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Bears sit idle as GM candidate Louis Riddick interviews with Lions, Texans

It’s not just about Riddick, who might or might not be the right fit for the Bears. The point is that if they make a move, they’ll already be behind four teams that fired their GM during the season. That being said, Riddick would make a lot of sense in Chicago.

Louis Riddick appearing on the “Monday Night Football” pre-game show when the Bears visited Washington last year.
Louis Riddick appearing on the “Monday Night Football” pre-game show when the Bears visited Washington last year.
Mark Tenally/AP

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the maxim, “Never leave ’til tomorrow that which you can do today,” and if he owned the Bears, he probably wouldn’t be sitting back while other teams are interviewing general-manager candidates.

The reason for urgency in firing a GM or coach is to give a team a head start in finding its next one. One of the most prominent GM candidates in the NFL, Louis Riddick, is reportedly interviewing with the Lions and Texans this week.

If the Bears are ready to move on from GM Ryan Pace, as they should be given their 14-15 mark over the last two seasons and 40-53 record during his six-year tenure, they would’ve been best served by doing it earlier. Instead, because the organization is averse to firing a coach or GM during the season on principle, attractive candidates can accept jobs elsewhere before even talking with the Bears.

This isn’t specifically about Riddick, an analyst on “Monday Night Football” with 13 years of experience in scouting and personnel. The point is that searches are underway, and the decisive in-season moves by the Lions, Texans, Jaguars and Falcons allow them to have first crack.

But Riddick is worth discussing even as a hypothetical. This is a guy every team, especially the Bears, should consider.

He would be particularly enticing if they want to keep coach Matt Nagy. His firing would be justifiable, considering how bad the offense has been, and it’s typically bad business to force a coach on an incoming GM, but Riddick might be inclined to keep Nagy anyway. They’ve been friends since overlapping in Philadelphia from 2008 through 2012, when Riddick rose to director of pro personnel and Nagy was an assistant coach.

“I have a lot of respect for Matt and where he’s come from and what he’s accomplished,” Riddick told the Chicago Sun-Times last month. “We spent a lot of time talking about football and life in general, and that relationship has just grown over the years.

“He’s been trained in this game at the highest level. He has the tools in his tool belt to give players what they need in order to succeed. I know he has the competency. He has the kind of football and personal character that will enable him to be very self-critical.”

The good vibes are mutual.

“I think Louis would do a really good job,” Nagy said Wednesday when asked about Riddick as a GM. “It doesn’t shock me that he’s done really well in the commentating business. He’s really good at what he does. I’m sure that he’ll do well in all of his interviews.”

Riddick also has been incisively critical of Nagy on national TV and ripped his play-calling in the loss to the Rams as “too easy” to defend, but that’s a good thing. If Riddick can simultaneously support and challenge Nagy, that’s exactly what he needs.

Riddick also seems to have a clear grasp of the Bears’ predicament as they waste a defense “that has kicked ass over the past couple of years and for all intents and purposes is championship-caliber” because their offense is floundering.

Two weeks before the Bears debuted their current starting five on the offensive line, Riddick suggested what to do in an interview. His long-term plan was to keep Sam Mustipher at center, move Cody Whitehair to guard and use James Daniels at the other guard spot, then upgrade the tackles via the draft and free agency. He knew every player on their depth chart.

“There’s no question it starts on the offensive line,” Riddick said, highlighting an area in which Pace has erred badly. “There’s absolutely zero question.”

He knows what he’s talking about, but the Bears might never find that out as they wait while other teams move forward.