Poles' approach to the o-line

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karhu
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Until recently, I figured that we ought to draft at least a couple linemen this year. The line wasn't great last year, and we're facing a bunch of unknowns.

But I'm not sure that we'll see that in the next two days. And I think that's totally fine.

Poles is less than a year removed from a really audacious experiment: replacing the entire line of an offense-heavy championship contender. They'd had a good line, then lost a ton of guys to everything from injury to med school, and Poles was almost certainly a big part of their rebuilding strategy.

We're a totally different team, and Poles is just weeks into a new position. KC's not a roadmap, exactly, for this year's Bears. But it might help our collective blood pressure to know that Poles' playing background, temperament, and recent professional experience all point to his taking the line very, very seriously.

Maybe that means some relatively modest additions and a ton of evaluation throughout the year. Maybe it means that he's already arrived at some sweeping conclusions and is ready to go nuts in the draft. We'll learn more soon, but if we leave the draft with nothing more than a guard, I'll have a hard time believing that that doesn't fit in with Poles' longer-term strategy. A year ago, he was an important part of an effort to study every lineman in the league and the draft. There's no way he's not orchestrating the same sort of evaluation this year. He's not going to con himself into believing that a third-round tackle is the missing piece of the puzzle. Dollars to donuts he's looking at this as a two-year job, and that the rest of his offseason moves will resemble the Patrick signing: good value for good players who address specific, legitimate needs. Might not be entirely satisfying to us right now, but I've got a feeling that we'll like the results in 18 months or so.
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Nothing Poles has done suggests he's going to go nuts in the draft or afterwards. I believe he'll take at least 1 OL. If he takes an OT, it gives the Bears the option to move the new guy or Borom to RG. If he takes a C (which I doubt), he can move Patrick to RG. I just hope he doesn't pull a Pace and not draft OL every year. Got to keep the pipeline flowing.
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Based on Poles' not-naming-names evaluation of last year's line at his introductory press conference, he hated much of last year's offensive line. That's borne out by his decision with James Daniels.

There has been lots of debate over Poles' actions in free agency, but it's clear his focus is on the offensive and defensive lines. I fully expect two of his three Day 2 picks to go there.
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AZ_Bearfan wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:54 pm Poles went to a nice steakhouse, ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and is stuffing the bread rolls in his pockets for later. Poles is basically my mom.
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karhu
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thunderspirit wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:13 pm Based on Poles' not-naming-names evaluation of last year's line at his introductory press conference, he hated much of last year's offensive line. That's borne out by his decision with James Daniels.

There has been lots of debate over Poles' actions in free agency, but it's clear his focus is on the offensive and defensive lines. I fully expect two of his three Day 2 picks to go there.
That's been my going presumption until recently, too. All of a sudden, it strikes me as equally plausible that he'd want to keep his powder largely dry this year. He knows better than any Bears GM in recent memory how complex line play can be, and that simply adding talent isn't enough.
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karhu wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 4:09 pm
thunderspirit wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 2:13 pm Based on Poles' not-naming-names evaluation of last year's line at his introductory press conference, he hated much of last year's offensive line. That's borne out by his decision with James Daniels.

There has been lots of debate over Poles' actions in free agency, but it's clear his focus is on the offensive and defensive lines. I fully expect two of his three Day 2 picks to go there.
That's been my going presumption until recently, too. All of a sudden, it strikes me as equally plausible that he'd want to keep his powder largely dry this year. He knows better than any Bears GM in recent memory how complex line play can be, and that simply adding talent isn't enough.
I see, so better to deplete an already lacking talent :thumbsup:
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:14 am I see, so better to deplete an already lacking talent :thumbsup:
Not at all. Neither of us is as qualified as Poles to assess the line. And neither of us has our livelihood at stake. Poles has actually done this.

He might hate everyone and assume that he'll have to throw numbers at the problem. But I wonder if he's reached anything like that sort of conclusion. He might be sitting back and saying "Honestly, I don't know. I don't know what Teven Jenkins can do at LT, which is where I'd like to see him. I don't know if Borum's our RT. I know we've got a center and a passable LG. So right now, I've got a hole at RG, the easiest position on the line to fill, and I damn sure know the veterans who can play it. With all the linemen drafted lately, some veterans will shake loose after the draft. I might draft a guy late, and I might add a vet. And next year, I'll know what I need to know heading into the draft."

I could live with something like that.
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Equally he might not prioritise the offensive line and might be doing a bit of a Pace.

