Bears' new DL coach Phair has ties to Ruskell
February 3, 2011 3:06 PM
By Brad Biggs
The Chicago Bears are counting on Tim Ruskell, the director of personnel hired last April, to help make an impact this spring when he will be present for his first draft with the organization.
He's already making an imprint on the coaching staff. While Lovie Smith controls his staff, new defensive line coach Mike Phair no doubt came with a strong recommendation from Ruskell. Phair replaces Eric Washington, who left earlier this week to coach the defensive line for Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers.
Phair spent the last six seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, where Ruskell served as the general manager through the 2009 season. Phair was a defensive assistant last year under Pete Carroll. In 2009, he was an assistant defensive line coach and the year before that he assisted with linebackers. He was an area scout for the Seahawks from 2005 to 2007.
Phair's connections with Ruskell date back to his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Phair worked in the college scouting department for the Bucs for three seasons before going to Seattle. Previously, he had college coaching experience at Arizona State and Tiffin.
Phair was a starting linebacker for two years at Arizona State. where he was a walk-on in 1990. His linebackers coach? Smith, who was on the Sun Devils' staff from 1988-91. Mike Martz also was with the Sun Devils program at the time and Phair was a teammate of Ted Monago, who is an area scout for the Bears. Phair also played at Mesa Community College.