Friday, June 14, 2024

NFL GM Says Bears Rebuild Eerily Mirrors Current Powerhouse


It has been an interesting week for the Chicago Bears. Things started with them shocking the NFL world by beating the pants off the New England Patriots 33-14 on Monday Night Football. It was the most complete performance this team has put together in years. Head coach Matt Eberflus and his staff got tons of credit for making it happen despite such a young and supposedly limited roster. Bill Belichick even stayed a few extra moments to offer his admiration for what Eberflus is building in Chicago.

That is as big a vote of confidence as anybody is likely to get. It turns out the future Hall of Famer isn’t the only one admiring the Bears’ overall process from a distance. Adam Hoge talked about Eberflus, GM Ryan Poles, and a lot of the decision-making over the past few months on the CHGO Bears Podcast. During the annual owners meetings, he managed to speak with another NFL general manager. Hoge asked for his thoughts on what the Bears had done. The answer he got was eye-opening.

Comparing this Chicago Bears regime to Buffalo isn’t crazy.

Think about it like this. The Bills hired a young GM in Brandon Beane, that had spent his entire scouting and personnel career with the same organization (Carolina Panthers), helping to build it from the basement into a regular playoff contender. Poles is a young GM that spent his entire scouting and personnel career with the same organization (Kansas City Chiefs), helping to build it from the basement to a regular playoff contender.

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Beane then hired a coach with philosophies he was familiar with. He’d worked with Sean McDermott in Carolina. The two knew and trusted each other. Poles got his first taste of the NFL in Chicago under Lovie Smith. He quickly gained respect for that style of culture. Eberflus comes from the same tree and has many of the same philosophies.

With the decision-makers in place, Beane and McDermott set about purging the roster of almost every sign from the previous regime. Six former draft picks were traded, including two 1st rounders (Marcell Dareus and Sammy Watkins) and two 2nd rounders (Reggie Ragland and Ronald Darby). Others, like Robert Woods, Stephon Gilmore, and E.J. Manuel, were allowed to leave in free agency.

Poles and Eberflus followed the exact blueprint.

More than two-thirds of the 2021 roster was jettisoned. Khalil Mack went to the Chargers. Robert Quinn has since gone to the Eagles. Akiem Hicks, James Daniels, Bilal Nicholas, Eddie Goldman, and Allen Robinson were either cut or allowed to leave as free agents. The message is the same in both cases. Losing teams don’t have many players worth keeping. It’s best to start fresh, build through the draft, and stockpile talent that fits the vision you’re trying to build.

Now Buffalo is the best team in football. With some time, there is a chance the Chicago Bears can get there too. It comes down to how well Poles and Eberflus execute their vision.


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Gator Joe
Oct 28, 2022 6:48 am

FA is a time to grab players you wish you would have drafted. If you draft properly you only need a few of them. Stefon Diggs is a prime example. He really helped solidify the Bills’ offense and he was a known quantity. No money wasted there. Taking a flyer on an injured guy like Pernell McPhee is just foolish. It starts with the patience to draft your own guys and the coaching to develop them. You can’t change coaches and schemes every 2-3 years and ever get it done.

Jim B
Oct 27, 2022 10:36 pm

Building through the draft is the best way. But you have to have a good front office and scouts that can evaluate talent for the draft. No GM is going to hit on every pick, but if they pick enough good players the team gets better. Free agency is at best to plug holes for the short term. Fans should keep in mind that free agents are for the most part older (more likely to get injured) and either couldnt be signed by the last eam (overly expensive) or were allowed to leave. Teams dont let good players leave most… Read more »

Ghost Tomahawk
Ghost Tomahawk
Oct 27, 2022 9:56 pm

The Bears need to hit on their top picks in this draft and get top end free agent talent. They really get 1 shot at this.

Oct 27, 2022 4:42 pm

I love how every time I see an article refer to the Bills being the best team in football all the Eagles fans come out and say "well we are the only undefeated team so we are better".

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