As you point out, neither of us know.

So far his actions/inaction do not point towards prioritising the offensive line.
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I agree with your thinking around this Karhu. I don't even know if he hated James Daniels as much as he didn't want to make that dollar commitment for a guy who may not end up performing how he'd like. OTOH Cody is just contractual debt he has to suffer & the young OT are so new & cheap that he's not going to consider replacing them until they've proved they CAN'T do the job once the coaching and scheme are all installed.

Poles sort of has to draft a RG (not completely - he could still sign a viable journeyman vet). The idea of drafting an OT who "can" play guard is the right direction because they he ostensibly has at least 3 of those & with the addition of some veteran OT depth he's set there for '22. And then if the worst case scenario happens and it doesn't work out, he's got a giant war chest to buy the best FA LT next year.
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And there goes Zach Tom to the fucking Packers.
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We're coming up! Pretty excited!
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Ha! There's yer trade-down. Erm, trades-down.

I dunno...Zachary Thomas looks intriguing.
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I will go to my grave believing that Poles was playing chicken with Zach Tom's availability and bailed out when he wasn't there.
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karhu wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:20 pm I will go to my grave believing that Poles was playing chicken with Zach Tom's availability and bailed out when he wasn't there.
Take something better to your grave, brother. :)

I like the trade-downs in an historically deep draft. Pace turned 6 picks into 10.
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I'm modifying my thinking given the additional picks. Poles is going to pick a DT and likely a LB. But he IS going to pick another WR and at least a small handful of OL to build his unit. He's comfortable with later-round OL because he's UDFA and the Chiefs had a good number of UDFA and late round picks that they shaped into players.
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So we do finally draft an OL whose a decent LT prospect with great physical traits. Sounds like he's got the potential to become a LT or at the very least a Swing OT. Probably Poles highest ranked OL at the time of his pick.
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karhu wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:19 pm Ha! There's yer trade-down. Erm, trades-down.

I dunno...Zachary Thomas looks intriguing.
I'm going to be that guy for just a second and thank Poles for at least one point of congruity over the last few days.
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:37 pm I'm modifying my thinking given the additional picks. Poles is going to pick a DT and likely a LB. But he IS going to pick another WR and at least a small handful of OL to build his unit. He's comfortable with later-round OL because he's UDFA and the Chiefs had a good number of UDFA and late round picks that they shaped into players.
Two more picks to go, and Poles has nearly drafted an entire Oline of good athletes. This is one fine day.
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IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 4:55 pm
IE wrote: Sat Apr 30, 2022 1:37 pm I'm modifying my thinking given the additional picks. Poles is going to pick a DT and likely a LB. But he IS going to pick another WR and at least a small handful of OL to build his unit. He's comfortable with later-round OL because he's UDFA and the Chiefs had a good number of UDFA and late round picks that they shaped into players.
Two more picks to go, and Poles has nearly drafted an entire Oline of good athletes. This is one fine day.
If one can start this year and two end up nfl starters (and I believe they can) its awesome.
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KFFL refugee.
AZ_Bearfan wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:54 pm Poles went to a nice steakhouse, ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and is stuffing the bread rolls in his pockets for later. Poles is basically my mom.
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Wow. After day 2, I was struggling to imagine Poles coming out of this draft not looking like a BS artist relative to what he's been saying about the importance of fixing the OL. Then he drafts 4 OL guys with more FA upcoming and is taking a good shot at helping our OL. Even if 3 of those guys bust, he's likely helped the OL. Of course, if they all flop which is possible with late rounders, none of that matters. Still, he's giving himself several swings in that area. And he got other players in those late rounds, too. The Bears needed a lot of bodies and OL help. It's not quite "mission accomplished". But it's a noteworthy step I wasn't expecting.
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Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 3:33 am Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
Yeah I’m not excited about it, but at least he has selected some OL players and they might just pan out.

I’m still thinking he might bring someone in like Eric Fisher on a 1 year contract.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 3:33 am Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
Sometimes it takes quantity to find quality.
Got several lottery tickets in a need area.
But I guess he coulda drafted a bunch of DBs we forget about by next year.
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Atkins&Rebel wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:37 am
The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 3:33 am Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
Sometimes it takes quantity to find quality.
Got several lottery tickets in a need area.
But I guess he coulda drafted a bunch of DBs we forget about by next year.
He's dragging the pond looking for buried treasure.

