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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: Scouting out the future

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
The Bears haven’t revealed about their plans during the NFL Scouting Combine, other than lots of changes are coming. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Under scrutiny
Bears general manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus have been running the team for about a month, and they’ve consistently mentioned that players will get a fresh start under the new administration.
That usually carries a positive connotation, but it cuts both ways. Poles said he needs to “fix the roster,” and its many flaws are why this job was open in the first place. So giving everyone a fresh start also means many players, especially those with enormous contracts, must prove they should be part of the future he’s designing.
“You see it for what it is,” Poles said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “The bias and opinions from the past don’t water down your evaluations. You see it for what the tape is telling you.”
That sets the table for what will surely be some difficult conversations as Poles tries to correct the mistakes that got predecessor Ryan Pace fired.
Bears GM Ryan Poles, coach Matt Eberflus promise change. That’s also a warning.
2. No restrictions
Matt Eberflus has been the Bears’ coach for barely more than a month, and he’s already off to a better start than former coach Matt Nagy.
We’re a long way from seeing whether this works out, but the foundation is sturdy and sensible, thanks to Eberflus raiding his former team as he put together his coaching staff with the Bears.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich didn’t give him any trouble about poaching defensive coordinator Alan Williams, linebackers coach Dave Borgonzi, defensive backs coach James Rowe and assistant defensive backs coach David Overstreet, which will be incredibly helpful as Eberflus implements his system.
Consider how sound this operation is compared to the way Nagy began his Bears tenure in 2018, when the Chiefs barred him from taking anyone with him. With coach Andy Reid overseeing the offense, he wasn’t about to let Nagy strip away his best assistants.
Bears coach Matt Eberflus already off to better start than predecessor Matt Nagy
3. Seeking a go-to partner
Ryan Poles is looking ahead for the best ways to turn Justin Fields into the quarterback the Bears believe he can be, but he’s also looking backward.
He has spent part of his five weeks on the job studying what has helped second-year quarterbacks become successful.
The answer: A second-year QB needs a best friend to throw to when times get tough.
“It’s the dependability piece,” he said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Sometimes it can be a slot receiver; sometimes it can be a second tight end; it can be a big [receiver] outside. 
“There’s just a relationship piece that they can go to that they trust, that they work with all offseason, that they get that connection with. . . . It’s almost like they get battled out with that guy. I think that’s important.”
Fields’ former Ohio State teammates, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, might be the perfect players to fill that role. But both receivers are likely to be long gone before the Bears’ first pick in the NFL Draft.
Next up in Justin Fields’ growth: Bears getting him a ‘dependability piece’
4. In other news
5. From the podcast
Our Patrick Finley and Jason Lieser sat down with new Bears general manager Ryan Poles at the NFL Scouting Combine. Then they discussed how the salary cap will affect the team’s moves with guest Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus and Over the Cap. LISTEN HERE.
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