General manager Ryan Poles spoke with Jeff Joniak Sunday on the Bears pregame radio show on WBBM Newsradio 780 AM and 105.9 FM. The following is a transcript of Poles' comments:
Congrats on a terrific win, the performance in Foxborough. That was a three-phase performance, the most complete game. Not many teams win on the road in that building. That could do wonders for this team.
You hope a win like that brings confidence and allows guys to play freely, to have fun and really start to put this thing together and trend in the right direction. And anytime you have a three-phase game where all phases are clicking together, it can be special. And for me moving forward, it's about consistency. So I'm looking forward to how we respond and play against Dallas.
And that would go for Justin Fields as well, a terrific performance.
Yeah, great performance. Obviously, we know about the athlete, [but] I thought we did a great job putting him in a position to succeed. He did that. And obviously the arm talent showed up as well.
Alright, it's been no confusion at all what the identity of this team is. Usually you get the questions for coach, 'Hey, what's the identity?' This was stamped when you guys got hired. It's a running football team first, builds the passing game off of it. Number one in the league at Week 8. How do you feel about that, because you put it out in the universe from the moment you got hired?
First thing that comes to mind is just the buy-in of the team in the locker room. They've done a heck of a job doing that and we found our identity pretty quickly. To be the number one rushing team at this point is an outstanding accomplishment and we hope we can continue to do that.
So you already spoke on the challenge and the difficulty of dealing Robert Quinn to Philadelphia. How has the locker room responded, your leaders, and what does this mean for the Bears in the future?
Yeah, obviously, as I mentioned at the press conference, I know how much he meant to the locker room. And I knew that it would be a little bit of a hit to them, which you hate seeing. But there's a business side of this where I have to make sure we're doing the best for the team moving forward as well. But I thought that guys responded well, we had a good day, a couple of days of practice, high energy. As I mentioned, [Trevis] Gipson, [Al-Quadin] Muhammad, [Dominique] Robinson, [Kingsley] Jonathan, those guys are ready to go and take on that role.
Interesting listening to Dominique Robinson and also Trevis, they feel like that you have their back in a sense that you trust them to continue their development. So they're looking at this as opportunity.
Yeah, they should see it as an opportunity and that door has been open. And now we get to see them go through it and flourish. And I know they will, and I'm excited to see them play.
Okay, by my count, you've got 10 draft picks for 2023, as of right now, including five in the first four rounds, [plus] a hearty amount of cap space. Fans are gonna jump all over that. Everybody's got to take a little bit of a deep breath on this. What would be your message to everybody about this, because you want this to be a draft-driven franchise?
Yeah, we definitely want to be draft-driven. I think there's a combination of things of taking care of the guys that are on the roster right now, but also being selective to make sure we're bringing the right people into this organization to help us to win and move forward. So we're going to be strategic about it. It's not going to be a crazy spending spree. We're going to be selective to make sure it's the right guys because we've got to be right.
Well, it looks like you got them right in the second round this year. [Kyler] Gordon and [Jaquan] Brisker are really playing well. They're playing well together in the secondary, growing through their ups and downs. Overall, what is your perspective on what they've done to this point?
Yeah, I'm proud of the whole draft class really. They've shown—one of the traits that we look for, my scouts look for when they go out is being resilient. We know this game is so hard at the NFL level, there's elite athletes every single week and they've shown that. How do you go through adversity and have the ups and downs and continue to get better and not get discouraged? And what you saw was some beautiful flashes by both of those guys. We're encouraged by it. We're happy for them.
This Cowboys team you're going to be playing here, 39 draft picks on that roster. So a lot of homegrown [talent], re-signings, undrafted guys, [they've] dabbled in free agency. It's kind of reflective of what you hope to be.
I've always believed in building through the draft and being selective in free agency and that's what we're gonna be. Dallas is a team that's stuck to that as well. A lot of good teams have, so we're hoping that we can get to that level at some point too.