Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles reiterates support for Matt Eberflus, Justin Fields

‘We have adversity right now,’ Poles said

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles walks on the sidelines prior to a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Chicago.

LAKE FOREST – After one of the most bizarre days at Halas Hall in recent memory Wednesday, Bears general manager Ryan Poles made an unscheduled visit to the media room Thursday in order to reiterate his support for head coach Matt Eberflus and quarterback Justin Fields.

This came less than 24 hours after Fields was critical of his coaches, then later recanted his words, and after the team’s defensive coordinator, Alan Williams, resigned after more than a week away from the team due to a personal matter.

“We have adversity right now,” Poles said Thursday. “Slow start, 0-2, not where you want to be. We’ve dealt with life issues. We’ve dealt with injuries, and that’s all real, and that’s a part of what we do and what we’ve got to deal with. The beautiful thing about our philosophy here, our organization, is we’re solution-oriented.

“We work together to find these solutions and solve our problems to get everything back on track.”

On top of all that, the Bears face the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes this week.

With Williams gone, Poles said the Bears will re-evaluate titles next week. He presumably meant the team could appoint a defensive coordinator. For now, Eberflus will call the defense Sunday against Kansas City.

“[I’ve] got a ton of faith in [Eberflus] as a leader,” Poles said. “He’s done a great job, and then as a defensive play-caller as well, got a ton of faith there. Is the situation, a sudden change easy? No, it’s not. But he handled it well.”

Poles did not provide any further details on the unexpected departure of Williams, who had been the defensive coordinator since February 2022. He noted that any rumors of authorities visiting Halas Hall in connection with Williams’ departure are false.

“Don’t even know where that came from,” Poles said. “Worked with Kevin [Warren] and George [McCaskey], all of our leadership, to make sure we were handling it the right way, communicating properly, and obviously everything concluded yesterday.”

As for the comments from his quarterback on Wednesday, Poles said that nobody at Halas Hall believes Fields was passing off blame.

“I can’t be more clear than this: No one in our entire building, none of our coaches see Justin as a finger-pointer at all,” Poles said. “That kid is always taking ownership of anything that has happened on the field. He takes it head on.”

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.