The Chicago Bears haven’t done much over the years to earn the benefit of the doubt. And I don’t blame anyone who figured that might continue after they tapped Bill Polian – in 2022 – to headline a committee responsible for unearthing their next general manager and head coach.
But yesterday, we learned (the good news) that George McCaskey would not be involved in the selection of a head coach now that Ryan Poles has been hired. And even though that head coach interview process has accelerated to the extent that it’s actually quite difficult to imagine it being wholly Poles’ show, this bit of reporting from The Athletic’s Adam Jahns paints a brighter picture (bolded emphasis mine):
“The second round of the Bears’ head-coaching interviews belonged to Poles. Not only did chairman George McCaskey and team president Ted Phillips step out of the way when Jim Caldwell, Matt Eberflus and Dan Quinn were entertained at Halas Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, but adviser Bill Polian also wasn’t involved. In fact, one league source said Polian wasn’t even at Halas Hall.
If Poles wants to expand the search, so be it.”
No McCaskey. No Phillips. And no Polian. At least, not when it comes to the coaching search.
Bill Polian does *NOT* have his hand in the cookie jar. There is no external involvement from Polian, who apparently isn’t even around the building. Gotta make sure those checks for consulting cash before banking hours close, I guess. In any case, this is how the Bears GM and coach search should look. Give a heartfelt message declaring you are thankful for the information accumulated by Polian and friends, share a thought that you’ll do what you can with what you have at your disposal, and that you’ll go about running your search the way you see fit.
After all, this is what George McCaskey was wanting out of the process. Hire a consultant, put together a committee to find a new top football guy, hire top football guy to report to the chairman, and everyone else move out of the way. And that seems to be what is happening here:
During his interview process, Ryan Poles told the Bears that Caldwell, Eberflus, and Quinn were guys he would want to speak to. And here they are. No word yet on if there will be more. Certainly possible.
From a league source who had knowledge of the inner workings of the #Bears search. “GM finalists were consulted about all of the available coaching candidates and had the opportunity to speak with those coaches if they so desired. Ryan has spoken with several different coaches.”
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 26, 2022
Not only will this be The Ryan Poles Show™, there could still be more coaches who are on the table as possibilities.
It’s just that, right now, these are the options because they happen to meet at the intersection of coaches Poles has a connection to and that the committee set up second interviews with before Poles came on board. Poles’ college teammate Matt Ryan played for Quinn in Atlanta. As for Eberflus, the GM who kept him in town (Chris Ballard) worked with Poles in Kansas City from 2013-16. And the Caldwell interview could be as simple as showing a nod of respect to Polian’s Hall of Fame credentials. But in the end, it’s not Polian’s pick. It’s all about the Poles show.
Now that it’s settled, let’s move on.