Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles has been a popular general manager candidate during the 2022 hiring cycle in the NFL. That popularity has seemingly paid off, as he is honing in on a potential promotion with two different NFL teams.
Poles is the general manager candidate the Minnesota Vikings want to hire, according to Matthew Collar of Purple Insider. However, whether the Vikings get Poles may depend on if he gets a better offer with the Chicago Bears, per Collar. The Bears have scheduled a second interview with Poles sometime before the Conference Championships, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
Poles, who is in his third year as Kansas City’s executive director of player personnel, was also a finalist for the New York Giants’ GM job during the 2022 hiring cycle. However, the team opted to select Joe Schoen for that position instead.
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Poles a Tenured Member of Chiefs
Poles, 36, started as a player personnel assistant for the Chiefs in 2009. He followed that up with three seasons as the college scouting administrator. In 2013, Poles became the team’s college scouting administrator, a position he held for four years. He spent 2017 as KC’s director of college scouting and was promoted to his current role in 2018.
In 2021, Poles was a finalist for the Carolina Panthers general manager job. But he lost to Scott Fitterer for the role. Poles’ ability to quickly climb the ranks looks to continue this offseason, as he’s bound to become a general manager before February begins.
Chiefs Need 2 Wins to Reach 2022 Super Bowl
In order to make a third-straight Super Bowl appearance, the Chiefs need to win two more playoff games. That means they need to beat the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Kansas City played Buffalo already this season, losing 38-20 on October 10. In that game, Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Patrick Mahomes threw for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and also had two interceptions.
“Listen, [the Bills] got after us. So, we know it’s a great challenge and they’re a great team,” head coach Andy Reid explained during his press conference on Monday, January 17. “So, we’re going to go through the process of getting ourselves ready to play. We’ll take it day by day, and as coaches, we’ll try to get the players good stuff to work with, and I know the players and their attitude, they love that part of it, and they’ll work hard to better themselves so we can have a good game.”
What can be taken away from the October 10 Chiefs-Bills matchup is that Kansas City was a very different football team back then. The Chiefs’ defense hadn’t turned things around yet, and the offense wasn’t comfortable with its new identity. But that’s not the case anymore, which was evident against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild-Card Round.
Chiefs, Bills Dominate Wild-Card Round
Against the Steelers, Mahomes set career-highs in completions (30) and yards (404) for a single postseason game, according to Pro Football Reference. He also threw five touchdowns, which ties his career-high in the playoffs through eight career games. Kansas City’s offense overall totaled 478 yards and turned the ball over just one time.
Buffalo beat the New England Patriots 47-17 on Wild-Card Weekend. Allen completed 21-of-25 pass attempts for 308 yards and five touchdowns. Buffalo’s offense averaged 8.9 yards per play, and the defense gave up just 216 yards through the air and forced Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones into throwing two interceptions.
“They’re scary with the weapons they have. Every time we game plan, we say who we have to take away. This particular team, if you put too much attention to one guy, they’ve got so many other people that can beat you,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said of the Bills during his press conference on Thursday, January 20.
“You bring up a really good point about [Josh] Allen running the football. I think that’ll just be part of it. I don’t think they’ll get away from it, but when they’ve been handing the ball off to 26 [Devin Singletary] and 20 [Zack Moss] and they’re churning out yards, that makes them that much more dangerous.”
If the Chiefs beat the Bills, then they will advance to the AFC Championship Game and will face the Cincinnati Bengals, who beat the Tennessee Titans 19-16 in their Divisional Round matchup on Saturday, January 22.
Kansas City will host Buffalo on GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, January 23, at 5:30 p.m. Arrowhead time.