One big decision down, many (many!) more to go for the Chicago Bears organization.
• There is plenty of good reading about the new top dog in Chicago’s front office. I would go as far as to recommend The Athletic (Fishbain and Jahns), Tribune (Kane), Sun-Times (Potash), Da Bears Blog (Dannehy), and Bears Wire (Fedrau) for more and different written perspectives on the hire. The Chicago Audible has a podcast up, as do Hoge and Jahns. Just let the content rush over you like a wave on the beach on a sunny summer day.
• New Bears GM Ryan Poles came ready to work, and in style, too:
Let's get to work. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/IDrAq0VFky
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 26, 2022
• I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff. The only thing missing from this video is a hip-hop producer tag and a nasty instrumental beat drop. One of my friends suggested “Love Sosa” by Chief Keef. I was thinking of this Kanye West “Dark Fantasy” instrumental. Either way, that snapshot moment shared by a social media coordinator at Halas Hall (who I hope is thawed out by now) captured Poles’ first steps in Chicago.
• And he wasn’t wasting any time setting up interviews. The team announced Jim Caldwell was interviewed, while NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Matt Eberflus and Dan Quinn are waiting in the wings with interviews today.
• This feels like a good place to drop that:
Feels like business is about to pick up from a coach-hiring standpoint. So, check out our prior posts on some finalists. #DaBears
🧸⬇️ Jim Caldwell – https://t.co/Ok3iB0derw
🧸⬇️ Matt Eberflus – https://t.co/E9Ay1YgQsU
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 26, 2022
• Brad Biggs (Tribune) pulls up with a timely read regarding Eberflus, who has worked with some heavy hitters over the years. Gary Pinkel’s offenses at Missouri put Chase Daniel on the map and were a jumping off point for superb receivers like Jeremy Maclin. Rod Marinelli is a long-time defensive coordinator (who had a stint with the Bears) whose paths crossed with Eberflus. I realize hiring defensive coaches isn’t what is popular right now, but Eberflus has some things going for him.
• It will be interesting to see how the search for a head coach unfolds moving forward. I’d like to think that Poles was able to relay that he would be comfortable interviewing (and even working with) coaches already on the interview list, while also maintaining full autonomy of his own search. Where Ryan Pace was the type to shy away from conflict (as detailed in this Dan Wiederer piece in the Trib), perhaps Poles is the type to interview and say something to the extent of thanks for the input and I’ll look into these names, but this is my show to run moving forward. There is something about being bold and assertive that speaks to me. Hopefully, Poles has that in him.
• Seriously, though. Call up Bill Polian, tell him thanks for the recommendations, make sure the checks from the McCaskey family clear, cash them, and go on your merry way. Polian did his job in leading the Bears to find Poles. Now it is Poles’ job to show why Polian and the rest of the committee was in on him. After all, that is what George McCaskey wanted … right? You hire the consultant to find the guy to lead your football organization, so let him lead. Give Poles the keys, let him pick what plays on the aux, and let’s get this show on the road.
• No, it is never too early to think about what kind of transactions the new GM could make:
Okay everyone, just hear me out.
Terron Armstead to Chicago, and move Jenkins back to RT. https://t.co/duOSe21BXi
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 25, 2022
• Again, these are just the first steps in a larger line of work. And there is plenty of time to hash out what can happen in the future. Right now, with Poles officially on board, I’m curious to see how he builds out his front office. Poles has a lengthy history in the scouting world, but the best front offices can marry a scouts eye, intangibles, analytics, and other aspects. And at age 36, there are fair questions worth asking about how someone with a limited résumé (albeit, under three different types of management styles) creates his own path. Then again, I imagine Chicago’s hiring committee (1) was asking those questions and (2) Poles was providing satisfactory answers. Otherwise, I feel as if the Bears would still be in the interviewing process. Remember, interviews with Monti Ossenfort and Eliot Wolf were still options before Chicago chose Poles.
• As we discussed in November, the Bears are one of football’s least analytically-inclined teams. No matter where you side in the analytics debate, it is disappointing to see the Bears absent in this conversation. And, frankly, I’m hoping Poles changes the narrative. He won’t be able to do it alone. But him staffing a front office that can find and create edges where other teams aren’t would be nice. For now, I’ll settle for getting up to speed with some of the best and brightest.
• One of our commenters was quick to point out to me how Poles has gone from trying to make the 53-man roster in 2008 to having full control of it in 2022. Good luck finding a better glow up:
Full circle. pic.twitter.com/HRb5DdNFk0
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 26, 2022
• We should probably be keeping tabs on the Giants:
So the NYG let Daboll leave without the job? Kinda makes you think HE told THEM he maybe wanted to talk to someone else first … https://t.co/2QPsIC6Uyq
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) January 26, 2022
• It ain’t happening, but I like where your head is at:
Front office leader from winning org hired.
Big-name HC decides to leave his team.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 25, 2022
• I hope the Blackhawks ask for the moon and stars if they are truly shopping Marc-André Fleury:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 26, 2022
• This could get interesting:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) January 26, 2022
• David Ortiz’s speech after the Boston Marathon bombing still delivers goosebumps all these years later. And now, he is going to Cooperstown.
• If the Bulls didn’t have bad injury luck, they’d have no luck at all:
Another One: Derrick Jones Jr. Fractured His Finger, Out 6-to-8 Weekshttps://t.co/4krlb7vmv3
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 26, 2022