As Ryan Poles begins Year 2 as the Chicago Bears GM, he has a new collaborator in Kevin Warren for a crucial offseason

When the Chicago Bears narrowed their search for a new president and CEO, general manager Ryan Poles sat down for conversations with the finalists to evaluate how they would work and communicate with one another.

In Kevin Warren, Poles found someone with an impressive background and presence who values people and shows humility in his everyone-contributes approach to working toward a championship. Poles saw a leader who shares his mentality on how to build sustained success through the draft and selective free-agent signings.

And Poles saw someone whose breadth of NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings can aid the second-year GM as he dives into a crucial offseason.

“There’s a ton of knowledge there that’s going to help us,” Poles told reporters at Halas Hall last week after the Bears introduced Warren. “Everyone’s got blind spots, and when you have someone from a different background that’s been through a couple different organizations, they can give you a little bit of information if maybe there’s (something) that you didn’t see. Challenging you on your decisions to make sure you’re making sound decisions.

“He’s been through a bunch of those tough decisions and just bouncing those off (him) will help both of us.”

As Poles marks one year as Bears GM on Wednesday, the big, tough decisions are only beginning.

One of his biggest accomplishments during a 3-14 season in 2022 was building hope — also fueled, of course, by quarterback Justin Fields’ strides.

Poles brought in some promising rookies in safety Jaquan Brisker, cornerback Kyler Gordon, offensive tackle Braxton Jones and linebacker Jack Sanborn. He cut ties with many of former GM Ryan Pace’s prized acquisitions and he spent frugally in free agency to help give the Bears the most salary-cap space in the league heading into the offseason.

Now Poles has the No. 1 draft pick along with a pick in each of the second and third rounds, two each in the fourth and fifth and a seventh-round pick. He has a boatload of cash to spend.

And he has a new boss who is talking about championships and who was drawn to the job because of “the opportunity to create greatness” in the Bears’ pursuit of both a new stadium and on-field success.

“We’re at a point in time with the Chicago Bears that the things we do over these next couple of years — just like the Big Ten — I want people in 20, 30, 40, 50 years talking about them,” said Warren, the Big Ten commissioner the last three years. “You look at the ‘85 Bears. They’re still talking about it. You look at ‘The Greatest Show on Turf.’ They still talk about that. Big Ten Conference, our media rights deal and expansion, they’re going to be talking about that.

“So the thing that energizes me the most is the stuff we’re going to do that 50 years from now they’re going to be talking about. To have that opportunity with this fan base and this city is amazing.”

So how exactly …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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