Bears

Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

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Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

It seems strange to say, but Jerry Angelo is not the Bears GM.

After years of banging the pots and pans in the streets clamoring for the team to fire Angelo, now Bears fans have to shift their energy to who they actually want to replace him at his old desk.

Of course the decision will ultimately be made by the McCaskeys and not the fans, but that doesnt mean campaigning for a new GM should be frowned upon.

Since the Colts fired Bill Polian and his son Chris on Monday, lets see if they would be a good fit in Chicago.

The elder Polian helped build championship caliber teams in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis over the past few decades. After spending 14 years with the Colts, owner Jim Irsay said the team needed to move on.

Would the 69-year-old Polian want to continue his career in another NFL front office? Would his son be along for the ride? CSNChicago.com's John Mullin says immediate speculation has centered on Polian.

Two very important questions that would need to be answered before the Bears can even make an offer.

The Daily Herald made a great comparison with how the Blackhawks brought in Scotty and Stan Bowman to run the show.

Sustained success is hard to duplicate, but Polian has a history of repeatedly doing well at the NFL Draft. He has built solid organizations from top to bottom, which is exactly what the Bears need.

Polian would have to be able work around the fact that Lovie Smith is staying put as head coach, similar to how Angelo operated his first year with Dick Jauron entrenched in 2001.

If the McCaskeys are looking for an individual who helped build winners in a variety of different ways, Polian may be the perfect pick.

From 1986-1993 Polian was the draft wizard who assembled a Bills team that reached the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons. In 1994 he moved on to become the key cog for the expansion Carolina Panthers, an organization that arguably had the greatest meteoric rise in NFL history by reaching the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence.

After four years in Carolina, Polian was tasked with turning the 3-13 Colts into a winner. Enter Peyton Manning. Polians first draft pick in 1998 was surrounded by talent year after year and the team would shortly turn into a perennial powerhouse. Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Dwight Freeney, Bob Sanders and Robert Mathis are just a few of the many draft gems Polian polished off during his 14 years in Indianapolis.

The Bears have more talent in place than any one of Polians previous three stops. In Chicago the Bears have used free agency and trades to form most of its nucleus. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are among the very few draft success stories that still remain intact.

Elite stars Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler have been brought to Chicago to win now. The big problem is that they were supposed to be a quick fix to cover up the fact that a solid foundation wasnt built by the front office.

Now the Bears must bring in an experienced contractor to help support the cracked foundation that lies beneath millions of dollars of investments on the top floors of the Chicago Bears estate. If Polian is the guy for the job he will start by doing what hes always done best, drafting instant impact players in April.

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

Bears show interest in Tulsa pass rusher Trevis Gipson

It's early (extremely early) in the 2020 NFL Draft process, and the Bears' team needs between now and when their first pick (No. 43 overall) is on the clock are certain to change. The general consensus right now is that offensive line, tight end and quarterback will be early draft targets, but edge rusher can't be overlooked.

Leonard Floyd's failure to emerge as the pass rusher the Bears need to complement Khalil Mack is a bigger problem than GM Ryan Pace or coach Matt Nagy want to admit. In fact, Floyd's ineffective style of play could cost Chicago a chance at becoming a truly elite defense and potentially limit the astronomical upside Mack has as a generational talent.

If the Bears decide to pull the fifth-year option from Floyd, they'll have no choice but to attack the position early in the 2020 draft. It appears like they're doing their homework for that scenario, too.

Bears scouts met with Tulsa edge rusher Trevis Gipson at length following Wednesday's Senior Bowl practice, an indication that the position is at least high enough on their wish list that extensive homework on pass rushers is being done.

Gipson helped his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and was an early winner among edge rushers at the game. His practice reps confirmed his tape; the dude knows how to get to the quarterback. He had eight sacks in 2019 and plays with a high-energy style that's certain to entice Chicago's coaching staff. He isn't an elite athlete, but he has an appealing frame (34-inch arms) and powerful hands.

Gipson began the week as a late-Day-3 prospect. He helped his stock and may have jumped a round or two along the way.

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

Bears' rookie class ranked 8th-best in NFL

The Bears didn't have much of a rookie class in 2019. Last April's draft produced just five picks, two of which didn't appear in a regular-season game for the Bears.

But the production of running back David Montgomery was enough to carry the rookie class to a top-10 ranking, according to Pro Football Focus.

The Bears checked-in at eighth.

The Bears have a strange class. They had only five picks, none before Round 3, with three of those five selections coming after Round 6. As a result, their expected return was low. Running back David Montgomery was really the only Bears' rookie to play significant snaps, and he managed to provide enough return from his third-round selection to land them at No. 8.

It's pretty remarkable that Chicago's 2019 rookie class — essentially, Montgomery — garnered this much respect from PFF. Wide receiver Riley Ridley showed signs of life late in the season and cornerback Duke Shelley will be given an opportunity to carve out a role on defense next season, but with running back Kerrith Whyte, Jr. and cornerback Stephen Denmark making no impact whatsoever (Whyte is no longer with the team), the 2019 class won't be remembered as one that laid a championship foundation in Chicago.

Sure, Montgomery has a chance to become one of the NFL's more talented starting running backs (he ended his rookie season with 889 yards and six touchdowns), but if Ridley and Shelley don't turn into legitimate contributors in 2020 or 2021, the class will go down as an epic failure for GM Ryan Pace.

Remember: The Bears didn't have a first-round pick because of the trade for outside linebacker Khalil Mack. That's a win for Pace, but it doesn't change the fact that he had five selections at his disposal and ended up with what appears to be just one impact player after their rookie seasons.