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Ryan Poles Highlights: Matt Eberflus Impressions, Bears GM on Restructuring Plan

Lake Forest-Bears General Manager Ryan Pauls and Assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham spoke to the media at Harras Hall on Thursday to outline the outlook for the franchise ahead of Week 1.

For over 20 minutes, Pauls touched on everything from Justin Fields’ development, to his impressions of head coach Matt Everfuls, to the organizational philosophy of the rebuild project.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Thursday will likely be the Poles’ last chance to speak until the end of the season.

Here’s what I learned from my 25 minutes with the Bears general manager.

Love for Eberflus, Measuring First Year Success

A big smile appeared on Paul’s face when asked about his impressions of Everflus during his first offseason as head coach.

“I love that man,” said Pauls. “For example, attending meetings…First of all, he is detailed and organized in his schedule and everything, and he has people around him to help him organize. His message is clear, no grey, scope.

“When he goes to a team meeting and stands in front of the players, he goes wild. But it’s not fluff, it’s not fake. It’s real. And you can feel the energy he has. Players. We love it. I love it. I’m so excited about his leadership and how he will lead this team.”

Kudos to Eberflus aside, Pauls understands that the Bears, who are on the ground floor of a rebuild, may have to judge success differently than their true competitors this fall.

But how do you measure the success of a team destined for the top with seven wins?

“Interesting. I don’t remember when, but given the wins and losses, how do you measure success?” Paul said. “What is success? And my answer was resilience. It’s the team… again, I’m on teams, Super Bowl teams, and teams in between, and teams that can just stay.” Level up and see “What’s the solution?” Instead of just pointing out the problem and being negative like, “Look at that! It’s not good.” No, how do you fix it?

“As an organization, as a team, as a locker room, as a staff, keep fighting through the ups and downs and keep pointing the arrow upwards. That was my reaction. That’s how I feel.”

The Bears in 2022 need resilience. But if they left the Week 18 game against the Minnesota Vikings, found a head coach at Everflus, and a quarterback at Fields, the season would have been a success regardless of record.

Lessons learned from my first offseason as GM

Paul’s first six months with the Bears were not without challenges.

From Roquan Smith’s signing drama to Teven Jenkins’ trade speculation, Poles learned a lot in his first offseason as general manager. Pauls feels that communication with Smith and Jenkins has gone well, but admits that there is always room for improvement in preparation for the next turbulence.

“I want to pay attention to people’s emotions. It’s real,” Pauls said. “I also think I do a good enough job of putting myself in their shoes and understanding why their emotions are there. But I also think I can always communicate better.” I think we can all communicate better and be more clear. I think that’s pretty good, but I think there’s always room for improvement.

On Tuesday, Jenkins spoke about how unhappy he’s been over the past month amid rampant trade speculation.The 24-year-old offensive lineman has landed the starting right guard job. He admitted that he was still unsure if he could be a bear in week one, even though it seemed like it would.

Paul cleared it.

Asked if Jenkins should worry about the trade, Pauls said, “No, I had a good conversation with him. I told him how proud I was of him.” But I think it’s about building a best 5. I think we’ve got a good 5 with him on guard, so I think it’s good for us to have Teven on guard right now. increase.”

Running back philosophy

Smith’s contract drama took up most of the oxygen in the room during training camp.

Montgomery’s running style should fit perfectly with offensive coordinator Luke Getzie’s wide zone attack. But in today’s NFL, giving running backs expensive overtime is looked down upon.

Paul comes from Kansas City, where the Chiefs have relied on various running backs to carry their load.

When asked about the Bears’ philosophy on running backs, Pauls said, “I love David.” Off to a great start..but really he fits into that new scheme, that zone scheme, attacks it, is productive, consistent and reliable..that’s what we look for in every player That’s it.”
Montgomery has taken a business-first approach to upcoming contract negotiations and believes things will work out in Chicago and elsewhere.

reconstruction plan

With the focus on Fields’ development this season, Pauls has heard criticism that he didn’t have enough talent to surround the second-year quarterback with the necessary leap forward.

Poles is a disciplined GM with a clear plan to get Bears right. He doesn’t put himself out there just to get his name out there.

“Listen, when we were building this, the goal was to have it surround him with the best talent we could,” Pauls said. We’ve never bothered to try to make a whole thing, we’re not going to go overboard or do crazy things to get a name or something, our approach is consistent. Throughout the draft. We will continue to add talent as we can. It may not be a name or a name that everyone wants to hear, but we are going to develop players.

“We will continue to fight to make it (the receiving corps) the best unit we can. Mooney is hitting the ball now. I’m excited for him. It will help Justin. I Kmet). I think we got our protection and our O-line earlier. Some guys are a little hollow and it’s hard to see everything. I’m excited about it when it comes in. Velus (Jones Jr.) coming in and playing and being a factor that can do different things and bring speed. We understand that it is difficult with some of the resources you have.

“So as time goes on, we’ll continue to do that. It’s always been on our minds to put quarterbacks in the best possible situation.”

As far as Fields’ offseason growth goes, Pauls likes what he sees from the quarterback’s improved footwork, mechanics, and mindset.

“I think we’re making progress,” Pauls said. “He looked comfortable. I think we’ve talked about his technique before, his fundamentals, his feet, and a lot of physical stuff going on: new offense, new coach, new system. So when the preseason was over and we were practicing, things started to slow down and I thought you could see him reading the defense faster and pulling the trigger. It was really cool to see.

keep a quinn

In the offseason, when the Bears traded Khalil Mack and let go of other veterans, Pauls decided not to keep Robert Quinn, even though he was a big value in the trade market after a season of 18.5 sacks. Selected.

cause? Pauls thinks Quinn is the type of player the young Bears need in the locker room. A veteran who can do things right and set an example.

“I’m a huge Robert Quinn fan,” Pauls said. “He’s been productive. One thing, that’s not to say Khalil wasn’t, but for Robert, he’s relentless and high-motor, so I want Matt to see it from his defense. That’s the guy. Another leader in the room who can show young people the way. And he’s doing a really great job with that.

“This is the balance — I think this is a misconception: tear this down and rebuild everything. Can you keep up and win. I think he can help you with that.”

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