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Bears have 2 on the Athletic’s 40 under 40 list

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SPORTS-FBN-BEARS-OFFENSE-TB Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Athletic recently put out their annual NFL 40 under 40 list of the top young coaches, execs, agents and other rising stars around the league, and the Chicago Bears landed two such individuals on the list; offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and general manager Ryan Poles. The list isn’t just compiled from Lindsay Jones and the Athletic’s staff of writers, but from input they received league wide, so it’s interesting to see a couple Bears mentioned favorable around NFL circles.

Here’s what they wrote about the 38-year old Getsy.

Getsy has a major task in his first year as a coordinator and play caller: developing quarterback Justin Fields, a 2021 first-round pick, into a quality NFL starter.

Getsy spent the past three seasons in Green Bay as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Matt LaFleur. He worked closely with veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers and 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love and knows that developing a close relationship with his new pupil in Chicago will be critical to Fields’ success and what the Bears hope to accomplish this season.

“We have to be on the same page, always,” Getsy told reporters after a recent offseason practice. “That’s where I’ve felt like he’s grown is he’s communicating with me so well now, things that he’s feeling, things that he sees, and that part of it has just been tremendous, for a young guy to be able to do that. These three or four months that we’ve been together, it’s been a lot of fun.”

We’ve seen plenty of offensive coordinators catapult themselves into head coaching opportunities based on work with young quarterbacks, and that has to be a factor Getsy considered when coming to the Bears. Fields is the total package of skills for a modern QB, and if Getsy can unlock all of Fields’ potential he’ll eventually be making the rounds for head coaching interviews.

Getsy’s scheme he’ll be implementing is a proven one, his resume is impressive, and now he’ll be able to show his value as a first time play caller.

Here’s The Athletic’s take on the 36-year old Poles.

Poles, an offensive lineman at Boston College, spent 13 years in the Chiefs’ front office. There, he rose from entry-level scouting assistant to one of general manager Brett Veach’s top talent evaluators.

Now he’s Chicago’s GM, charged with building the Bears back into an NFC North contender. It’s a big challenge. Poles and first-year coach Matt Eberflus inherited quarterback Justin Fields, but have to make significant moves to upgrade other parts of the roster — minus a surplus of draft capital or salary cap space.

Among Poles’ first big moves was trading pass rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers to acquire more picks and to create more cap room. He spoke to The Athletic this spring about the importance of having a long-term organization-wide plan and sticking to it.

“I talk about delegating, but we’ve also created a very team atmosphere in how we make decisions,” Poles said. “I know personally every decision isn’t specifically mine; it’s ours. I think when you take that approach, you’re comfortable that you did the work, you had the process and it’s the best decision for the club at the time.”

NFL: Chicago Bears-Head Coach Matt Eberflus Press Conference David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Poles has taken a methodical approach to building his team, and he’s shown an understanding of the big picture. He could have dove headfirst into trying for as many wins as possible, but that would have hurt the franchise long term. His salary cap moves were made with the future in mind, and he seems to value draft picks.

If Getsy and Poles both are able to thrive in their current roles the future of the franchise looks bright.

Two other individuals on their list have, or have had, ties to Chicago with 39-year old David Mulugheta, an agent with Athletes First that reps Justin Fields among others, making their list, and former Bears tight end Greg Olsen making it for his work as the lead NFL analyst with FOX.