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Recapping the Bears revealing end-of-season press conference with Matt Eberflus, Ryan Poles, Kevin Warren

Recapping the Bears revealing end-of-season press conference with Matt Eberflus, Ryan Poles, Kevin Warren originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

On a day that begged several questions regarding the Bears team and organization, we got answers.

The Bears held a 90-minute press conference at Halas Hall on Wednesday. Head coach Matt Eberflus, general manager Ryan Poles and CEO/President Kevin Warren all spoke.

And they didn't disappoint in their answers about firing Luke Getsy, retaining Eberflus, the futures of key players and updates on the organization's stadium plans. Here are the headlines from Wednesday's presser.

Bears on firing Luke Getsy

On Wednesday morning, the Bears announced they fired five offensive coaches, including offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. Why did they make that decision?

"Yeah, just the growth and the development of the offense to me needed to be better than what it was," Eberflus said. "To me, you look at the passing game, certainly that’s one aspect of it. And that’s where it is. We decided to move on from that. And again, that was my decision, obviously conferring with Ryan and George and Kevin, and we made that decision this morning."

Getsy was the Bears' offensive coordinator for two seasons. He was in full command of the team's offense. Prior to joining the Bears, Getsy was the passing coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Green Bay Packers. The Bears gave him his first NFL OC spot. He was the OC for three universities before joining the Packers.

Who decided to fire Getsy?

It finished as an unclear part of the press conference. Remember, now seven of Eberflus' coaches have been fired, yet he remained. How much weight does Eberflus now have in these decisions?

He said he fired Getsy. But so did Poles ...

"And again, that was my decision, obviously conferring with Ryan and George and Kevin, and we made that decision this morning," Eberflus said.

“Yeah, so it’s my call and what I do is I get with George [McCaskey] and Kevin [Warren] and give my input and the nice thing about this is we were all on the same page," Poles said.

Poles on retaining Matt Eberflus

In an odd, pigeon-holed move, the Bears retained Eberflus as head coach. Why?

"Just in terms of his leadership and stability. I really think that the head coach needs to be able to captain the ship when the seas have storms and really keep everything settled. When you go through hard times and you can keep everyone together, that's the critical piece in a big market like this. You have to be strong. I mean, if he's jumping off the boat and everyone else starts jumping off the boat, it's a hot mess.

"The stability was a big piece of it. The detail that he coached with taking some of the mistakes from the game, bringing them into practice and making sure that we're doing things the right way. I saw a lot of progress in that. There's a reason why we went from three to seven wins. The player aspect of it is important, but also the detail and bringing the team together and sticking through those hard times allowed us to push through and you saw a lot of those happen towards the back end of the season. If it's not for him I don't think that's the case. I think it starts to crumble. Everyone starts to do their own thing. So to me, that was a critical piece in us."

Talk to any other coaches?

Interestingly enough, no. Poles said he didn't talk to anybody about the head coaching job. Not even Jim Harbaugh.

“We’re going with Matt,” Poles said. “I didn’t go talk to anybody ... I haven’t talked to Jim. He’s the coach at Michigan.”

This offseason is considered one of the most significant head coaching free agencies in recent history. Harbaugh (potentially) Bill Belichick, Mike Vrabel and several other high-profile candidates are available. Exactly 25% of the league is without a head coach as of this writing.

New quarterback?

The Bears haven't made any concrete decisions on how they will address Fields and the quarterback position. But in case they plan to draft a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, they're confident their process will determine who's the best fit.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in our ability to see talent on the field,” Poles said. “The human being, we’ve got to figure out, especially to be a quarterback in this city.”

Poles said that certain mental traits stand out to him when evaluating candidates to be the team’s quarterback.

“You’ve got to have toughness. You’ve got to have mental toughness,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to block things out.”

Ruling nothing out on the No. 1 pick

Poles faces big questions about the team’s future at quarterback, and he is committed to exploring all options.

That list could even include the idea of using the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft to select a quarterback, while still keeping former first-round pick Justin Fields in the fold.

