Before he was hired to be the general manager of the Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles was a hot commodity around the rest of the NFL.
One of Hughes’ redacted sources revealed Poles is a fan of Justin Fields, and noted the second-year quarterback is a primary reason Poles chose Chicago over Minnesota.
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Poles ‘Thinks Fields Can Be His Guy’
Hughes was told that Poles wanted to try his luck with Fields instead of working with current Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. Here’s what Hughes heard about the situation, which he shared in his July 19 column:
“They will evaluate Fields like they would any young player, and that evaluation started the second they walked into the building. Ryan could have taken the Minnesota job, convinced them to move on from Kirk, which wouldn’t have been that hard, and drafted his own quarterback next year in a great quarterback class. He didn’t. He thinks Fields can be his guy. I agree with him. But he has the luxury of being able to move on from Fields too.”
If Poles didn’t believe in Fields, he likely would’ve chose the Vikings job, as Minnesota had far more draft picks, including a first-round selection, in the 2022 draft. The Bears had just five draft picks (none in Round 1) when Poles was hired in January. The Vikings are also set to have solid draft capital in 2023, so it seems clear Poles sees great potential in Fields.
It also appears Poles is willing to move on from Fields if the 23-year-old QB shows he isn’t the team’s future at the position.
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Use of Fields in 2021 ‘Nonsensical,’ GM Candidate Says
Hughes also reported that one candidate who interviewed for the Bears GM job couldn’t believe how badly the team and former head coach Matt Nagy utilized Fields during his rookie campaign in 2021.
The erstwhile candidate for Chicago’s GM job called the team’s use of Fields “nonsensical.”
“One of our pro personnel guys recommended we throw out his rookie year and start over with him in September. I think bears fans would be wise to do the same,” the GM candidate said about Fields, per Hughes.
In his 10 starts last year, Fields completed 58.9 % of his passes for 1,870 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions, also rushing for 420 yards and two scores (stats via Pro Football Reference). In his excellent breakdown of each of Fields’ 10 picks, Quinten Krzysko of On Tap Sports Net deduced about half of the interceptions the young QB threw were his own fault. If Poles and company can put Fields in better positions this year, that alone should help the young QB improve.