That isn't taking the OL seriously. That's desperation.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:51 am
Atkins&Rebel wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:37 am

Sometimes it takes quantity to find quality.
Got several lottery tickets in a need area.
But I guess he coulda drafted a bunch of DBs we forget about by next year.
He's dragging the pond looking for buried treasure.

That isn't taking the OL seriously. That's desperation.
He's trying to use his available resources and opportunities to build a foundation for a consistently winning organization. That is about 180 degrees out of phase from the "win now" strategy, which seems to be your preferred course. I think you are on the wrong track, my friend.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:51 am He's dragging the pond looking for buried treasure.

That isn't taking the OL seriously. That's desperation.
I mean, that's what every draft is.

In this draft, with roughly a third more players than most drafts,thr quality appears deeper, meaning a number of 4th round-rated guys were available late in the 5th, a number of 5th round-rated guys into the 6th and early 7th, and so on.

I don't know how many can play in the NFL, of course. I have high hopes for Braxton Smith and Zach Thomas, for example, and both were on my draft lists. But that doesn't mean a thing if they can't play.
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AZ_Bearfan wrote: Sun Apr 10, 2022 1:54 pm Poles went to a nice steakhouse, ordered the cheapest thing on the menu and is stuffing the bread rolls in his pockets for later. Poles is basically my mom.
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pus wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 9:09 am
The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:51 am

He's dragging the pond looking for buried treasure.

That isn't taking the OL seriously. That's desperation.
He's trying to use his available resources and opportunities to build a foundation for a consistently winning organization. That is about 180 degrees out of phase from the "win now" strategy, which seems to be your preferred course. I think you are on the wrong track, my friend.
Let me take a step back.

I think the first two picks teeter on brilliance. Gordon and Brisker.

Jones Jr. is a luxury pick that we didn't need to make. We should've gone OL and there were a couple starting quality OL on the board at the time.

I don't even have a problem with the trade backs. I get that logic. Further, I think the timing of when he did the trade backs, after the three Day Two picks, was more brilliance.

My problem is that we needed a starting OL out of that draft and we didn't get one unless one of the later round Scratch & Wins pays off. Given the needs of this team I'd rather play that game with special teams related positions like backup DB and LB than OL.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 10:35 am
pus wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 9:09 am

He's trying to use his available resources and opportunities to build a foundation for a consistently winning organization. That is about 180 degrees out of phase from the "win now" strategy, which seems to be your preferred course. I think you are on the wrong track, my friend.
Let me take a step back.

I think the first two picks teeter on brilliance. Gordon and Brisker.

Jones Jr. is a luxury pick that we didn't need to make. We should've gone OL and there were a couple starting quality OL on the board at the time.

I don't even have a problem with the trade backs. I get that logic. Further, I think the timing of when he did the trade backs, after the three Day Two picks, was more brilliance.

My problem is that we needed a starting OL out of that draft and we didn't get one unless one of the later round Scratch & Wins pays off. Given the needs of this team I'd rather play that game with special teams related positions like backup DB and LB than OL.
You know as well as I do that Poles and his staff have a much, much more valid perspective than we fans do.

I hope you didn't forget that the later rounds have more quality players available this year due to Covid. To help take advantage of that, Poles empowered his scouts directly by polling them during the process and he also he brought JF1 into the loop of helping to select new playmaker(s).

Feel free to quote me and give me a ration of shit if I'm wrong, but I think its obvious now that Ryan Poles is not going to let Justin down.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 3:33 am Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
I think that when you're drafting OL this late in any draft you probably should go for quantity because all of the top prospects are gone and these are whose left. Fortunately we seem to be looking for OL with very specific traits who fit a wide zone blocking scheme. They may actually be better prospects than their draft status would indicate but they aren't what most teams want.

Four OL with the biggest and heaviest being Jones at 6'5"/315lbs. Carter and Thomas go around 310lbs and Kramer barely three bills. These guys are all somewhat smaller and quicker than the 320-340lb behemoths many teams want at OT and OG so maybe we lucked out or maybe we didn't. If even one become a top shelf starter for us it was a good day.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 3:33 am Why are people getting excited that Poles used 4 last day draft picks on OL?

You can only have 5 guys on the OL. You need quality not quantity.

The quantity approach is for special teams.
The Marshall Plan wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 7:51 am
He's dragging the pond looking for buried treasure.

That isn't taking the OL seriously. That's desperation.

Agreed.


Secondary he prioritized
WR he prioritized
OL he didn't really

Given that I think OL was the most urgent of needs, I'm not especially thrilled with that approach
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