Ryan Poles takeaways: Bears GM on Matt Eberflus impressions, rebuilding plan

LAKE FOREST — Bears general manager Ryan Poles and assistant general manager Ian Cunningham spoke to the media Thursday at Harrah’s Hall, outlining their approach to the ball as Week 1 approaches. team’s view.

The Pole talked for more than 20 minutes, covering everything from Justin Fields’ development to the impressions of head coach Matt Eberflux and the organisational philosophy of their rebuilding project.

Barring the unforeseen, Thursday could be the last time the Pole speaks before the end of the season.

Here’s what we learned from the Bears GM’s 25 minutes:

Love Eberflus, measure success in first year

The Pole had a big smile on his face when asked about his impressions of Eberflus in his first offseason as head coach.

“I like that guy,” the Pole said. “Like, you go to a meeting… First of all, there’s the schedule and everything, he’s detailed, he’s organized, he has people around him to help him get organized. He’s consistent. His message is clear. There’s no grey areas.

“He’s got energy when he’s approaching team meetings and walking up to the players. But it’s not fluff. It’s not fake. It’s real. You can feel that energy he has. The players love it. I love it. It. I’m very excited about his leadership and how he’s going to lead this team.”

Praise for Eberflus aside, the Poles understand that at the bottom of the rebuild, the Bears may have to judge success differently than their true contenders this fall.

But how do you measure success for a team destined for seven wins? manner.

“It’s funny. I’ve been asked this question and I forget when it was, but like if you count wins and losses, how do you measure success?” the Poles said. “What is success? My answer is toughness. It’s a team…Again, I’ve been on a team, a Super Bowl team, and those, you know, balls in between. team and the level of teams that can stay and see “What’s the solution? instead of just pointing out the problem and saying negatively, “Look at that!” This is not good. “No, how are we going to fix it?

“So as an organization, as a team, as a locker room, as a staff, just be resilient in the ups and downs, keep fighting and keep the arrow pointing up. That’s my response. That’s how I feel.”

The 2022 bear market will require resilience. But if they find the head coach of Eberflux and the quarterback of Fields in Week 18 against the Minnesota Vikings, the season will be a success regardless of the record.

Lessons from your first offseason as a general manager

The Pole’s first six months at the helm of the Bears have not been without challenges.

From Roquan Smith’s contract drama to Teven Jenkins’ trade speculation, the Pole learned a lot in his first offseason as general manager. The Pole thinks he has done a good job communicating with Smith and Jenkins, but admits there will always be room for improvement next time there is turmoil.

“I want to focus on the emotions of the players, it’s real,” the Pole said. “I also — I think I’m doing decent enough to put myself in their shoes and understand why there’s an emotion. So, I think my reaction to not being upset or running around, I think it’s fine and, I just Feel like I can always communicate better. I think we can all communicate better, more clearly. I think that’s already good, but I think there’s always room for improvement.”

On Tuesday, Jenkins discussed how unhappy he has been over the past month amid rampant trade speculation. The 24-year-old offensive lineman admitted that he still doesn’t have the confidence to make it to the Bears in Week 1, even though he appears to have secured the starting right-back spot.

The Poles clarified this.

“No, I had a good talk with him and I told him how proud I was of him,” the Pole said when asked if Jenkins should be worried about a trade. “Again, I think it’s building the best five-man team. I think we have a good five-man team with him at the back. So, I think it’s good for us to have Tiven at the back right now.”

run back to philosophy

During training camp, Smith’s contract scene took up most of the oxygen in the room. But running back David Montgomery is also entering the final year of his trade.

Montgomery’s running style should be a good fit for offensive coordinator Luke Gacy’s wide-area offense. But in today’s NFL, giving a running back a big extension is despised.

The Poles are from Kansas City, and the Chiefs rely on a variety of running backs to carry the load.

“I love David,” the Pole said when asked about the Bears’ running back philosophy. “Had a different plan, just saw him approach that. He had a good start in preseason. But it’s really just that he got used to this new plan, the plan in that area, and just attacked it and kept being efficient, Consistency and reliability. I think that’s what we look for in every player.”
Montgomery has taken a business-first approach in upcoming contract negotiations, believing things will resolve themselves in Chicago or elsewhere.

reconstruction plan

With Fields’ development in focus this season, the Pole has heard criticism that he’s not doing enough to surround the second-year quarterback with the flair needed to provide the necessary leap.

The Pole is a disciplined general manager with a clear plan to get the Bears ready. He doesn’t overextend himself to be famous.

“Listen, when we built this thing, our goal was to try and surround him with the best talent we could,” Pole said. “But at the same time, I’ve never gotten in the way of us having to try and build an entire roster. I’m not going to overextend and do crazy things just to get a name or anything. Our approach has been consistent all the way to the draft, we Will continue to add talent on all fronts, to the best of our ability, it may not be a name or a name that everyone wants to hear, but we will cultivate those we are here.

“We’re going to keep trying to make (the receiving team) the best unit we can be. Mooney is playing right now. I’m excited for him. It’s going to help Justin. I’m excited for Cole (Kmet). I think our protection and our O-line had it before. Some guys were a little bit injured so it was hard to see everything. But when they came back, I was excited. I was excited that Velus (Jones Jr.) came in and played and became a Can do things differently and bring in the speed factor. I know to do this right away, it’s hard to do with some of the resources you have.

“So over time, we’re going to continue to do that. What we’ve been thinking about is getting our quarterbacks at their best.”

As far as Fields’ offseason development is concerned, the Pole likes what he sees from the quarterback’s improved footwork, technique and mentality.

“I think progress is being made,” the Poles said. “He looks comfortable. I think before, I talked about all of this again, his technique, his fundamentals and his feet, then the new offense, the new coach, the new system, a lot has happened physically. Things and mentally. So, I think as the preseason is over, and even practice, you can see things start to slow down, he reads defenses and pulls the trigger faster, and it’s really good to see him finish the game that way. cool.”

keep quinn

In an offseason when the Bears traded Khalil Mack and let other veterans go, the Pole opted to keep Robert Quinn, even though he has significant value on the trade market after a season of 18.5 sacks.

reason? The Poles think Quinn is the kind of player the Young Bears need in the locker room. A veteran of doing things the right way and leading by example.

“I’m a big fan of Robert Quinn,” the Pole said. “He’s been productive. One thing, not that Khalil isn’t, but for Robert, he brings an example of what Matt wants to see from his defense, which is relentless, high motivation. It’s That guy. Another leader in the room can show the way for young people. He does that very well.

“That’s the balance – I think, it’s a misunderstanding: tear it down and rebuild it. It’s not like that. The room still has a feel. How can you make a room better? How can you stay productive and win The game? I think he helps us in that.”

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