The offseason will be very interesting for the Chicago Bears. They had a very productive one this year and we are now seeing some of the results of that work. Despite a 5-8 record, the Bears have won five of their last nine games and three of their last four. It appears that they are turning the corner.
That is why this offseason could be even more important. This year, general manager Ryan Poles had to overhaul a roster that had a lot of holes. He filled many of them with nearly $100 million in salary cap space and owning the top overall pick in this year's draft.
Poles did not fill all of the holes, however. He picked up some valuable early-round draft picks. This year, they own the Carolina Panthers' first-round pick. That pick is all but assured to be the number one pick in the 2024 draft. That would mean two consecutive years with the top pick.
The Bears also have their own pick, which could be a top-ten pick. Having not one, but two top-ten picks could bring the team a treasure trove of picks and veteran players. They could also gain valuable prospects like quarterback Caleb Williams or wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
This offseason, Ryan Poles will work with someone else -- team president Kevin Warren. Warren will work in tandem with Poles but he will want his fingerprints on the offseason moves.
Kevin Warren has been very quiet since the Bears hired him as team president back in January. It appears that he is in watch mode, taking in everything that has happened this offseason. He will likely flex his muscles this offseason, putting his fingerprints on the moves made.
Some people might be concerned that Warren, like previous team president Ted Phillips, would just be interfering. They think that he should just worry about the financial picture of the team and the new stadium. However, Warren is a lot different than Phillips.
Phillips did not have experience in on-field activities before he was hired and he did not worry about gaining that experience in his decades with the team. Warren, on the other hand, has that experience. In fact, he has more than two decades of NFL experience.
Warren had stints with the front offices of the St. Louis Rams, the Detroit Lions, and the Minnesota Vikings before he became the commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. With Minnesota, he was also instrumental in building a new stadium. The Bears want him to do something similar with them.
Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network, outlined what having Warren work this offseason would look like. While most team presidents don't involve themselves in football operations, with Warren's experience he will definitely be involved in that part.
Caplan spoke with a team source who said that Warren won't make all the decisions for Poles, but his voice will be a big one on certain decisions.
"Warren is not there to make decisions for GM Ryan Poles, but, for example, “if they are going to move one of those first-round picks (they own theirs and the Carolina Panthers for the 2024 NFL Draft), he’s going to be involved. He’ll want to know what’s going on and his voice will certainly be heard on the bigger decisions. The person added part of Warren’s interest would likely be more about having “his own guy” as a head coach."- Adam Caplan
With the Bears' improvement as the season progresses, some people feel that the people they clamored to be sent away, like offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and head coach Matt Eberflus, could now be safe. The fact of the matter, though, is that some of the embarrassments from this season are too much for them to return.
The Bears lost two coaches, defensive coordinator Alan Williams and running backs coach David Walker, due to off-field actions. That may be too much for a conservative ownership like the McCaskey family to accept. Additionally, Warren might see the players succeeding in spite of the coaching staff.
We've seen that the relationship between Getsy and Fields is shaky. Getsy seems to want to change the type of quarterback Fields is. He wants to turn Fields into a pure pocket passer and not have him use his legs to not only run for yards but also run to buy time to make a play. At one point, it seemed like Fields was putting some blame for his inconsistency on Getsy.
Eberflus appeared to not intervene and try to resolve the problem. Fields has looked better since his return from a dislocated thumb, but Getsy's play-calling has been suspect. They beat the Vikings a couple of weeks ago, but they did so because kicker Cairo Santos hit four field goals. The offense had zero touchdowns.
Warren could also look at the list of recent Super Bowl winners. Six of the last seven Super Bowls were won by offensive-minded head coaches. Some people feel that Fields still hasn't solidified his job with Chicago. That is another decision that Warren could be involved with.
Whether the Bears keep Fields or trade him, the fact of the matter is that they need coaches who can work with the quarterback and develop him. Getsy does not seem to be that guy.
We will see what Warren's plans for the offseason are. He and Poles have a huge job to do once the last whistle for the Chicago Bears' 2023 season blows. Hopefully, it will be a big step forward in the rebuild plan and we start to see a lot more victories.