General uncertainty surrounds the Chicago Bears and we have no clue how this offseason will go. The NFL Scouting Combine is underway, the official new year starts in two weeks, and the NFL Draft is right around the corner. How will Bears' new GM Ryan Poles navigate the shark-infested waters of the NFL? Where will he take this team and how will Matt Eberflus handle his new role?
The first-time head coach has a lot on his plate already and this offseason is still in its infancy. The pair had a miniature press conference today at the NFL Combine and shed light on a few issues.
Seriously, Where is Tarik Cohen?
This isn't a Chicago Bears' running back-themed version of 'Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego'. It's a legitimate question now and no one seems to have an answer. When Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times asked if Tarik Cohen was healthy, Ryan Poles "danced" around the question.
Cohen has been absent from the Bears since 2020. His injury initially appeared to cause a year-long rehab process but that has since extended exponentially. Where is he and is he ever going to play for the Bears again? It's looking less and less likely that he will.
How Will Ryan Poles Help Justin Fields?
Ryan Poles has a gigantic task at hand. It's not going to be easy and a lot of it is out of his control. If he puts weapons around Justin Fields and they succeed, he'll be applauded as a Chicago hero. But if they don't succeed, then Poles will be known as the guy that couldn't find the right talent to fit with what he already has.
It's foolish to get too far ahead here, and we won't, but it's interesting to hear what Poles had to say about helping Fields in his second season.
"Find him a receiver who can bail him out when he needs it"
- Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles on Justin Fields
That kind of attitude is exactly what the Bears need here. This doesn't mean Fields needs the bail-out, far from it actually. What this means is: winning in the NFL is a team effort. Every quarterback goes through struggles. None has ever come into the NFL, dominated everyone, and won multiple championships without having formidable pieces around him. The main point here is that Fields needs weapons, not a safety net.
Fix The Damn Offensive Line
The Bears have a former offensive lineman as their GM. If he didn't address the issues plaguing this group, then he'd be wildly incompetent. He mentioned the offensive line needs to get lighter and quicker. This has been the case for years. The Bears' offensive line has been an Achilles Heel for a long time and the trenches are where games are won. Fixing the offensive line with more athleticism and lighter bodies needs to be an offseason priority. Does this mean clean house? Maybe. But not likely.
Poles will logically rebuild the offensive line piece-by-piece and that's perfectly fine. It's safe to say the man who played the position is fully qualified to fill the needs at that position.