Bears' Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus recount how they met
Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus recount how they met originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
In the span of just over a year, Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus have put on their hard hats and got to work on the Chicago Bears.
Most of the time, unfortunately, their work has consisted of taking sledgehammers to the roster, trading and releasing players to pave way for a new era of football.
Yet so far, despite the shortcomings of their 3-14 season, they've built upon some positives. Such as, implementing a formidable culture, bringing on noteworthy staff members – like Luke Getsy and Ian Cunningham – and working in tandem to build the organization.
How did the two meet and build a relationship before both landing with the Bears?
"A couple of years ago [we] linked up," Poles said on the Pardon My Take podcast. "We were playing golf there in Florida and got to know each other. And then there were some people that I worked with that worked with coach. So we got to do our homework on each other that way, too. Had a few phone calls over the years."
Of course, Poles started his executive career with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 as a scouting assistant. Slowly but surely, he worked his way up to executive director of player personnel in 2021, before taking the Bears' general manager position at the beginning of 2022.
For Eberflus, he's been around football for much longer, playing in college at Toledo and finding his way back in 1992 as a student assistant coach. He entered the NFL in 2009 as the linebacker's coach for the Cleveland Browns.
Side note: Eberflus mentioned on the podcast he interviewed for that position from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next morning, and he was ecstatic to do so because they just "talked ball." The Browns offered him the position by the end of the interview.
RELATED: Poles: Bears spoke with 3 teams about No. 1 pick at Combine
Eberflus then worked his way up to become the Colts' defensive coordinator, a position he held from 2018-21, and the post he held when he met Poles.
From their first meeting, the two formed a relationship leading up to their collaboration with the Bears. And that relationship is founded upon similar principles, according to the duo.
"I know that when he and I started to build a relationship, I could certainly see us working together because we had the same philosophies," Eberflus said. "We cared about the same things. We put the players first. We always want to serve the players and help them to become better. And that's where our hearts were.
"And you could feel that right away. So that was the most important thing because you start with a foundation of people. That's the most important thing. And I certainly felt that all the way through and still obviously do. And it's just building and building our relationships, getting stronger and stronger. It's been cool."
Now, the Poles-Eberflus tandem heads into an imperative offseason. They hold the No. 1 pick in the draft and the most cap space in the NFL. They have plenty of work ahead of them.
Hopefully, their strong bond will help them carry the weight of the tall task.
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