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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: GM deja vu? Bears fans hope not.

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
On the surface, new Bears general manager Ryan Poles carries many similarities to his predecessor Ryan Pace. But Poles might have actually arrived at the perfect time to take over at Halas Hall. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Ryan P. vs. Ryan P.
Ryan Poles. Ryan Pace. What’s the difference?
The Bears have been through these hiring processes so many times in recent years that even the new general managers are starting to blend together. Right now, Ryan Poles is just another guy named Ryan from a Super Bowl-winning franchise. To loyal Bears fans, Poles is the Bears’ new general manager. To Bears fans weary of trusting the process, he’s just the next one.
Bears critics have every right to be dubious about the hiring of the 36-year-old Poles, who has been with the Chiefs personnel department for 13 seasons, including executive director of player personnel in 2021.
Poles comes to Chicago with enough similarities to Pace that, on the face of it, he probably wouldn’t be the people’s choice. Poles has Patrick Mahomes on his resume just as Pace had Drew Brees. He has a Super Bowl ring on his finger just like Pace has one on his. He’s had a front-row seat to a wildly successful quarterback/coach pairing. After Pace tried to emulate that by hiring Matt Nagy to coach Mitch Trubisky, it’s fair to wonder what those connections — or anything on his resume — mean.
Poles is in charge now, something he has little experience with. Until last year, Poles’ highest position with the Chiefs was assistant director of player personnel.
Hiring a first-time, unproven general manager is a dicey proposition. But Poles might have one other thing going for him — timing. If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t return to the Packers, the NFC North will be up for grabs. The Vikings are still talented but going through their own regime change, with Kirk Cousins a shaky franchise quarterback. The Lions were 3-13-1 last season. Even if Rodgers’ returns, the Packers are $40 million over the salary cap and might be headed for rougher waters.
Timing is everything.
Ryan Poles’ timing might be just right
2. Trust the new guy
With more quality candidates than job openings around the NFL, there’s only one way Bears chairman George McCaskey can mess up his team’s search for a head coach: Handling it himself.
If he believes he found the right general manager in Ryan Poles after interviewing more than a dozen candidates, he should be supremely confident and comfortable with Poles choosing the next head coach.
Is Poles young? Of course. At 36, he’s one of the NFL’s youngest general managers.
Is he relatively inexperienced? Yes. He got promoted to director of college scouting for the Chiefs in 2016 and held the job of executive director of player personnel for seven months before the Bears hired him.
But if those factors didn’t preclude him from getting the top football job in the organization, they shouldn’t preclude him from having final say on the new coach. Poles will be judged primarily on his head-coaching hires and draft picks, and he deserves full freedom from McCaskey, Ted Phillips and Bill Polian to choose who he wants.
Best move for Bears: Stay out of Ryan Poles’ way in head-coaching search
3. Stay for a while
Two full weeks after starting his general manager search and less than 24 hours before he ended it, Bears chairman George McCaskey went to O’Hare International Airport on Monday night to pick up Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles.
McCaskey wore a Bears letterman’s jacket with a matching mask and, as seen in a video that went viral on social media, carried a sign as if he was a limo driver. The name on the sign: “Canandaigua,” Poles’ 10,000-person hometown in western New York.
McCaskey then made sure he didn’t put the 36-year-old back on the airplane, hiring Poles as the team’s next general manager Tuesday and ending the Bears’ GM search 15 days after firing Ryan Pace.
Poles is the first person of color to ever hold the Bears’ GM title. He’ll report directly to McCaskey.
“It’s an honor for me to join such a well-regarded organization,” Poles said in a statement. “Together with my family, I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running to help get this organization, its fanbase and the city what they deserve: a winning team and a Super Bowl trophy.”
His first order of business is to hire a head coach. Former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell was at Halas Hall on Tuesday. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus is set to interview Wednesday, per NFL Network; a source confirmed Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will, too.
This week wasn’t Poles’ first visit to Halas Hall. An offensive lineman who tore his Achilles tendon during his senior season at Boston College, Poles was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in May 2008. The Bears cut him at the end of training camp.
Ryan Poles hopes for a longer stay at Halas Hall
4. From the podcast
Patrick Finley, Jason Lieser and Mark Potash break down the Bears’ decision to hire Ryan Poles as general manager — and debate what it means for their head coaching search. LISTEN HERE.
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