After Hiring Matt Feinstein as Director of Football Administration, What's Left on Ryan Poles' Front Office Restructure List?

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After Hiring Matt Feinstein as Director of Football Administration, What’s Left on Ryan Poles’ Front Office Restructure List?

Chicago Bears

One thing I can’t shake about Ryan Poles’ first month (or so) on the job is the volume of fresh faces he has brought into Halas Hall.

In addition to hiring a new head coach and staff, Poles has brought in an assortment of other executives and football minds. And, perhaps most notably, has done so while carving out new roles within the organization. Ian Cunningham (Assistant GM) and Brent Salazar (Director of High Performance) are two that stand out immediately. And on Thursday, Poles added another, hiring Matt Feinstein as the team’s Director of Football Administration.

Fresh name. Fancy title. But what’s it mean? Well, I think this thread from PFF’s Brad Spielberger is informative:

This appears to be more of an admin hire than one that digs into analytics. So pump your brakes if you briefly got geeked up about expanding that part of the front office. Nevertheless, it is still a unique and noteworthy addition. PFT’s Mike Florio writes that Feinstein will slide into the lead negotiator role that Joey Laine’s departure left vacant. Perhaps Feinstein’s history as a representative in league negotiations with the NFLPA will help him thrive in this role.

In any case, I’m cool with the Bears bringing on new people with different titles. Load up on all types of nerds, I say. Bring the best and brightest and put them to work at Halas Hall. Build out a wing for ’em if you have to do so. Unlike other areas of the NFL, there is no salary cap or restrictions on how many new employees one can hire. And there is no limitations regarding what they can get paid. So you might as well build a juggernaut, something that the other 31 NFL teams will envy.

So … what could be next on Poles’ agenda?

For starters, Poles should keep the hiring party going. The front office still needs replacements for Josh Lucas (Director of Player Personnel) and Champ Kelly (Assistant Director of Player Personnel). And I imagine Poles will want to keep some of the previous regime’s strong performers. Just because the last lead decision-maker is out, doesn’t mean he didn’t have understudies who were doing a good job. Rewarding some long-time staffers who have been successful would be a nice touch.

The analytics department could use some beefing up, too. It doesn’t need to be a Mensa meeting, but it would be nice to team brain and braun to make for a better football team. I’ll admit to getting way too excited about Tom Herman’s arrival last year, solely for the reason he had a background making analytical football decisions. I thought it would be a start of a progressive movement. Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.

Not that I want to give the Packers too much love, but Russ Ball gets rave reviews as their cap guy. Green Bay’s Executive VP/Director of Football Operations has his work cut out for him this offseason. However, he did get name-checked by Aaron Rodgers in his MVP acceptance speech. Maybe bringing on someone who has a firm control of that would be a solid move. At minimum, hiring an expert there could help the team avoid what we saw at the end of the Pace era with highly questionable cap management.

Maybe there is a hire who can help the Director of High Performance’s staff bulk up. I’m not hip to the sports science scene, but it is a fascinating area that I’d like to learn more about moving forward. It is evident the Bears want to get better in that aspect, too. Surely, there is no limit to what we could think of as possible helpful additions for this organization. I mean, if there was room for a kicking consultant in 2019, there’s no telling what a new-look front office could do.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.