It should never have been a surprise that Ryan Poles would want to make changes to the Chicago Bears scouting department when he took over. He already did that by hiring Ian Cunningham as their first-ever assistant GM and then bringing Terry Koziol over from Kansas City as their new co-director of player personnel. Mark Sadowski is out as college scouting director, while Tom Bradway became their new northeast area scout.
More moves were likely to come as Poles had promised to expand the department further. That finally arrived when the team website listed Ryan Weese as one of their new scouting assistants. This is an interesting hire. Weese is a former kicker that made his name at South Dakota. Even before his playing days were over, Weese got involved in scouting as a recruiting intern for Kansas. Then in 2018, he became a recruiting assistant at Rutgers.
Weese rose through the ranks rapidly.
He spent time as a player personnel analyst from 2019 to 2021 at Virginia before getting an NFL tryout as a training camp intern for the Kansas City Chiefs. That is undoubtedly where he and Ryan Poles connected. Though he didn’t get a permanent job there, he left an impression. Weese got a big opportunity as Director of On-Campus Recruiting for Montana State. One year later, he was promoted to General Manager for Football.
Think about that. In five years, Weese had gone from a kicker in 2017 to the GM of a college program. A remarkably rapid rise. It is possible Poles saw massive untapped potential and wanted to make sure he began to realize it in Chicago. These are the types of calculated risks GMs are expected to take. It is easy to hire guys with established names from other organizations. The best GMs are able to mine their own talent from the younger ranks. It will be interesting to see if Poles is eventually proven right.