Honesty? In football? That’s crazy talk.

Bears GM Ryan Poles always speaks in a straightforward manner, which is a rarity in the NFL.

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Bears general manager Ryan Poles.

“I just think approaching it with truth and transparency is the way, especially for our great fan base to kinda understand what we’re thinking,” Bears GM Ryan Poles said.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Lying season in the NFL has come to a close, and the Bears have walked away with the league’s greatest truth-teller, Ryan Poles. In my years of covering the league, I haven’t seen an executive in the sport be as honest as Poles has been on the record. Sure, a team exec might text you some info, call you or even tell you face-to-face something that is contradictory to what they’ve said publicly, but those exchanges are usually ‘‘off the record’’ or ‘‘on background.’’

Poles’ penchant for honesty has been difficult to adjust to. Perhaps 20 years of covering this league has left me jaded, but I’m enjoying watching Poles be so open about personnel and strategy. Most general managers — and definitely their coaches — hold on to that information like it’s Gollum’s ‘‘Precious.’’ What has happened with Poles has been refreshing.

Last week, Poles jumped on the radio show with me and Dan Bernstein. In the 20-minute interview, we touched on a lot of subjects, which Poles gave good answers to, but I wanted to understand why he was so willing to discuss the Bears locally and nationally throughout the draft process. For weeks, it seemed as though Poles was everywhere, spreading the gospel of how the Bears do business.

‘‘It’s just the way I’ve kind of always been,’’ Poles said. ‘‘You know there’s a time and place where there’s family business that you can’t share, but I think it’s important to go through the thought process.’’

That’s encouraging to hear. Football as a sport looks simple to the naked eye, but there are all sorts of intricacies on and off the field that complicate things. Salary-cap ramifications are not always easy to explain. I often lean on experts to help me understand exactly how much money the Bears have to spend and why they have to do it in a specific way.

On the field, watching Gervon Dexter’s tape and realizing that the Bears drafted a player who was playing in a ‘‘2-Gap’’ defense even though the Bears play a ‘‘1-Gap’’ defense and how that translates already may have made your eyes glaze over. The systems and jargon can be intimidating.

So far in his tenure, Poles has been willing to meet Bears fans halfway

‘‘I just think approaching it with truth and transparency is the way, especially for our great fan base to kind of understand what we’re thinking,’’ Poles said.

‘‘There’s going to be times when I’m going to be right and I’ll be happy about that, and there’s going to be times when I’m wrong and I’m going to have to own it for what it is.’’

This is so antithetical to what we’re used to. The spy games of football in general and the NFL in particular have become standard operating procedure. It’s so common that we hardly bat an eye when a coach or exec serves up cliched answers to pertinent questions. We’ve been operating under the assumption that everyone isn’t being forthcoming, which is why the time between the end of the college season and the draft has been dubbed ‘‘lying season.’’

Poles isn’t going to tell us everything on his mind, and I don’t expect him to. But in this interview, he left enough breadcrumbs to let you know he didn’t think the Bears’ locker room was in a place to absorb Jalen Carter and the baggage he might carry onto a team. I don’t know if that was the right decision, but I do appreciate that Poles wasn’t afraid to give the public a sincere answer about why he didn’t make the move. Everyone gets to be on the same page, and that’s a good thing.

‘‘It’s just the way I operate,’’ Poles said.

League sources continue to tell me this isn’t an act; it’s who Poles is. If his ability to scout matches the earnestness with which he talks about his choices, then Bears fans are in good hands. It seems as though I’ll have to do some unlearning when it comes to him. Hopefully it’s all true because I’d like to live in a space where I simply can be skeptical instead of defaulting to cynical.

You can hear Laurence W. Holmes talk Chicago sports Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to
2 p.m. on 670 The Score with Dan Bernstein.

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