From the beginning, Ryan Poles has understood this is a process, a methodical grind to, in his words, “stair-step this thing” to where the Chicago Bears not only can experience meaningful success again but sustain it. Poles never has sought shortcuts or tried to unearth some secret potion that could magically revitalize one of the NFL’s worst rosters with a snap of the fingers.

Instead, Poles has adopted a brick-by-brick approach to rebuilding the Bears. Which is why he stood in front of an all-staff meeting before last season and handed out tiny blue Lego blocks emblazoned with the Bears name. Each block was a symbol of the philosophy the first-year general manager wanted everyone inside Halas Hall to embrace.

“I talked about the entire organization doing what it takes to stick together,” Poles explained in January. “Because I knew how important it was to build a foundation that was rock solid (where) this wasn’t on something that was shaky and that would fracture.”

Poles was excited by the immediate buy-in throughout the building and remained encouraged even as the Bears nosedived to a historically bad season in 2022. He had — and always will have — one eye looking to the future. And when a 3-14 campaign finished with 10 consecutive losses, Poles remained convinced the franchise’s rebound was about to begin.

“I know we are in a healthier situation now than we were before,” he said immediately after the season, “and we’re excited about where we’re going.”

Poles was particularly excited about where he was going — into an offseason with so much freedom and potential. With a sharp vision for how he intends to build everything back up, Poles felt ready and eager to embark on a journey of trades, free-agency signings and draft selections with confidence he could push the Bears first toward relevance, then toward true competitiveness and finally on to championship contention.

On Friday, by completing a much-anticipated trade with the Carolina Panthers for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, Poles added to his resource supply, acquiring a proven standout receiver in D.J. Moore plus, according to a league source, four additional draft picks.

The Bears agreed to move down eight spots in the first round while also snatching the No. 61 pick next month plus the Panthers’ first-round pick in 2024 and their second-round selection in 2025.

Fist pumps and chest bumps all around.

Justifiably, most of a hopeful Bears …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Column: Ryan Poles checked a big box on the Chicago Bears’ offseason list with his bold trade. Now comes the hard part.

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