(670 The Score) When Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian began his consulting role with the Bears late in their season, he wasn't expecting the experience to play out like it did.
“The most fun I’ve had in a long, long, long time,” Polian said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Wednesday morning.
Polian explained that was because of how Bears chairman George McCaskey led the five-person search committee in a busy process that included 23 official interviews to identify Chicago’s next general manager and head coach. Polian began his consulting role in late December or early January, he said.
The Bears' search team was comprised of McCaskey, Polian, team president Ted Phillips, director of player engagement LaMar “Soup” Campbell and senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion Tanesha Wade. The Bears hired Chiefs executive director of personnel Ryan Poles as general manager on Jan. 25. Poles then led the process to hire Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus as head coach two days later.
Polian feels confident in the thorough process that brought the Bears their new leadership regime.
“We feel good about the candidates that we interviewed, and we feel really good about the people that we hired," Polian said. "Now, it's their job to do. Only time will tell.
"In the end, we’ll know three or four years from now whether this was a good decision. I’m certain beyond a shadow of a doubt because of George’s diligence, insistences on diversity and insistence on a wide search that we got really good results. But in the end, Ws and Ls tell the stories.
“Next year is not the time to judge that or even the year after that, because we won’t know for a little while what the quarterback (Justin Fields) turns out to be. So, there are a lot of unanswered questions going forward. But as far as the process is concerned, George did a heck of a job and it was a joy working with him.”
Polian declined to discuss the Bears’ other interviews with candidates who weren't hired and also declined to discuss why Chicago didn't interview Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh for the job.
Polian denied the notion that he was upset to step aside and allow Poles to lead the interviews of the Bears’ three head coach candidates.
“Completely untrue,” Polian said.
The 79-year-old Polian was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.