Bears making right moves for their roster, not for their stadium dreams

This could be the biggest week in Bears modern history. Or the organization can get flagged for a false start yet again.

Let’s face it, a year ago, the team was excited to build around Justin Fields and build a stadium in Arlington Heights.

Now, in a span of 30 hours, the Bears announced plans to build a new lakefront stadium that will include a price tag of over $4 billion and then will draft the much hyped quarterback Caleb Williams.

It’s easy to be skeptical when it comes to this team based on history. But I can tell you they are operating differently in both processes and gone are the days of doing business of a ma and pop shop.

Ryan Poles and Kevin Warren have both done this before.

On the football side of things, in 2017 when the other Ryan, Ryan Pace, decided to draft Mitch Truibisky with the second overall pick, he kept the entire building in the dark. Pace never even told his head coach he was drafting Trubisky. It was doomed to fail from the start.

Poles was on the other side of history, as he was a part of the Chiefs organization when they traded up for Patrick Mahomes in that same draft. Poles learned to maneuver from Andy Reid and Brett Veach.

No promises that Williams will be Mahomes or close to that, though I believe he’ll at least be an upper-tier QB and break every Bears passing record. And like the Chiefs did in Kansas City, Poles did everything possible to learn as much possible about his future quarterback involving everyone.

• Poles dispatched his scouts and had them interview anyone who played with Williams at Oklahoma or USC to get their opinion on the QB.

• Poles and Eberflus interviewed Kliff Kingsbury for their offensive coordinators vacancy. Even if Kingsbury wasn’t going to get the job, they were able to get detailed info on Williams as Kingsbury worked at USC this past year.

• Poles included his coaching staff including new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron in the decision process.

• Poles and his staff got to know Williams off the field and even included current players during a recent dinner at Sofia Steak in Lake Forest.

If Williams fails like past Bears quarterbacks, it won’t be because of the process. Poles gave Justin Fields another full year for evaluation, traded him to the team of his choice, did his due diligence with Williams, and has surrounded Williams with a good offense.

I know you have been burned before Bears fans, but it’s time to mend your broken QB heart and fall in love again. It’s the only way to go.

The stadium is a different story.

Nobody is asking for $2 billion from the public to root for the quarterback.

On paper Warren is following his old playbook from when he was with the Vikings. Minnesota had a deal to build in the suburbs, then did a 180 and returned downtown to build the glorious US Bank Stadium. It’s truly one of the nicest buildings in the NFL.

And my goodness, do those rendering on the lakefront look awesome. Though I’ve never seen a bad stadium rendering.

Problem is, this stadium process has resembled more of the Pace path.

Buy land in Arlington Heights for $200 million with a team president you know will be retiring soon, spend more money on demolition of a beautiful racetrack, hire a new president, ditch the suburban plan, re-engage with Chicago, start a new fight with “Friends of the Park,” and hope you can secure over $2 billion in funds from the state.

While Warren has been there and done that, this isn’t exactly how you draw it up.

Even if the Bears do get what they want, how long will this fight take? Where will fans park during construction of the new stadium while the Bears play at Soldier Field. Where are the tailgate spots for fans when construction is completed? And for all that money, are the Bears really solving traffic issues on game days? The lake is still to east and the train tracks to the west.

Just like with projecting a quarterback, there’s no telling how this will work out for certain. But long gone are the days Daniel Burnham and his “make no little plans.” The Bears and White Sox are asking for public money at the same time.

The Soldier Field rebuild lasted 20 whole years before wanting something new. Guaranteed Rate lasted 33 years and that doesn’t count how it needed immediate renovations. The Bears must make sure this is done right before asking the fans for new PSL money.

The good news is, what’s happening on the Bears’ current field, is much more focused and the outlook is sharp.

Enjoy draft night, Bears fans.

It should be the last big draft party we have for a while. Playoff parties will be in our future.

• Marc Silverman shares his opinions on the Bears weekly for Shaw Local. Tune in and listen to the “Waddle & Silvy” show weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m. on ESPN 1000.

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