How Ryan Poles will evaluate Bears beyond wins, losses


The only way to truly evaluate an NFL team is by looking at their record. Wins and losses are always the bottom line, but when judging a team that’s not expected to win very much it’s not as instructive as it would be when judging a team with serious postseason ambitions. While the Bears will argue that they’re not writing off 2022 as a rebuilding year, not many people outside Halas Hall expect the team to do much winning this season.

So how do you evaluate a team when you remove wins and losses from the equation?

“Resilience,” said Ryan Poles.

The new Bears GM has been a part of Super Bowl teams, and teams that stay level when they’re met with challenges. To him, resilience is not just about how teams react to adversity, it’s how they approach it.

“Look at ‘What are the solutions?’ instead of just pointing at the problem and being negative with like, ‘Look at that! It’s not good,’” Poles said “No. ‘How are we going to fix it? So as an organization, as a team, as a locker room, as a staff, just being resilient through the ups and downs and just continuing to fight and have that arrow pointing up. That’s my response. That’s kind of how I feel.”

The new regime has already been met with adversity throughout the summer. Roquan Smith publicly expressed his extreme displeasure with how contract negotiations were conducted. Teven Jenkins was clearly unhappy with his early demotion on the line and the whirlwind of trade rumors that followed. Mid-summer additions on the offensive line and in the wide receiver room failed to pan outー Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield because they lost in straight-up competitions, and N’Keal Harry because he got hurt. But the regime has taken those challenges head-on. Smith and Matt Eberflus came up with a plan to get Smith back on the practice field. The Bears changed Jenkins’ position and Poles had a conversation with him to clear up any lingering bad vibes. The personnel hasn’t stopped trying to find solutions to their biggest areas of need, claiming Alex Leatherwood and Ihmir Smith-Marsette to continue bolstering the roster.

More challenges are ahead, and regular season challenges are different from the ones they’ve already tackled. How will they respond if Luke Getsy’s scheme doesn’t click on offense? What will happen if the team gets out to a slow start and the team starts tuning out H.I.T.S.? Will changes be made if their evaluations on potential foundational pieces like Nick Morrow and Lucas Patrick are off base? It’s too early to tell, but we know Poles will be watching.

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