Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles presented a poised and unified picture of the franchise on Thursday less than 24 hours after a bizarre news cycle blended with rumors hinted at a complete unraveling of the 0-2 team.
“To hit it straight on, we have adversity right now,” Poles said of the state of the Bears, who visit the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
“To make it really, really clear, I know the outside noise — but no one in our building is panicking, no one is flinching at any situations. Not our owner, not our president, not our head coach, not myself. None of our players. Everyone’s focused on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a be a better team.”
Poles clarified those issues don’t involve any FBI search or operative stings, as was reported Wednesday before defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned citing “health and family” concerns.
“I don’t have many details to add there. Halas Hall being raided is completely false. Don’t know where that came from. We’ve worked with Kevin (Warren, team president) and George (McCaskey) and all our leadership to make sure we were handling it the right way, and everything concluded yesterday.”
Head coach Matt Eberflus, formerly defensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, will call defensive plays.
“Got a ton of faith in Flus. He’s a leader. He’s done a great job. And then as a defensive play-caller as well, got a ton of faith there,” Poles said.
There are obvious and undeniable concerns from Warren, Poles and Eberflus around the staggered start from quarterback Justin Fields and Chicago’s offense. The Bears have four turnovers and four touchdowns in two games, losses to the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which they were outscored 65-37.
Fields, asked Wednesday to explain his statement that he was thinking too much and needed to play free, said “it could be coaching.” He apologized to coaches when some media reports claimed he said only “coaching,” without what Fields felt was proper context. Fields then held a brief post-practice session with media at Halas Hall to further explain he wants the blame for “everything.”
Poles said at present, Fields is learning how to rely on the new level of talent around him — No. 1 wide receiver DJ Moore, for example — and letting go of his habit of making every play himself.
“Now he gets talent around him and has to figure and balance when to do those cool things athletically, when to lean on others,” Poles said. “And that is sometimes a gray place to live in, and that takes time.”
–Field Level Media