While the process the Chicago Bears used to find their next general manager was criticized locally, the results gave them perhaps the top candidate on the market in Ryan Poles.
Every team seems to look for something different when it comes to GMs, so the fact that Poles was a finalist for three different jobs in the same offseason is somewhat incredible. While the Giants seemed to have pinpointed Buffalo’s Joe Schoen from the start, Poles still managed to earn a second interview there. Minnesota cast a fairly wide net and Poles was thought to be the favorite until the Bears scooped him up. (Poles was also a finalist with the Carolina Panthers last offseason, with owner David Tepper always seeming to want to create some buzz.)
And then there’s the Bears.
Maybe the best indication of the impression new Bears GM Ryan Poles has made with teams—he’s interviewed for 4 GM jobs over the last 12 months (Panthers last year; Bears, Vikings, Giants this year), and he’s been a finalist for all of them.
Which is why Chicago moved fast today.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 25, 2022
The process included at least 15 interviews and an unknown number of feelers. The team owned by geriatrics used technology to move through the process and came away with the same conclusion as the aforementioned clubs: Poles is a stud.
Now Poles has to make possibly his most important decision. He has to hire a head coach. He’ll have to consider how to get the most out of a young quarterback, while also being sure he has someone who commands respect in the locker room. We will see what happens in the coming days.
While fans seem to want to rush to any hot offensive coordinator candidate they can see, Poles has to learn from mistakes made by past Bears GMs, including one of his former bosses, Phil Emery. Being a great offensive coordinator does not automatically translate to being a great head coach. Dan Quinn has overseen more top-10 offenses than Brian Daboll. So has Jim Caldwell, for that matter. There are reports that both Quinn and Caldwell have top tier offensive coordinators in mind.
There is no guide for telling which new GMs are going to be successful. Without ever being in the draft room or a part of conversations when it comes to free agents, there’s no way of knowing who is responsible for what. Time will tell if Poles is the hire many seem to think or if four teams were all wrong about him.
For now, Bears fans can take some comfort in knowing they didn’t stray off the beaten path to try and find some diamond in the rough. They got someone who everyone seems to agree will make a really good GM.
It’s time for him to get to work.