LAKE FOREST – What occurred on Monday at Halas Hall is something that the organization and fans have seen more than they probably would have liked over the past few years.
That’s the introduction of a general manager and a head coach for the Bears as the team once again is trying to find the right pairing of their football leadership to end the 36-year championship drought.
Ryan Poles will be leading the front office while Matt Eberflus will do so on the field starting in 2022, taking over for Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy after their tenure ended just after the 2021 season. Each is in their job for the first time having been discovered by the team’s five-person search committee that ended up interviewing 13 general manager candidates and 10 head coaching candidates.
“Tough, gritty, smart, opportunistic, winners,” are the characteristics that chairman George McCaskey pointed out as reasons that both were hired last week.
Poles was the first of the two hired, and according to McCaskey, it was a consensus choice by the search committee as the former executive director of player personnel to the Chiefs gets the chance to run a front office for the first time.
He emphasized the desire for the team to build in the draft while being selective in the free agent market while using analytics to find those players that can help bring the Bears a consistent winner.
“We’re going to consistently put players in position to succeed,” said Poles. “The last thing, the most important piece, is we’re going to take the north and never give it back.”
Like Poles, Eberflus is taking over as a head coach for the first time in his career, doing so after spending his entire career as a defensive assistant or coordinator. The last four seasons he was in Indianapolis, helping the Colts to a pair of playoff appearances with a turnover-heavy defense.
During his news conference, Eberflus did his best to convey his desire for a fast, aggressive team, even bringing out his “H.I.T.S.” acronym during his discussion with the media.
“We will play at a high tempo, a high effort, attacking, physical style built upon speed, quickness, and explosive athletic ability,” said Eberflus.
One thing he did make clear is the Bears will run a 4-3 defense primarily, which is a change from the 3-4 which the team ran consistently since defensive coordinator Vic Fangio arrived in 2015. It was his successor’s style as well, as both Chuck Pagano and Sean Desai ran the 3-4 as well.