The Bears have their new executive leader.
Chicago is hiring Chiefs executive of player personnel Ryan Poles as its next general manager, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday.
The Bears later announced the hiring on Tuesday evening.
"We are thrilled to be able to add someone of Ryan's background and football expertise to our organization," Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. "His accomplishments with the Chiefs speak for themselves and amplified the team's standing as one of the premier franchises in professional sports. We are confident that under his leadership, we will reach our goal of bringing a Super Bowl championship to Chicago."
The 36-year-old Poles joins the Bears after spending the last 13 seasons in Kansas City, where he began as a player personnel assistant in 2009 before becoming assistant director of player personnel in 2018 and eventually rising to the rank of his current position in 2021. He needed just one year in the role to get an even better promotion elsewhere.
"I am extremely grateful to George, the McCaskey family and the rest of the Bears organization for this opportunity," Poles said in a statement. "The Chicago Bears are one of the flagship franchises in the National Football League and are recognized as one of the most prestigious clubs in all of sports. It's an honor for me to join such a well-regarded organization. Together with my family, I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running to help get this organization, its fanbase and the city what they deserve: a winning team and a Super Bowl trophy."
A former offensive tackle at Boston College, Poles began his off-field career as soon as his collegiate career was finished, joining the BC staff as a recruiting assistant in 2008. He'll now attempt to recruit talent to a Chicago team in need of quality additions to surround first-round quarterback Justin Fields.
Poles' job begins with first selecting a head coach. Chicago is already in the process of narrowing down its list of head coaching candidates, working to schedule a second interview with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn for the opening, per Rapoport. Quinn is among three known finalists, with Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and former Lions and Colts head coach Jim Caldwell rounding out the trio, Rapoport reported.
From there, Poles will need to improve a Bears offensive line that allowed its three quarterbacks (Fields, Andy Dalton and Nick Foles) to get sacked 58 times. From there, the Bears will need to sort out its situation at receiver. Chicago needs to first determine whether it wants/is able to retain veteran receiver Allen Robinson, who is currently headed to free agency in March. If the Bears are moving on from Robinson, they'll need to add a legitimate second option opposite promising youngster Darnell Mooney in order to help Fields succeed.
Chicago's choice of head coach will play a big role in turning around an offense that finished 24th in total yards per game. The Bears still have positions to fill and many more questions to answer, but they've at least solved one atop their executive ranks. The work continues in the Windy City.