectedly becoming the General Manager of the Bears (Chris Ballard had been the favorite to get the job, and per one source had been telling others he believed he’d be hired), the next question becomes the identity of the team’s next coach.

And the obvious dot-connecting name to watch is Doug Marrone.

Marrone worked for the Saints with Pace. And there’s a feeling within the Saints organization that Marrone will at least get consideration, given the relationship between Marrone and Pace.

But then there’s the “Doug Marrone is a butthole” camp, consisting of plenty of folks in the league who think Marrone’s personality will doom him. If he’s such a jerk, how did he develop the kind of relationship with Pace that would prompt Pace to consider him?

The bigger question isn’t whether Pace and Marrone can get along (although that’s important) but whether Marrone can get along with everyone else. Then again, who cares if the head coach is a jerk at times? Plenty are. Especially most of the best ones.

As to Pace, the thinking is he’ll become one of the better General Managers. He got first-hand experience on the job in 2012, taking over while G.M. Mickey Loomis was suspended for whatever it was that he supposedly did to merit an eight-game suspension for a bounty scandal that he had zero responsibility for.

Pace, who broke into the NFL 13 years ago as an intern with the Saints, is regarded as a guy who does not become overwhelmed by the size of the job, and who does not get rattled. Those qualities will be tested in Chicago, where it’s clear that ownership wants the team to get back to its winning ways, 30 years after the team’s most recent Super Bowl win.