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Chicago Bears Hire Chiefs Exec Ryan Poles As New GM

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A little over two weeks after firing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, the Chicago Bears announced Tuesday that they have hired Kansas City Chiefs' executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles as their new general manager.

"We are thrilled to be able to add someone of Ryan's background and football expertise to our organization," Bears Chairman George McCaskey said in a news release. "His accomplishments with the Chiefs speak for themselves and amplified the team's standing as one of the premier franchises in professional sports. We are confident that under his leadership, we will reach our goal of bringing a Super Bowl championship to Chicago."

"Chicago, I'm excited to be here; ready to get to work," Poles said in a video posted to Twitter by the Bears Tuesday night. "Bear down."

During Poles' 13 years with the Chiefs, they won a Super Bowl title, two AFC championships, and seven AFC West division championships.

"I am extremely grateful to George, the McCaskey family and the rest of the Bears organization for this opportunity," Poles said in the release. "The Chicago Bears are one of the flagship franchises in the National Football League and are recognized as one of the most prestigious clubs in all of sports. It's an honor for me to join such a well-regarded organization. Together with my family, I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running to help get this organization, its fanbase and the city what they deserve: a winning team and a Super Bowl trophy."

Poles now becomes the sixth Black general manager in the NFL, and the first in the Bears' history.

Poles has been to Halas Hall before. In 2008, the Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent tackle out of Boston College – but he did not make the roster that year. This year, he will be in charge of it.

Poles, 36, has served in several scouting and and player personnel roles with the Chiefs since 2009, including as a scout, director of college scouting, and executive director of player personnel.

He's been a finalist for four GM jobs in the past two years. The Giants and Vikings were considering him for their GM openings this offseason, but the Giants ended up hiring Bills assistant GM Joe Schoen, and the Bears locked up Poles before the Vikings could get their second interview with him on Wednesday.

Poles was an offensive tackle at Boston College and was signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2008, but did not make the roster before turning to scouting with the Chiefs in 2009.

Since he became the Chiefs' director of college scouting in 2016, Kansas City has drafted plenty of elite talent, including nose tackle Dontari Poe, offensive tackle Eric Fisher, tight end Travis Kelce, cornerback Marcus Peters, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, defensive lineman Chris Jones, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Poles wasted no time with his new job duties Tuesday night. On the very day he joined the team, he interviewed former Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell for the Bears' head coaching job.

On Wednesday, Poles is expected to interview both Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Quinn led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016 as their head coach.

The Bears already have interviewed several head coaching candidates, Besides Eberflus, Caldwell, and Quinn, they include Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, and Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.

After two weeks of primary interviews, this signals that the team is starting their final interviews for candidates and a decision is likely coming within the next week. It doesn't rule out second interviews for other candidates and frankly, Bears fans would love to see the team bring back Leftwich and/or Daboll for another interview, but as it stands right now that list is at three.

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