In the wake of the news that long-time Chicago Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel has been relived of his duties, an account has emerged of “heated exchanges” between senior director of football administration Cliff Stein and scout Jeff Shiver regarding the pursuit of undrafted free agents following the completion of the 2010 draft. Per Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears have downplayed the alleged incident, brushing it off as a “heat-of-the-moment” exchange arising from long working hours. (Maybe one of them also asked the other whether his mother was a prostitute.)
Still, Hayes cites a source who claims that “everybody is looking out for themselves” at Halas Hall, given a grossly underachieving 2009 season and a strong sense that everyone will be getting fired if the team fails to qualify for the postseason a fourth straight time. It’s hardly a surprise; director of pro personnel Bobby DePaul abruptly was fired earlier this year, and it has been widely believed and expected that former Seahawks G.M. Tim Ruskell will be arriving soon. Gabriel’s departure also was expected — something that likely made the past couple of months even more tense and uncertain for Gabriel. With other scouts also having their contracts set to expire, more guys likely will soon be looking for other work.
Not surprisingly, we’re told that the Bears privately are blaming the reports of discontent and discord on Gabriel. The fact, however, that he’s now motivated to share information regarding the dysfunction within the organization doesn’t make his perception inaccurate. That said, it’s possible that Gabriel’s perception has been influenced by his personal feelings on the subject.
And it’s also possible that Gabriel’s perception — if he is indeed the source — is right on the money.