Did the Bears get it right this time?
With new general manager Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus hired, a look at the Bears’ process and how the results might affect the Bears next season and beyond.
With new general manager Ryan Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus hired, a look at the Bears’ process and how the results might affect the Bears next season and beyond:
The Matt Eberflus hire was …
Kind of quick. It took Ryan Poles less than 48 hours to hire his first coach after he was hired as general manager on Jan. 25 —and it was a candidate who was interviewed four days before Poles’ first interview. Even if Poles had eyed Eberflus before he ever became a Bears candidate, it just doesn’t seem like Poles’ search was very wide-ranging.
The Ryan Poles hire was …
Kind of quick. The Bears had second interviews scheduled with Patriots scouting consultant Eliot Wolf and Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort, according to NFL Network, but apparently cancelled both after Poles’ second interview. It’s not unusual that team’s end the search when they find their guy. But the Bears don’t have a history of having that kind of intution.
Other than Poles and Eberflus, who would have been your picks?
But based on resumes and personal histories — without having the advantage of face-to-face interviews — I would have been interested in talking to Steelers vice president of football and business administration Omar Khan and Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
How will their hires affect Justin Fields?
It could give him the best chance to succeed if Poles stays true to his football background and makes the offensive line a priority. Fields needs better protection and a better running game to have a chance to reach his potential. As a defensive-minded coach with a prospect such as Fields, Eberflus surely knows the pressure is on to hire the best offensive coordinator around to nurture him.
What’s one thing Poles and Eberflus need to do differently than their predecessors?
Poles has to get the quarterback right and he’s already ahead of the game there — thanks to Ryan Pace — with Fields a better prospect than Mitch Trubisky.
Eberflus has to give the Bears an NFL-quality offense, which makes his first offensive coordinator hire absolutely critical.
What’s the best and worst thing about how the Bears handled this process?
The best thing they did was look at large pools of candidates who were interviewed by other teams — at least 13 general manager candidates and 10 coaching candidates.
The worst thing they did was run the searches too concurrently, with second coaching interviews set up before they hired a GM. The new GM should have been given more time to do a more comprehensive search for a coach.
It’s possible that with Bill Polian in the lead, the Bears found the right guy to find the right guy. But the Bears’ history says that is not likely.
What’s a best-case scenario for Poles and Eberflus in Year 1?
Aaron Rodgers leaves the Packers. Poles signs Roquan Smith to a long-term contract and Davante Adams in free agency. Eberflus puts the takeaway bite back in the defense and hires an offensive coordinator who brings out the best in Justin Fields — and the Bears go 11-6 and get a home playoff game.