For the most part, GM’s are a dime a dozen. There are very bad GM’s like say Phil Emery who we’re just overmatched in contracts and the draft. As well, there are some excellent ones that build perennial contenders, most of which have a stable Pro Bowl quarterback, but I digress. The best example would be John Schneider of Seahawks who not only landed the QB spot with a just a 3rd round choice, but had the ultimate lottery ticket payout with Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor much later in the draft. Drop in a dose of Earl Thomas (but not Earl Thomas’ brother), AND the right scheme for those players, you get yourself a few Super Bowl appearances.
The other like 80% of GM’s are really coin flip guys. Fans debate the pros and cons unti lthe cows come home, but clearly winning is the goal. (which is helped vastly by high level QB play.) Sometimes GM’s have one skill, but are not apt at others. Maybe teams got bit with injuries, or they had bad drafts. Or maybe they have good drafts, or they had an older roster that was really talented, and then it crashed (think post Lovie Bears). A lot of times the stars don’t align, or they align in pieces. Either way, GM’s have a vast array of responsiblities that go unnoticed. It takes the right one, at the right time.
“But his name is Ryan! And…and…the other guys name was Ryan, TOO!”
Thanks to all of the surefire internet sleuths doing their best Hardy Boys impression…..Indeed, the former and current GM have the same first name. “Truly fascitnating”, as David Attenborough would say. We get it there are lots of parallel’s, but some stark differences too. Both served for over a decade with one franchise, and whereas the Saints were straight Loomis/Payton/Brees, the Chiefs saw a couple regimes come and go while maintinging solid success before the Pat Mahomes Alien landed. It is very understandle that any connections to Kansas City thanks to Matt Nagy are uncomfortable and get a reptile brain reaction, but everyone from actual football nerds to basic casuals could figure out he was a fraud. That’s Andy Reid’s show on Sunday afternoons, and the football world knows it.
Your peers know how good you are, or aren’t. No one else’s opinion is valid.
Sometimes I tell the kids in the school, “You shouldn’t have to tell people how good you are at something. If you’re good at it, people will let you know.” When it comes to Ryan Poles, to quote ole Donny 45 “Many people have said this, believe me!” Former GM’s, obviously his old Chiefs network, have all waxed poetic about his potential, but it depends on who said it. I know that has to be said about any hire, but when other guys in your industry who know exactly what you do, think that you might be better at it in the big seat, that’s a huge compliemnt.
If I want to know how good Michael Jordan was, (and I hear he was pretty nifty with the basket sports!) I’m not gonna ask Twitter bot troll named Braxton or Tyler, I’m going to ask an actual NBA player, who literally played against him. They have a perspective millions and millions of people don’t. And again, it’s late at night and I’ve been on the Twitter relentlesly this week for once, if my anecdotal evidence isn’t enough, I’m sure googling might get you some more direct quotes.
What does Poles being to the table, without taking anything off of it?
One aspect Pace did well at was finding defensive linemen. Was it because he played D line in college at ole Eastern Illinois? (Shout out Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton, Tony Romo, gang gang.) I’d wager a guess that he might have had an eye for what he wanted in that posotion. Poles as an offensive linemen in a major conference, and at least got a free agent sniff, which is more than 85% of college players get. I wonder what he would be fairly decent at? Former chiefs bosses said he was instrumental in helping to improve their O-line.
This is me going on a limb, but I bet he was a key cog in drafting Creed Humphrey, who looks like a future Pro Bowl center. If he knows what butters his bread, it’s gonna be a downhill run game with Monty and a steady dose of Khalil Herbert (bless up to Tarik Cohen’s corpse), with some easy play action for Fields’ patented downfield shots, almost like…almost like the Rams do! Also, it would prevent him Fields from attempting to analyze downfield like it’s a Jackson Pollock paiting of coverages, and just let him play. But what do I know, I’m just a JV Coach.
Poles has plenty to prove obviously, and we can’t rush him after his second day on the job. He has so many choices coming up soon, like whether to indulge more in analytics, structure the scouting department, etc. I think he understands the locker room, and hell the fan base is fractured from Nagy, and I’m sure there is so much more than meets the eye on that regime. Poles recognizies the Bears still have a good culture, solid vets with up and coming players. The Bears are the Lions or Jaguars, just bereft of talent and wandering aimlessly, but sometimes it seems like it could tilt that way. Here’s to a damn good decade.