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Bears Steal Key Eagles Personnel Executive: Jalen Hurts’ Scout


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Bears Steal Key Eagles Personnel Executive: Jalen Hurts’ Scout

  • Updated Feb 1, 2022 at 1:17am
Jalen Hurts, Malcolm Jenkins

Getty: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts eludes Malcolm Jenkins in Week 11 when he rushed for three touchdowns against New Orleans.

The Chicago Bears think they have found the perfect front-office executive to surround Justin Fields with talented weapons. They stole Ian Cunningham away from the Philadelphia Eagles after he spent five years there as a scout and director of player personnel.

Cunningham will serve as assistant general manager for the Bears, the right-hand man for Ryan Poles. The 35-year-old has been seen as an up-and-comer in the industry for quite some time. He brings 14 years of NFL experience, including two Super Bowl championships — one from the Ravens in 2012 and one from the Eagles in 2017. He played a big role in Philadelphia’s decision to draft Jalen Hurts in 2020.


He worked closely with Howie Roseman and Andy Weidl, as well as Joe Douglas before he departed for New York. Cunningham, a former offensive lineman, was highly regarded within the organization for his keen scouting eye and ability to identify undervalued free agents. The Eagles will sorely miss him in the coming months as they prepare for April’s draft. Brandon Brown has been promoted to director of player personnel.

"It’s about the hours that you spend evaluating certain positions,” Cunningham told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro in 2020. "The more guys you watch, the more players that you watch, for the top first-round players or the free agents you kind of got a good sense of who players are, their skillsets, their physical skillsets, what makes them tick, what makes them successful in the league. You see your hits and misses. I think you just need time on the job. You just need that experience to be able to see all types of players and skillsets.”

Scouting Jalen Hurts, Jalen Reagor

Cunningham enjoyed his share of hits during his time in the front office. The Eagles were all in agreement that Hurts could develop into a special player. Did they see Hurts as the future starter when they used the 53rd overall pick on him in 2020?

No one has confirmed that, although the scouting department clearly saw a role for him. They were drooling over Hurts’ athleticism heading into that draft.

"I think with Jalen, what makes him special is his resilience,” Cunningham said. "To be on the top of the mountain and then get knocked down, so to speak, but then get back up, that just shows his mental toughness and obviously his physical toughness. We have a high deal of respect for the person and player.

"He’s got an arm. He’s got really good arm strength, in terms of being able to throw on the run. I think what he’s done and what we’ve all seen on all the stages is he’s won on big stages. He’s cool, calm, and collected under pressure. He’s about the team. He’s about the W. That’s something that we really like with Jalen and his skillset.”

There have been misses, too. For example, Jalen Reagor. The speedy receiver from TCU was supposed to be the new DeSean Jackson. It hasn’t worked out that way despite a great scouting report from Cunningham.

"Very explosive. I think we can all attest that he played faster on tape than what he did at the combine,” Cunningham said. "You see the explosion, you see the vertical speed. He’s got the ability to take the top off the defense. With the ball in his hands, he’s a physical runner, there’s some make miss there, some lower strength, lower flex. He’s going to be able to break tackles. We’re really excited about the element of speed and explosion he’s going to bring to our offense.”

Jim Schwartz Interviewing in Indianapolis

Jonathan Gannon got a second interview with the Houston Texans. Now Jim Schwartz — Gannon’s predecessor in Philly — is set to meet with Indianapolis for their vacant defensive coordinator position (via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport).


The Bears hired Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as their new head coach, which opened the door for a possible reunion between Frank Reich and Schwartz. Reich was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator from 2016-17 before jetting for Indy. The two coaches won a Super Bowl championship together in Philly.


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So Cunningham put together the scouting reports that led to taking Hurts and Reagor?  Then buh bye ... don't let the door smack you on the way out.  

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Wow.  "He's got an arm, he's got a really strong arm."  He drafted Hurts and Reagor?  If this guy picks his own plane ticket he may not even end up in Chicago.

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