Thursday, February 02, 2023

GM Ryan Poles: Riley Reiff helped set the tone


By Kevin Fishbain

Jan 11, 2023


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — General manager Ryan Poles took advice from a mentor to consider what success might look like if he ignored wins and losses.

That turned out to be important advice for the 2022 Bears season.

“It was really about the foundation that we built this year,” Poles said Tuesday at Halas Hall. “I was excited about that. I was excited about the progress that we made.

“I think two things can be true, too. I think you can be disappointed in the losses, right? That’s not what we’re here to do. It hurts. I joked early, it feels like part of your football soul gets ripped out when you got to do it over and over and over again. But the resilience that this organization showed was outstanding.”

The Bears went 3-14, setting franchise records for losses and with a 10-game losing streak. They also enter 2023 with the most salary-cap space in football, the No. 1 pick in the draft, and to Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus, a foundation.

Here are 10 takeaways from Tuesday’s news conference, looking ahead to what the Bears hope they can build on in 2023.


7. Return on investment in free agents

Poles also mentioned right tackle Riley Reiff as someone who helped set the tone.

“That guy did more than a lot of people think for that O-line room and the mentality,” Poles said. “When I first got here, I wasn’t fired up on how we protected the quarterback in terms of getting ’em off the ground and that attitude and that physicality. He’s a reason why we ran the ball so well. We finished. We had an attitude. We had an identity and that’s a lot because of guys like him.”

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