Confirmed: Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey actually drove a Honda Accord to O’Hare International Airport on the night of Jan. 24. The finalist for The position of general manager of the team His aim was high as he maneuvered Bessie Coleman’s way.
“I parked the car in the (airport) garage,” McCasci admitted Monday. “White Sox level. Three dollars for the city.”
Wearing a Beers Letterman jacket and a Beers face mask, he then met Ryan Pauls near the baggage claim area in Terminal 1.
“I wanted to show him that we care,” McCaskey explained. “I wanted him and me to have the opportunity to talk face to face.”
The Poles added, “And then he offered to take my bags.”
Then they went, hitting the gas in a relationship that both men believed would help steer the Bears out of the NFL wilderness and back to the top. as soon as possible.
McAskie asked the Poles that night if he wanted to check out the Bears facilities at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. The Poles did. And so the duo switched from the nearby hotel where the Poles were staying and began an impromptu private tour of 1920 Football Drive.
The next day, after a personal interview on the same grounds, McAskie asked the Poles to be the team’s new general manager. He accepts.
Then the Poles set out to complete a quest for training – for him Look for training – and within 48 hours he extended an offer to Indianapolis Colts defense coordinator Matt Ebervloss.
“The moment he walked across the room, I knew it was the man,” Paul said.
Welcome to the family.
“I said that to Ryan, ‘Hey, we should be like brothers,'” Eberfluss said. “He said, ‘I don’t have a brother.’ I told him, ‘Well, you do now.'”
Monday marked the culmination of a grueling and eventful month for the Bears, who finished their 6-11 season on January 9 in Minnesota, fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy the following day, then went through a two-week search. The grand opening press conference ended in the Hall of George “Cups” Halas.
Well, “grand” is probably a very strong adjective. Mostly because this franchisee has become very accustomed to giving these types of presentations. Now they are just part of the routine. Under McAskie, Bears introduced Phil Emery as new general manager in 2012, Mark Triestman as new coach in 2013, Pace as general manager and John Fox as coach in 2015 and Nagy as coach in 2018.
Thus, it is understandable if a growing segment of the fan base is guarding its optimism about the latest changes, taking a wait-and-see approach. Not only are the demands to “prove it” growing, they are essential as the Poles and Ebervells take office and unite a vision to save an NFL charter franchise from decades of mediocrity.
“Ryan Pauls and Matt Ebervloss both have the qualities we look for in our team,” McCasci said Monday. “Cruel. Brave. Intelligent. Opportunistic. Winners.”
Despite the excitement that was seeping inside Halas Hall on Monday, the many mistakes the Bears have made over the years have earned them a high level of scrutiny in every move they make and every promise they make.
Paul and Eberlus may not understand the dynamic yet, and they certainly are not responsible for it. But as an organization, the Bears have to regain the edge of the skepticism.
After all, the confidence that McCasky expressed in Poles on Monday sounded all too familiar.
“I was impressed by Ryan’s intelligence and confidence, his straightforward approach and his plan to get the bears back together,” he said.
Seven years ago, about halfway inside Halas Hall, the president of Beers highlighted the similar qualities he so admired in Pace when he became the new general manager.
“His intelligence. His intensity. His plan. His analysis and analytical ability and his assessment of our list. He gave us a good, convincing, and succinct assessment of our list.”
In the end, none of that was much, at least in terms of translating into a top-level NFL achievement. The Bears went 12-4 and won the NFC North in 2018, but that was the only Pace winning season in seven years in the business. They lost 67 times and did not win a playoff match. (They haven’t won a playoff with Nagy, Fox, Trestman, or Emery either.)
So why, then, is anyone in the outside world clinging to McAskie’s confidence this time around when he starts working with GM’s fourth and fifth as his coach?
“Every experience has its benefits,” McCasci said. “We hope you learn from the experiences, both positive and negative.”
It’s no one’s fault, but gatherings like Monday tend to get a little more typical. So it was no surprise that there were some enthusiastic statements. The Poles, for example, gave aspiring T-shirt makers their first chance to start working on ideas when he sent a confident warning to the rest of the Bears division.
“We will take the North and we will never bring it back,” he said.
Meanwhile, Eberfels not only introduced a foundational acronym, HITS – for hustle, intensity, fast food and situational intelligence – but also emphasized his goal of encouraging, inspiring and challenging his new players.
“You have to have that kind of heart and mindset to be able to challenge these guys,” he said. “Push them to places they can’t go themselves.”
The Poles talked about building a team through the draft, matching offensive and defensive systems with players’ skill sets. Eberflus stressed the need for the bears to become more explosive.
The Poles promised to run a front office guided by communication and frankness. Eberlus warned his new players to be prepared for exposure to gas.
“Put your track shoes on,” he said. “Because we run.”
An order like this might not immediately like Ebervilus for his troops. But for the new coach, it’s a symbolic way of making the team need a big improvement to understand the importance of testing and extend its boundaries.
“These are the basics of the game, the basics of the game,” Eberfluss said. “So if you’re talking about 1920 or you’re talking about 2022, these (things) are not going to change. The premium is on maximum effort. You never know how good your football team is until you play with maximum effort.”
“hungry to fix this”
The truth is, the bears need to raise their standards and redefine what counts as a meaningful achievement. Out of the gates, Paul and Eberlus seem to agree with that assessment, openly acknowledging the amount of work that awaits them to put together a team that can enjoy continued success.
Eberflus talked about using 2022 to create a foundation, a cement casting process that comes before a more significant building can be built.
“It’s going to take a while,” Eberfels said. “And then we’ll start building our house. When you build a house — that’s player acquisition and that’s skill level — it starts to go up. But you can’t win the championship without the foundational pieces there.”
The Poles stressed the importance of seeing through clear eyes and honestly determining where the bears are and where they need to go.
“We all want quick results,” he said. “There are shortcuts at every turn when making a list. But it’s[about]discipline and doing things the right way. And it’s hard because we all want championships now. And we’ll aim for that. But we have to do smart things to build a list and not things that will take us to where we want to be.” We go.”
Through this lens, patience and discipline must always be present to balance passion.
“At the end of the day, we want to create a core group of guys that we’ve drafted,” Poles said. “They know how to work and we know all about them. Because once you get out of the building over and over again (to acquire talent), you don’t have all the answers. And you don’t know what these other players are all about.
“She trusts your eyes, your process, your analytics, and the people she has hired. This is crucial to being disciplined and not starting to waver.”
Later on Monday afternoon, in a moment of reflection inside the PNC Center in Halas Hall, the Poles reflected on his trip to Chicago a week earlier and the text he received from McCasky before takeoff. The Poles already had a car service waiting for him to arrive, but McCasky was enthusiastically offering to lift.
The Poles eagerly took up the offer.
“I said, ‘I’d rather you take me.’ Because we both know the point is to build a relationship and get to know each other better through this impulse.” “We had a great conversation during the flight and got to know each other on a little bit deeper level. It means a lot to me.”
As someone who prides himself on understanding people and building strong relationships, the Poles recognized something appealing in McCaski’s approach and described him as “dedicated, passionate, and hungry to get this right.”
When he finished the interview the next day, feelings exploded inside him.
He said, “I almost cried.” “Because it means a lot. I’ve been through a few different interviews (with other teams) now. And that was unique.”
Now comes the hard part, the challenge of upgrading the Bears organization and creating a team that can consistently compete for championships and position themselves in the playoffs. A first-time GM and a first-time coach united, and they began plotting a plan.
The absolute hope is that the upcoming introductory press conference in Halas will be postponed for a long time.