What is Ryan Poles' Long-Term plan for the O-Line?

Vince Carbonneau
May 31, 2024  (5:03 PM)

When Ryan Poles took on the role of General Manager for the Chicago Bears, he quickly made it clear that his priority was to strengthen the team's trenches, drawing on his own background as a former offensive lineman.

In his three offseasons with the Bears, Poles has notably improved the offensive line, transforming it from the 2021 squad he inherited. But what is his long-term plan for this crucial unit?
The Cornerstone: Darnell Wright
A pivotal element of Poles' strategy is the selection of Darnell Wright. After a trade with the Panthers, Poles was in a prime position to secure an elite tackle, and he did just that. Wright has shown great promise as a rookie and is expected to be a mainstay on the line well beyond his initial contract.
Left Tackle: Braxton Jones and Kiran Amegadjie
Braxton Jones has been a standout as a fifth-round pick, providing reliable play. However, the selection of Kiran Amegadjie raises questions about Jones' long-term role with the team. While Jones has been effective, the financial implications of a contract extension could shift how he is valued. Amegadjie's development will be crucial, potentially sharing the left tackle duties with Jones over the next few years.
Interior Line: Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis
Teven Jenkins is a strong candidate for a long-term role on the interior line. Although he was selected by the previous regime, Jenkins has demonstrated dynamic blocking abilities when healthy. If he can stay on the field and perform well, an extension in November is likely. In contrast, Nate Davis, following a challenging season, seems to be more of a short-term solution unless his performance significantly improves.
Center: The Search for an Anchor
The center position remains a focal point for Poles. He seems intent on securing an elite center, though the draft has not yet provided the right opportunity. Attempts to acquire players like Joe Tippmann and interest in others like Juice Scruggs and Ricky Stromberg have fallen short. Current options, Lucas Patrick and Cody Whitehair, have not met expectations, while Ryan Bates and Coleman Shelton, though promising, might not be the long-term answers Poles seeks.
Poles' Broader Strategy
Poles appears to prioritize developing young talent over heavy spending on the offensive line. Aside from the pursuit of Mike McGlinchy, the Bears have been cautious with free-agent investments. This approach hints at a strategy similar to the Green Bay Packers—developing in-house talent and maintaining a cost-effective line primarily composed of players on rookie contracts, with only a few receiving substantial extensions.
Looking Ahead
Ryan Poles' vision for the offensive line is becoming clearer. His plan involves securing key players like Wright, managing costs by developing talents such as Jones and Amegadjie, and finding a balance of stability and potential within the interior positions. Over the next year, Poles' strategy for the defensive line is also expected to come into focus, providing a comprehensive view of his long-term plans for the Bears' trenches.
MAY 31   |   52 ANSWERS
What is Ryan Poles' Long-Term plan for the O-Line?

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