Ryan Poles comes from a well-established pedigree with the almighty Chiefs, the envy of 95 percent of the NFL. But, of course, it’ll take some time and effort before he can mold the Bears as such.
His first event as Chicago general manager—the annual Scouting Combine—will play an integral role in setting the stage for what needs to be a home run of an off-season in Lake Forest. Anything less, and we’re probably waiting a little longer for the Bears to be a genuine contender.
Here’s what the 36-year-old head executive had to say to the media in his first public-facing comments since his introductory press conference in January.
There have been many understandable discussions about what direction Poles will take the Bears’ offensive line. It’s telling, then, that the Bears and Poles have not yet committed to where they’d like to play 2021 second-rounder, Teven Jenkins.
#Bears GM Ryan Poles said it's too early to determine where Teven Jenkins ends up playing. He also said he believes they'll play their best 5 along the o-line.— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) March 1, 2022
On that note, it says everything that Poles maintains the Bears want some more agile and athletic athletes up front, not only maulers. Hello, James Daniels?
In what I’m sure will be a callback for some of you, you can tell Poles has had a lot of conversations with George McCaskey: They both really, really love Darnell Mooney.
#Bears GM Ryan Poles called Darnell Mooney a bright spot on his roster after diving into the tape, but added that he was "really blown away by the person" after getting a chance to talk with him.— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) March 1, 2022
Like his colleague in Matt Eberflus, Poles said he’s approaching the Bears’ job with no biases. He has no attachments to any current player (aside from Mooney, evidently), which is a significant benefit to Chicago’s overall off-season approach.
The film never lies.
#Bears GM Ryan Poles said it's beneficial to be looking at the roster with fresh eyes and no attachments to the players. He said there are no biases guiding his evaluations, and that he sees things only "for what the tape is telling you."— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) March 1, 2022
As for someone whose tape was once quite special, the Bears haven’t decided whether they’ll retain Tarik Cohen. The 26-year-old last played a game in early 2020, a couple of months after signing a contract extension, ever since he’s suffered through an unfortunate knee injury recovery.
It’ll be up to the Bears’ medical staff, not only Poles, in deciding whether Cohen will again get the shot to humiliate defenders in the open field while wearing navy and orange.
“It just comes down to communication and conversations with Andre Tucker. He’s one of the best in the game.” - #Bears GM Ryan Poles on Tarik Cohen. Wouldn’t get into medical details and said they are taking it one day at a time.— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) March 1, 2022
Whatever happens over the next two months, you can be assured that the Scouting Combine will play a massive role in Poles and Co.’s work at Halas Hall. The Bears need all the help they can get. At least their new diligent GM appears to be well up to the tremendous task at hand.