George McCaskey’s inability to remember when the Chicago Bears were united with Bill Polian. But Polion’s impact on upcoming coach and GM discoveries is paramount now.


The revelation came Monday from Chicago Bears president George McCaskey.

Bill Polian was tabbed jump in the driver’s seat For upcoming coach and general manager searches. And, boy, was Halas the most important leader in the hall.


“Bill Polian,” McCaskey noted, “is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his success as a football executive, which includes the appointment of two head coaches, Marv Levy and Tony Dungy, who are themselves in the Hall of Fame. He is well known in league circles and has a lot of contacts. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have the Bills assisting us in our quest.”

Yet McCaskey also seemed to suffer from selective amnesia. He did not remember exactly when Polian joined the team.


“At some point during the season,” McCaskey said. “I can’t remember when.”

A little later, McCaskey is given another chance to jog his memory. Just “called him out of the blue,” he noted.

But especially when?


“Like I said, I don’t remember the exact time,” McCaskey said. “It was at some point during last season.”

It was at some point during last season, when he and team president and CEO Ted Phillips were troubled enough by the Bears’ on-field failures to seek outside advice on what to do with coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan. . Speed.

Polian was not the only independent advisor he reached out to. Given his leading role in the Nayi Khoj party, he is comfortable with making only one disclosure.


Yet Polian is not only looking for a new GM and a new coach. He was also influential in the franchise’s decision to pull the plug on the Paes-Nagy union. At some point in this season, Polian’s observation of the Bears’ struggles became important research, which McCaskey and Phillips used to conclude how to effect the season in the team’s fifth double-digit loss over the past eight years.

“We asked Bill to evaluate our GM and head coach and help us make the decision to retain or replace,” McCaskey said. “And if we did run into a replacement situation, (we asked him) to help us in our quest to find a replacement.”

This seemingly small disclosure—that the Polion was needed to help the bear maneuver behind the fork to “maintain or change” in the road—was notable for several reasons.

For starters, it was McCaskey’s latest admission that his confidence in his own football decision remains minimal – shocking for a leader going into his 12th season as chairman and now having the final say on the hiring of a general manager. Undertake regular performance reviews of GMs along with increased responsibility.

In a more damning quote on Monday, McCaskey offered this self-deprecating review of his credentials: “Well, I’m just a fan. I’m not a football evaluator.”

However, perhaps more troubling to at least a handful of people inside Halas Hall was the surprising revelation that Polian had been in the shadows for a large part of this season, valuing the team’s failures for the men who had He was called out of the blue. Help.

help Wanted

For Negi, who received almost no support from above during a five-game skid from mid-October to late November, it’s possible he may not have been so bright in his continued praise of their “open and honest” relationship. The superiors knew that another undercover football evaluator was judging everything.

A League source with connections to Halas Hall said that Nagy was never aware of – or at least never mentioned – Polion’s involvement. Not that it mattered much. With the direction of the Bears season in place, McCaskey and Phillips consulted with former Hall of Fame GMs such as Polian or the manager of the local Jewel-Osco and came to the same conclusion that Nagy should be fired.

Bears brain trust was having a more difficult time deciding what to do with Paes after seven seasons, with multiple league pipelines of information in December and January indicating that Paes may have a chance to stay in some capacity. Is.

Polian, however, provided input that helped Bear turn to the “Change” chapter on his own adventure.

Almost no one in the league has called that move wrong or unfair or even remotely premature. But there are some new questions about the trust factor within Halas Hall. Something was thrown into the building about whether Polion was overseen for the 2021 season, while also stating that neither McCaskey nor Phillips would have made such important decisions with confidence and without outside consultation. There was football knowledge to take.

And indeed, some have wondered, could Polian make a comprehensive assessment of Bear’s operations from afar without knowledge of the front-office power structure or understanding of the inner workings at Halas Hall? How complete could his assessment have been if he hadn’t spoken with people below McCaskey and Phillips—from executives to coaches to support staff?

No one has any idea where things go from here. But the impact of Polion is paramount now.

in the description

Monday’s move to break up with Nagy and Paes was widely praised by Bears fans at the time of the announcement. Yet at sunset, after McCaskey – and to a lesser extent Phillips – stumbled through an hour-long state team address, concerns about his lack of vision and direction were renewed.

For some with close ties to the franchise, a sense of embarrassment was replaced by a new depression with the infamous McCaskey-Phillips news conference of January 2021, an almost depressing acknowledgment that McCaskey’s football evaluations lack substance. And there is a necessary level of detail.

Sure, the Bears could find themselves a successful GM-coach pairing this month. Or they might not. The most unfortunate part is some people around the league, look at this next shot they are blindfolded taking little more than three-quarters of the court pile.

When McCaskey was asked directly on Monday how he analyzes whether a GM is successfully performing his duties, he said it would be largely based on wins, losses and playoff success. Which, of course, is a solid starting point. But even so many nuances are left to stop there and many important nuances are overlooked.

McCaskey offered a little more on what he saw on Monday to evaluate general managers.

“The number of difference makers and the number of quality players you have on your team,” he said, “the core of the team and how the team is put together are all factors that are considered.”

He even cited the contents of Polian’s 2021 book, “Super Bowl Blueprints,” which will guide him as he searches for new leaders this month.

Polian, McCaskey emphasizes, writes in his book “The decisions he made as a general manager were considered wildly unpopular at the time. But they eventually bore fruit, and if you’re convinced it was the most important thing for the Bears.” Well, then you have to be prepared and prepared to make an unpopular decision.

It was almost a warning for Bear fans to gear up.

‘What makes him think he’s going to fix it?’

The reveal of the Bears’ union with Polion has received mixed reviews. Polian’s credentials are undeniable during his 28 seasons as a league executive. First as general manager of the Buffalo Bills and later as the GM and president of the Indianapolis Colts, Polian helped guide his teams to six Super Bowl appearances, including the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI triumph over the Bears. .

But, opponents say that Polian was also fired by the Colts after a long 10 years ago, in which the team could not get much authority in the draft and owner Jim Irsay decided a change in management was necessary.

Polian’s pre-draft certainty as an analyst in 2018 that Lamar Jackson would be a better fit in the NFL as a receiver rather than a quarterback has been widely panned with suggestions that it is his contribution to the development of the game. Shows a lack of understanding.

A year before that, Polian introduced Chad Kelly as the most talented quarterback in the 2017 draft class, producing Patrick Mahomes, Deshan Watson, and even Mitch Trubisky.

Like any accomplished football evaluator, Polian is remembered with grand achievements.

The Bears have now empowered them to assist in their revival efforts by conducting their own search process.

After being hired, however, Polian will follow the same path that Ernie Accorsi took in 2015 after serving in a similar consulting role for the Bears. He will part ways with beer and be heartily thanked as he distances himself. Organization and such important decisions have no skin in the game and no consequences if they don’t work.

McCaskey, however, is confident the process will be solid.

“Disappointed Bears (fans) may be thinking, ‘What does he think he’s going to fix this time? he said on Monday. “Well, we are confident that with the experience we have gained, and the make-up of our search team, we will find a general manager and a head coach who will lead our beer to the success that all our beer fans deserve. . ”