Ryan Poles believes Bears should contend for NFC North in 2023
When Ryan Poles first met with the media as the general manager of the Chicago Bears, he made his intentions clear: “We’re going to take the (NFC) North and never give it back.”
That didn’t exactly come to fruition in his first season as GM, but no one expected this rebuild to be a quick fix. Flash forward to this offseason, and Poles is confident about the direction of his club.
In a new interview with The Athletic, Poles said he believes the Bears should contend for the NFC North title in 2023, although he understands they’ve got a lot to prove.
Yes, Chicago had the league’s worst record last season. Sure, they only won three games in 2022. But for Poles, there’s a different vibe inside the locker room already this offseason.
“It’s not even close,” Poles said, via The Athletic. “This is a different group; practice, meetings, the weight room. I feel like a family is starting to come together, even with the rookie class just showing up this past week. There’s just a different feeling.”
Poles has overhauled the roster in a big way this offseason, adding some key pieces on offense (DJ Moore, Nate Davis) and defense (Tremaine Edmunds, T.J. Edwards, Andrew Billings). Not to mention, his second draft class consists of some potential immediate contributors (Darnell Wright, Gervon Dexter, Zacch Pickens, Tyrique Stevenson, Roschon Johnson, Tyler Scott).
Quarterback Justin Fields is also entering his third season, where the expectation is he’ll take a big step forward, particularly in the passing game. If Fields has a big year, that will be huge for Chicago.
The Bears’ roster has improved drastically from a season ago. And while they still might be a season away from “taking the North and never giving it back,” there’s no reason they shouldn’t at least be in the conversation for the NFC North title.