Whenever a team starts a new regime, there’s always one word that no one likes to use:
But that word is usually accurate when describing what’s going on with a club’s transactions — especially because teams don’t usually replace coaches and General Managers when things are going well.
When the Bears traded edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers in March, it signaled that the team was looking to gain assets. Chicago doesn’t have a first-round pick after trading up to select quarterback Justin Fields last year.
But when asked if the team is rebuilding during a pre-draft press conference on Tuesday, General Manager Ryan Poles rejected that term.
“The ‘rebuild’ thing is like super sensitive,” Poles said. “We’re constructing a very good football team — regardless of how you use whatever term that is. We just continue to add talent and young talent, older talent, whatever it takes to make the best team possible.”
Then, Poles offered an analogy.
“Actually, late night with the wife, we’re watching TV — the home network where there’s some rooms that are good, you might have to redo some countertops over here, some fresh paint over there. Some rooms are good, you don’t need to touch them. So that’s kind of the thought process there. That’s not a rebuild either.”
To that point, Poles noted that Chicago already has talent on its roster.
“I think some of the expectations, the standards that we want to meet — we have players who are already in that mindset of doing things,” Poles said. “And then watching them perform, there’s talent on this team that I’m excited to build around and build with.”
Still, nailing the draft will be important for the Bears to establish a foundation under Poles and new head coach Matt Eberflus.
“Every draft is important,” Poles said. “Any time you can bring in new, young talent that can create competition and help get better, and obviously with the way free agency is, you get a rookie contract and you get a little bit of time to keep tweaking things and improve.”