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Bears interview McKenzie for GM, Leftwich for coach

Reggie McKenzie and Byron Leftwich

The Bears on Thursday interviewed Reggie McKenzie for the general manager position and Byron Leftwich for the head-coaching job.

McKenzie boasts 28 years of experience as an NFL executive, including the last three as a senior personnel executive with the Dolphins.

Prior to that, he spent 18 seasons with the Packers as a pro personnel assistant (1994-96), pro personnel director (1997-2007) and director of football operations (2008-11). During his tenure in Green Bay, the Packers won eight division titles, three conference championships and two Super Bowls.

McKenzie left Green Bay in 2012 to become Raiders general manager, a position he held through 2018. In that role, he selected outside linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth pick in the 2014 draft and was named NFL Executive of the Year in 2016 after the Raiders finished 10-6 and earned a wild card playoff berth.

As a player, McKenzie appeared in 60 NFL games with 40 starts as a linebacker for the Raiders (1985-88), Cardinals (1989-90) and 49ers (1992). Selected by the Raiders in the 10th round of the 1985 draft out of Tennessee, he started all 16 games in each of his first two NFL seasons.

McKenzie's son, Kahlil McKenzie, is an NFL nose tackle who played seven games for the Bengals in 2020 and five contests for the Ravens in 2021. McKenzie's twin brother, Raleigh, was an NFL offensive lineman for 16 seasons with Washington (1985-94), the Eagles (1995-96), Chargers (1997-98) and Packers (1999-2000), appearing in 227 games with 184 starts.

Leftwich is in his third season as Buccaneers offensive coordinator. Tampa Bay has set franchise records for points and touchdowns in each of his three years with the team, scoring 458 points with 54 TDs in 2019, 492 points with 59 TDs in 2020 and 511 points with 63 TDs in 2021.

In 2020, he helped oversee future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady's transition to Tampa Bay, which eventually resulted in the Buccaneers winning the Super Bowl. Brady set a franchise record with 40 touchdown passes, the most in NFL history by a player in his first season with a team.

In 2019—the year before Brady arrived—Leftwich helped the Buccaneers tie for third in the NFL in scoring and lead the league in passing yards. Receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans were both voted to the Pro Bowl after becoming the first pair of Tampa Bay receivers to compile at least 1,100 yards in the same season. Quarterback Jameis Winston led the league in passing with 5,109 yards and ranked third in the NFL with a then franchise-record 33 touchdown passes.

Leftwich started his coaching career with the Cardinals as an intern in 2016 before serving as Arizona's quarterbacks coach in 2017.

As a player, Leftwich played nine NFL seasons as a quarterback with the Jaguars (2003-06), Falcons (2007), Steelers (2008, 2010, 2012) and Buccaneers (2009). Appearing in 60 games with 50 starts, he completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 10,532 yards with 58 TDs, 42 interceptions and a 78.9 passer rating.

Leftwich was selected by the Jaguars with the seventh pick in the 2003 draft out of Marshall. The majority of his NFL playing time came in his first four seasons with Jacksonville, when he appeared in 46 games with 44 starts and threw for 9,042 yards with 51 TDs, 36 interceptions and an 80.5 passer rating.

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