Bears general manager Poles believes the team can work its way out of its current troubles
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — After 12 straight losses, the Chicago Bears are firmly entrenched in crisis mode.
From general manager Ryan Poles to coach Matt Eberflus and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, Sunday's game at Super Bowl champion Kansas City has to seem like a respite from the team's problems.
“First and foremost, to hit it straight on, we have adversity right now,” Poles said Thursday. “Slow start, 0-2, not where you want to be.
“We’ve dealt with life issues. We’ve dealt with injuries and that’s all real and that’s part of what we do and what we’ve got to deal with.”
Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned Wednesday after an unexplained week away from the team and quarterback Justin Fields suggested he is being overcoached into being robotic, before later softening his comments.
All the while, the Bears haven’t won since last Oct. 24.
It’s safe to say more was expected from Poles and Eberflus in their second seasons after they had the most cash of any team to spend in free agency and owned the first pick in the draft.
“Everyone is focusing on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a better football team,” Poles said. “And Flus and I were talking about it last night. We’ve both been through slow starts, rough starts and got things back on track in our background — him in Indy, I think it was 2018, myself in Kansas City in 2015.
“So, sometimes you have these and you gotta fight through it and figure out how you can be a better football team. Got a ton of faith in Flus as a leader. He’s done a great job. And then as a defensive play-caller as well, got a ton of faith there.”
An 0-2 start is one thing. The Bears' circumstances are altogether different.
Eberflus is the defensive play-caller because of Williams’ resignation, which he said was for family and health reasons. The team isn't explaining the situation other than to say rumors that police raided Halas Hall or were called there in regards to Williams were false.
“Don’t even know where that came from,” Poles said. “Worked with (team president) Kevin (Warren) and (owner) George (McCaskey), all of our leadership, to make sure we were handling it the right way, communicating properly, and obviously everything concluded yesterday.”
The issue of Fields’ sharp comments about being overcoached bothered Poles and Getsy no more than they had Eberflus.
“I can’t be more clear than this: No one in our entire building, none of our coaches see Justin as a finger-pointer at all,” Poles said. “That kid is always taking ownership of anything that has happened on the field. He takes it head on.”
The Bears' offensive coordinator said he had spoken with his QB about issues on the field prior to his comments to the media.
“We always reflect on what we talk about together, always,” Getsy said. “That will never change. It always has been and always will be.”
Getsy said Fields was caught “off guard” by how his initial comments on Wednesday were interpreted.
“I think you saw his passion and reaction when we got back in from the practice field, and how he felt,” Getsy said. “He’s such a guy of high character. He’s so passionate. He wants to win as much as anybody in the building.
“But it’s more important for him to be a man of character, and I think that part of it, the fact he felt it got challenged, bothered him more than anything else."
Poles sees Fields' slow start as an adjustment period.
“You have a guy who hasn’t had the cleanest start to his career, who last year, you know, with the roster, had to put the team on his back, do some unbelievable things athletically,” Poles said. “Now, he gets talent around him and has to figure out and balance when to do those cool things athletically, when to lean on others and that is sometimes a gray place to live in.
“That takes time. That takes time on task for him to take that next step and everyone is on board helping him get into that place for him to be successful.”
The way out of the tailspin, to Poles, is not complex.
“It’s not panicking,” Poles said. “It’s taking everything one day at a time. It’s communicating with your leadership group to make sure that you’re making good decisions for the organization.”
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