Monday, April 22, 2024

Ryan Poles’ Bizzare Combine Interview Style Reportedly Has Hidden Agenda


Most NFL teams have similar approaches when they meet with draft prospects at the scouting combine. They get them for 15 minutes, grilling them with football or psychological-related questions. Some even enlist hard-nosed coaches to test players’ mental composure by peppering them with statements that could easily be taken as insults. One can understand why guys find the entire process exhausting. Ryan Poles knew this would be the case, so the Chicago Bears general manager decided to take a different approach.

Rather than sit guys in front of a group of coaches and scouts in a tense atmosphere, Poles opted to disarm them by having them choose a game to play. The Bears would set up a dart board and putt-putt golf green. The players and team representatives would then play while having conversations about various topics. Poles said one of the reasons he does this is to help the player relax, hopefully getting more genuine answers and a better gauge of their personality. However, he admitted to Larry Mayer of that there was a slight ulterior motive as well.

He wanted to see another side of them, too.

It’s a little bit for competitive energy, but the biggest thing is understanding that it’s a very intimidating process,” general manager Ryan Poles told “I mean, how many interviews in the world do you walk into a small room like that and not know what’s coming? It’s not your normal interview process. So really it’s just to let the guys relax and show their personalities and get to know them a little bit better.”…

…Last year the diversion worked just as Poles had anticipated.

“There were a couple guys that with some humor took it serious in terms of the competition part of it, either really didn’t like losing or they weren’t willing to stop until they won,” Poles said. “But again, it’s just really cool to see their personalities come out in activities like that.”

Ryan Poles understands the immense value of competitiveness.

People talk about Michael Jordan the athlete, leader, and clutch performer. Yet it was his competitive nature that made him such a legend in the eyes of teammates, coaches, and opponents. Jordan was notorious for getting upset when he lost at literally anything: basketball, golf, baseball, ping pong, poker, tossing coins against a wall, and so on. He often wouldn’t let guys leave a game in anything until he beat them. That is how obsessive he was about winning. This is the type of personality Poles wants to see from players. If they’re getting irritated about losing at darts or putt-putt, just imagine what they’d do to avoid losing a football game.

This is a great method of finding athletes who are entirely focused on winning. That is what Ryan Poles is ultimately out to do. If you want to win in the NFL, you must stock the roster with players who are obsessed with it. In their minds, not winning is the same as suffocating. One must give the Bears GM kudos for this approach. While it is hardly a fool-proof plan for finding great players, it is certainly a great way to help identify the ones who hate losing the most.

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Mar 2, 2024 5:01 pm

@blockwood9. I pretty much agree with you on everything. When you did your comparison, you forgot to mention Fumbles. : ) I will say that I still hope Justin can be the Man but truth be told, it’s unlikely. I think there’s a very good chance JF1 will be better than CW but that doesn’t mean either will be better than mediocre. I just hope Ryan Poles gets it right. As a side note, I crack up at how people throw the word Generational around. I remember 2-3 months before Mahomes was coming out, almost every draftnik was saying no… Read more »

Mar 2, 2024 4:37 pm

@Unluckyirishman76 @mbearest I know I am not alone in my reasoning, but ever since CW was brought up as the “generational” QB, AND I am bias in what I believe about JF, I have been looking at comparables in college, and measurables between the two. When I first read the scouting reports for both, the similarities of the report looked VERY similar, (cannon arm, ability to extend plays, holds the ball too long, and sacks), were what I remember. Then I looked at physical profile. Justin was bigger and faster. Time from snap to release? CW took longer. I also… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by blockwood9
Mar 2, 2024 10:58 am

@blockwood9, Well put. It’s pretty easy to work around the multiple “little issues” that keep popping up with CW. Logically, they can make sense but it’s the quips you mention that come with it that are hard to ignore. I’m gonna play devil’s advocate for a minute though and say arrogant. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…Mmm, it’s probably a duck. That said, If you look at all the points we’ve heard that Poles and flus look for; Height, competitive edge, dedication, Humility, Love of the game, WANT to be a… Read more »

Mar 2, 2024 7:12 am

I saw Williams interview. I prefer guys who feel like they something to prove.

Mar 2, 2024 6:25 am

Forget putt-putt and darts.

How has GM, Ryan Poles handled the “Justin Fields situation” (who is apparently a beloved teammate) from Jan. 25, 2022 — the day Poles arrived — to the present?

What do you think Chicago Bears players’ off-the-record perception is of Ryan Poles?

Team culture is never a product of mere words.

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