Ryan Poles Took A Slight Dig At Ryan Pace In New Interview

It was clear from the outset that Ryan Poles had little respect for what his predecessor Ryan Pace had built as Chicago Bears GM over the past several years. While many felt the team was maybe a few players away from playoff contention, Polish saw an aging, overpriced roster spinning its wheels. They were nowhere close to competing for a Super Bowl. So with the blessing of George McCaskey and ownership, he tore everything down. Veteran players like Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Robert Quinn, and James Daniels were shown the door. Polish intended to build the team his way.

Since then, the GM hasn’t made any comments that could be considered disparaging of Pace. That isn’t who Polish is. By all accounts, he’s a classy guy who is well-liked by almost everybody. However, he did let a little of his displeasure show in a recent interview with Albert Breer of the MMQB. When discussing his decision to trade the #1 overall pick to Carolina, he admits that one of the primary driving forces was trying to recover from several of the poor decisions made by Pace.

“After doing the research with my analytics group, I really wanted it to be a situation where this helps us now, but also helps us down the road,” Poles said. “Obviously, adding uptick in 2023 was critical, but I also want premium picks, or what could be premium picks in ’24 and ’25, just to continue to add draft capital down the road. That was important, again, just to continue to make up for some of the trades that the organization did beforeto try to find a quarterback and continue to add good players in this draft.”

Ryan Poles’ philosophy flies in contrast to Pace.

One of the main criticisms of the former Bears GM was his aggressive mentality. He habitually took big swings on trades every year, freely giving away future draft capital in the attempts. Between 2015 and 2021, Pace gave up a future 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round pick no fewer than five times. Some of those picks became players like Alvin Kamara, Fred Warner, Mecole Hardman, Josh Jacobs, Evan Neal, and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Only two of the five players Pace traded to remain on the roster.

That is not a sustainable way of team-building in Ryan Poles’ eyes. Being aggressive isn’t bad, but only if it’s done in moderation. Competent teams curb their free agent spending and focus on drafting and developing their own players. If a trade opportunity comes up that fits the vision, then do it. That is why Polishing works tirelessly to stockpile picks. He finished with 11 in 2022. Now he has ten in 2023. That is more than Pace had in his first three drafts combined. Recklessness will not be the buzzword for this new regime.

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