Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Ryan Poles Reveals Wild Secret On Handling The Immense Draft Pressure


One of the things people have noticed about Ryan Poles since he became Chicago Bears GM is how incredibly calm he’s able to stay through the ups and downs of his job. NFL people call it the highs and lows. A better way to describe it is the chaos. General managers have to juggle so many responsibilities. Many believe they’re ready for the job when they finally get it. Far too many of them realize they’re in way over their heads, leading to bad decision after bad decision. Poles understood this after watching three different men handle the job during his long stint in Kansas City.

He also knew Chicago would be a different animal. It’s a larger city with a much larger fan base. Fans are also known for being particularly vocal about their team. If you don’t perform, they will let you hear about it. That can be a ton of pressure for any man, especially if you make mistakes. Yet Poles, to his credit, has never once seemed rattled or panicked. He’s navigated the stormy waters and now has the Bears on the cusp of returning to playoff contention. Is he just that impervious? Not exactly. Poles has a secret, according to Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic.

Poles has met regularly with a sports psychologist. As the job has evolved, and the decisions take on greater significance, those conversations evolve, too.

“The biggest thing is just kind of quieting my mind,” he said. “Which is tough because part of what I think helps me do a pretty good job is you’re always going through all these different scenarios in your mind. If this doesn’t work, if this doesn’t work, we’re going to go to the next thing and the next thing.

“You always have these like four different, five different layers, but you’re always constantly sitting there dwelling on what could go wrong. And I think that can be a very stressful place to be. So managing that’s probably the biggest thing.”

Ryan Poles is still a human being.

That is something Bears fans must keep in mind. Being the GM is a high-pressure job. Letting the criticism get to you and second-guessing yourself can be so easy. Poles deserves a lot of credit for recognizing that advice from a professional can be helpful. Many men in his position would be too proud to admit they need help. Sports psychologists have played a key role in football for many years. The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s famously used one to help them identify the types of players they felt they needed to build a winner.

Other organizations soon caught on and did the same.

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A smart person uses every resource at their disposal to make himself and the team better. Ryan Poles has always said he plans to do that. He’s made his share of mistakes, from the Larry Ogunjobi fiasco to the Chase Claypool trade. Such mistakes would’ve snowballed into even more with previous Bears GMs. Poles seemed to shrug them off, kept grinding, and got his team to a point where most around the NFL see them as ascending. This 2024 NFL draft could be the final jolt they need. It is vital he not overthink things. Keep calm and stay focused.


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Apr 2, 2024 5:19 pm

Barry.. it matters because teams just go to zone coverage and keep Fields in the pocket, and turn him into a bottom 5 QB immediately. The running ability is great, and very exciting at times… but when teams learn that’s all u can really do, and u can’t beat them with your arm, you see the results we always see with Fields when he faces a decent D. Which is not good. It’s a moot point tho. He’s gone. And he’s gone for a reason. Time to look to the future my friend.

Apr 2, 2024 5:02 pm

@Sam I was referring to his ability to repeatedly break huge running plays against man. It really shouldn’t matter if a QB is productive throwing the ball or rushing it, as long as the production is consistent.

Apr 2, 2024 4:09 pm

Barry.. most teams stopped playing man coverage against Fields because of his running ability (in zone coverage the D can look at the QB a lot more) and because he is absolutely awful in reading zone schemes. Saying he “absolutely torched” literally any type of coverage tho is an extreme overstatement. He had one game in his entire career of 300+ passing yards. So um not sure he was doing too much of “torching” anyone when it came to passing the ball.

Apr 2, 2024 3:13 pm

@citizen34 I guess I’m just fundamentally opposed to the argument that a defense can keep an athletic QB in the pocket whenever they want to, and that there’s never an offensive counter to those schemes. Skilled, well-coached offensive teams can move the pocket when they want to, and Fields performed well last year when he got space on the outside. Why Getsy didn’t call more of that is beyond me. Teams just stopped playing base man coverage altogether against Fields because he was absolutely torching them. Why couldn’t Getsy figure out how to create an advantage off of that very… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by barry_mccockiner
Apr 2, 2024 2:49 pm

Pink nails on a chalkboard coming for you, Jordan Love.

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