Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ryan Poles Reveals Montez Sweat Played A Role In Keenan Allen Trade


GM Ryan Poles went into the 2024 off-season with a clear goal in mind. He was finding a new quarterback. After trading Justin Fields to Pittsburgh, the focus shifted to the incoming draft class. After extensive research on all the top prospects, the Chicago Bears scouting department agreed that USC’s Caleb Williams was the guy. However, the job didn’t end there. Poles also had to figure out how to lay the foundation for the QB’s eventual arrival. The key to developing that position is giving them a strong infrastructure.

It started with the hire of Shane Waldron as offensive coordinator. He’d had three productive seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, during which he got two good years out of former journeyman Geno Smith. Next came personnel. By far, the most hyped move was Poles’ decision to trade a 4th round pick to Los Angeles for six-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen. The proven track record spoke for itself. Giving a young quarterback an established star like that can only lead to good things. Poles had a few reasons for making that deal, but he told Dan Graziano of ESPN what gave him the most confidence to pull the trigger.

That was the trade for Montez Sweat.

Poles said he keeps a “decision log” in which he records every decision he has made since becoming the Bears GM and what he’s learned from it. An example, he says, is what kind of impact a good, respected veteran at a key position can have on the rest of the roster.

When we added Montez, there was a different feel to our defense,” Poles said of the 2023 trade for Sweat. “I didn’t realize the impact it can have when you have a dude at a premium position like that. Other players’ confidence and swagger changed once they had a dude up front. And just the accountability, guys don’t want to let down a guy like that.”

Poles also said his approach to this past offseason changed once the franchise decided it would be picking QB Caleb Williams first overall and moving on from Justin Fields. In fact, he made the trade for receiver Keenan Allen with the new starting quarterback in mind.

“Because of how he plays the game, how much wisdom he has, how quarterback-friendly he is,” Poles said. “You look at what he did for Justin Herbert in his rookie season. All of that played a role in deciding to pursue that particular player to help a rookie quarterback.”

Ryan Poles appreciated how a proven vet impacts a locker room.

Sweat was a far different animal from Chase Claypool the year before. He’d already established himself as one of the best defensive ends in football. Not only that, but several reports insisted Sweat was an outstanding locker room presence. Lots of people inside Washington’s building weren’t happy when the news of the trade dropped. His impact was almost immediate. The defense became one of the NFL’s toughest over the final nine games, with more than 20 points only twice. Chicago went 5-4 in that stretch.

Allen is the same way. He has a proven track record and is coming off one of his best seasons. He also brings tons of experience working with elite quarterbacks, first with Philip Rivers and then with Justin Herbert. There is no telling what kind of knowledge he can pass on to Williams as he begins his own journey. Ryan Poles saw the benefits right away, even if it meant only keeping the receiver for one season. Don’t be shocked if his influence is felt on the Bears offense from the jump.

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Jun 16, 2024 10:23 am

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”

Carl Sandburg

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 15, 2024 5:09 pm

Tim… you are so correct; somethings are just too petty to create conflict. Did I detect, surprisingly, some evolutionist thought? If the sun does not come up tomorrow, it would make life even less relevant than it is now. But truth is only relevant to some humans, and we see that every day. Most humans on the planet do not have the luxury of caring for the truth. If the sun continues to rise every morning, then we should hope for the Bears to finally evolve to a higher plane before the sun stops rising; just for the selfish fun… Read more »

Jun 15, 2024 3:58 pm

Sometimes truth is irrelevant. The fact that the sun comes up tomorrow is most probably true, but irrelevant. Whether we get or want or are playing the sign and release after one season game with hopes to get compensatory picks or counting on them is irrelevant. Arguing about this is as valuable as arguing that while the aforementioned sun may rise tomorrow, the cloud cover may make it invisible. Who cares? The warmth of that sun sustains us. The players you signed may sustain us as well whether they generate a compensatory pick or not. Why the argument even arises… Read more »

Jun 15, 2024 1:46 pm

@BearDownTX — In your apparent haste to criticize my views on the effective intergration of “compensatory picks” into the Bears ongoing rebuild, you seem to have misconstrued the sentiments of Lance Zierlein and the words of SI’s Gene Chamberlain — and mischaracterized their words and thoughts as mine. My post was merely a response to one posted by @jim Jones (notice the quotation marks and the credit given to the source: Gene Chamberlain). Mr. Jones misstated the chances of receiving a 3rd-round compensatory pick in the Keenan Allen transaction. And now, you have entered the party with a proclamation involving… Read more »

Jun 15, 2024 11:55 am

Point to one thing I’ve written that is not true.

I’ll be waiting. . .

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