“My brain has gone crazy all year just thinking just a million different scenarios. But I'm sure that's that's one of them,” he told media during a press conference on Wednesday. “I'll just stay very wide open with the different paths that we can go and as we collect information that closes some of those, those pathways down to the other ones, but I'm going to be wide open about this.”

Can Justin Fields handle a third offense?

If retained, Fields will undergo learning a third offensive system since being drafted by the Bears in 2021.

Since joining the Bears, Fields has worked with two different offenses. In 2021, Fields played under Matt Nagy's offensive system. For the past two seasons, he's worked under Getsy, who was fired Wednesday.

So, are the Bears confident Fields could handle a third offensive system?

"Justin’s very smart, very intelligent. He’s able to adapt and adjust, so I don’t see that being a problem at all," Eberflus said Wednesday.

"I’ve got a lot of faith in the process we’re going to get kicked off in terms of finding the right fit," Poles said when asked if resetting at OC changes his evaluation of Fields' future. "And we talked about it a little bit, but the ability to be adaptable to the talent that you have is critical. I think Matt hit it, and we saw it across the league. There were some teams that actually got better with a lot of changes. If you don’t have the ability to adapt and adjust to the talent that you have at that position, it makes it really hard. So that’s going to be a part of our process."

Jaylon Johnson is "not going to go anywhere"

The Bears star cornerback will enter free agency this offseason. His rookie contract is expiring and the Bears and Johnson failed to collaborate on a long-term extension to this point.

Here's what Poles had to say on the subject:

“Jaylon’s not going to go anywhere and we’ll work through it to get something done.”

Johnson is inarguably one of the league's best cornerbacks. He earned PFF's best coverage rating of the year, well-known for his ability to limit passers and their receivers. Leading up to this season, he had one career interception in three seasons; he earned four this past season.

Johnson's affinity for Chicago and the Bears is well-documented. He's said on multiple occasions he would prefer to stay in Chicago. But he's also mentioned he feels deserving of a top contract.

How does Poles feel about the situation?

“We have really good communication. The big thing was just kind of take a break here after the season and then we’ll start talks again. I feel really good about that situation.”

Is Ian Cunningham on the move?

The Bears' assistant general manager is well-respected around the league and a strong confidant for Poles' work as a general manager. Last offseason, Cunningham was a finalist for the Titans and Cardinals' GM positions.

This offseason will be no different, as he was quickly named a finalist for the Commanders' general manager spot.

“I want to produce as many GMs in this league as possible,” Poles said. “I think that’s a big thing.”

At the same time, Poles knows that if Cunningham departs, someone on his staff will have to backfill his role.

“Those are big shoes to fill in terms of helping run the front office and get things done in evaluating players,” Poles said. “That’s why development is so important to me in terms of our scouting assistants up to our area scouts. Make sure they’re developed so everyone can keep taking that step up.”

Cunningham has 16 years of NFL experience. Before joining the Bears, he spent five seasons with the Eagles. He started in Philadelphia as the director of college scouting and by 2021 was working as the director of player personnel.

“If anyone’s listening, Ian’s a stud,” Poles said.

Bears stadium ... where do they stand?

The Bears didn't have any major updates on the stadium front. They have yet to decide on a location for the site and they haven't made any concrete steps with Arlington Heights.

"We still own the property," Warren said of Arlington Heights. "We're still in communication with the individuals in Arlington Heights. We have had meetings with individuals in the city of Chicago. So we're focused on again, back to making sure we take the approach of doing the right things. That stadium is ... that's a 40-year decision. And we need to make sure that we get that right and that we're very deliberate in our thought process."

Recently, the Arlington Heights school districts made a property value offer of $160 million, down from $197.2 million to try and compromise with the Bears on a property/tax value. The Bears saw it at $33 million last summer. Can they make amends and return the focus to Arlington Heights?

Either way, Warren made his infatuation of downtown Chicago abundantly clear.

"Very rarely you do get an opportunity to have such a beautiful downtown with a vibrant business community with an absolutely beautiful lake and the energy that goes along," Warren said. "And so I always focus on you know, what's a way that we can, you know, bring together the beauty of the lake, the beauty of downtown, the business community, all the art exhibits, to bring that together for an environment? It's always about the fans. How can we create an environment that they really enjoy?"

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