On Sunday night, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl in franchise history. The game was marred by a play that has created controversy and led to calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s removal from office.
The “nfl” is the National Football League. The “We’re Going to Take the North and Never Give It Back” is a slogan that was used in the 1800s by George Washington.
In his debut appearance as general manager of the Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles decided to go all out.
If you’re going to do anything, do it big. That seems to be Poles’ mindset as he attempts to resurrect a once-legendary franchise.
He’s not only wanting to dethrone the Green Bay Packers, but he’s also aiming to seize control of the NFC North, and he’s in it for the long haul.
Matt Nagy’s tenure with the Chicago Bears is coming to an end.
During a preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills, a detail of a Chicago Bears helmet is visible lying on a cooler | Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
It’s a new age in Chicago football, and a fresh start is required after the previous several seasons.
Matt Nagy got off to a good start with the Bears, winning the division and guiding them to the playoffs. The “double-doink” heard ’round the globe signaled the start of Nagy’s demise. He didn’t realize it at the time, but after the second doink, things went bad.
Nagy had a 12-4 record in his first season before dropping 8-8 in his second and third seasons. The Bears entered the playoffs in 2020 thanks to a weak NFC, but they were swiftly eliminated in the Wild Card Round, falling 20-9 to the New Orleans Saints.
After two disappointing seasons in a row, the Bears released Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall selection in 2017, and invested another first-round choice in a quarterback. This time, it was Ohio State’s Justin Fields, whom Chicago selected with the 11th overall choice in 2021.
Fields had the physical ability to play from the start, but Nagy elected to slow him down for the most of the season in favor of Andy Dalton. When Fields finally got on the field, Nagy, the so-called “offensive genius,” gave him no favors in terms of play-calling, effectively hanging him out to dry.
For most of the season, the fields seemed shell-shocked. Nagy squandered his locker room and then some.
The Bears concluded the season with a 6-11 record in 2021. Nagy was said to be on his way out by Thanksgiving. That, along with the fact that the whole city of Chicago was demanding for him to be fired, resulted in a speedy departure at the end of the season. Ryan Pace, the general manager, followed him out the door.
The Bears must now begin the process all over again.
In his first news conference, Ryan Poles came out swinging.
Ryan Poles is signed as an undrafted free agent by the Chicago Bears in 2008.
2022: Ryan Poles joins the Chicago Bears as the team’s new general manager. pic.twitter.com/JBi8x9L8nt
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 26, 2022
If there’s one thing we know about Poles after his debut press conference in Chicago, it’s that he’s not afraid to take risks. He also seems to have a clear vision, which he’ll need if he’s going to lead Chicago back to the promised land. Keep in mind that this team hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1985.
“We’re going to work our way through the draft.” According to NFL.com, Poles said, “We’re going to get young, quick, and physical football guys.” “In free agency, we’re going to be selective, and we’re going to link assessment and value.” We’ll take a rigorous approach to addressing our flaws. We’re going to retain a high level of self-awareness. We’ll tackle difficulties via open communication and transparency, and we’ll continually put athletes in the best possible position to succeed.”
That seems like a wonderful strategy, but none of it will matter if the Bears are still unable to win a meaningful game. Poles, it turns out, has a plan for it, or at the very least, a solid talking point for it.
Winning Super Bowls is the ultimate goal for any NFL team, including Chicago’s. However, you must first take care of business in your own division, something the Bears haven’t done since 2018. Since 2010, they’ve only won the NFC North twice.
Poles and their new head coach, Matt Eberflus, will have to rectify that.
“The final and most crucial aspect,” Poles added, “is that we’re going to capture the North and never give it back.”
Poles has sent a message to the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur in action during a Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears NFL game | Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
“In order to be the guy, you have to defeat the man,” Ric Flair famously declared.
The Packers, who have won the NFC North three years in a row under head coach Matt LaFleur, are “the guy” in this case. Poles, Eberflus, and the Bears have won the division eight times since 2010, and 12 times since the turn of the century, so it stands to reason that if they want to “win the North and never give it back,” they’ll have to go through their bitter rivals.
Green Bay, fortunately for Chicago, is in disarray.
Following their own sad playoff defeat, the Packers are facing at a 2022 offseason in which they will be over $50 million over the cap due to many important players approaching free agency. Davante Adams is at the top of that list, and if the Packers don’t franchise him, he’ll likely be sold or released in free agency.
Green Bay is likewise in uncertainty as Aaron Rodgers considers his options for the future. He may retire, but that seems improbable now that Tom Brady has retired. He might want a trade, which has been reported for the last two offseasons. He might possibly choose to return to Green Bay, but his salary alone could put the Packers in jeopardy as they attempt to re-sign key players and keep their Super Bowl window open.
If Rodgers isn’t in Green Bay in 2022 and beyond, the division will be wide open. Jordan Love is an unknown quantity, and the Packers would be in the unusual situation of not having a franchise quarterback for the first time since Brett Favre took over in 1992.
The Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of their own reconstruction, while the Detroit Lions are, well, the Detroit Lions. Surprisingly, there’s reason to assume that if Rodgers isn’t a cheesehead in 2022, Detroit will be the most consistent club in the division, which tells a lot about how tight the competition will be.
Of course, the Packers aren’t going to slink away if Rodgers doesn’t return. After all, love may be good, and if they do deal Rodgers, they’ll have a plethora of assets with which to work. Holding on to power with draft assets, a strong offensive line, and a shockingly decent defense isn’t half awful. And if he (the bad guy) returns, the Packers are practically certain to make the playoffs at the very least. They might still be Super Bowl candidates, depending on how they handle their cap issue.
Poles and the Bears’ possible rise to the top of the NFC North will have to pass through Green Bay, no matter how you slice it. To be the Packers, they have to show they can defeat the Packers, as disgusting as that may seem to Chicago supporters.
Poles can work on the “not giving up” portion after he gets there, but he and the Bears have a long way to go until they get there.
ESPN and Pro Football Reference provided the statistics. Spotrac provides contract information.
- ryan poles
- ryan poles wikipedia
- rules of acquisition