Issue No.2-Did Ryan Poles overestimated the talent he put together?
I recently wrote on the importance of coaching in the NFL coaching. As other teams with less talent and those who have been hit hard by injuries continue to find ways to win, the Bears seem to be an outlier under Matt Eberflus. As we witnessed against the Detroit Lions last week, the Bears blew a 12-point lead with about four minutes left in the game, only to lose thanks to a coaching decision that was borderline cowardly.
While it is easy to point the finger at Matt Eberflus and his staff, Poles must answer questions about how he assembled the roster entering this season. He can sell turning the first overall selection into a massive haul, including wide receiver DJ Moore, and likely another first overall selection in the 2024 Draft that he can parlay for an even bigger return if he decides to move out again.
He also spent tons of money signing guard Nate Davis, linebackers TJ Edwards and Tremaine Edwards, and nose tackle Andrew Billings, among others, to bolster a roster that he stripped down and had barely any talent left on the roster by the end of the 2022 season. Poles said he has filled about 75-80% entering this season, but you wonder if he did enough.
For example, Center has become such as an embarrassment with veteran Cody Whitehair neither able to snap the ball nor block and was finally relegated to the bench. Barring an injury, you will never see him play another game. Meanwhile, his replacement, Lucas Patrick has shown to be a liability as well with penalties. He could have addressed it in the draft, but he chose not to. And the Bears paid a price for overestimating both Whitehair and Patrick.
And while Edwards have been a terrific addition, Edmonds, who was a more high profile signing, has been somewhat of a disappointment especially with his tackling. And Davis has been in and out of the lineup due to deal with a death of family member and an ankle injury, causing so much instability on the offensive line.
If Warren wants to nitpick, he can also ask Poles why the Bears signed defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi, whose contract was terminated when he was not medically cleared by the Bears medical staff, yet he is starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers too. Why did this happened and who is at fault here?
Even if Ryan Poles is brought back as the general manager, Warren must determine some of the mishaps Poles have made in his personnel decisions. Was he and Matt Eberflus on the same page in regards to the roster building and identifying talent both in pro and college scouting? Or were they in cahoots to move on from Justin Fields by not going all the way with addressing them because they did not draft him and determined to draft either Caleb Williams or Drake Maye?
Whatever the excuse or the ulterior motivates behind it, Warren must grill Poles about why this team stands at 3-8 despite the roster upgrade.