Silvy: Moving on from draft dreams to thoughts of a Super Bowl

At the Bears draft party inside Soldier Field, the crowd erupted once Caleb Williams’ name was called by commissioner Roger Goodell. Despite knowing it was going to happen, there was nothing anticlimactic about the announcement.

The party was on.

Fans knew this was the dawn of a new day for their favorite team.

Other QBs had been drafted in the first round in recent years, but this was different, and everyone knew it. Three men wearing Bears jerseys stood cheering in the VIP section. Two of them were even filming the moment with their phones. The other one was sharing it with his young child.

These weren’t ordinary fans with all-access passes, they were actually three Bears, wearing their own jerseys: Montez Sweat, Jaquan Brisker, and DJ Moore. Three players who at one time were outspoken against parting with Justin Fields and drafting a quarterback were now in celebration mode.

The Bears are back in a big way.

And if the NFL draft is Christmas for many, this was the one where Santa delivered every gift you had on your list: the bicycle, the train set, a football helmet and some baseball cards. Oh, and the elves also dropped off a punter just for the heck of it.

In today’s argumentative landscape, it’s hard to get any group of people to agree on anything.

Following the first round of the draft, I polled Bears fans asking what grade they would give the team. Of over 12,000 voters, 96.5% gave the team an A.

When is the last time 96% of Bears fans were happy with decisions from management?

In another poll I conducted, 89% of fans were happy the Bears used a fourth-round pick on punter Tory Taylor. The Punt gawd. The crocodile punter. Bring him on.

Ryan Poles winning every poll.

Remember when some threw out ridiculous rumors that Caleb Williams didn’t want to play for the Bears? Or that he was he was a selfish diva? I cautioned you not to believe the silly rumors weeks ago.

After it became official, there was Williams excitedly pumping his fist, shouting, “Da Bears,” and bringing the bear claw back. There was Williams jumping for joy after the Bears drafted Rome Odunze and then greeting Odunze backstage moments later. There was Williams sounding self aware and confident, not cocky, in every interview he did. And there was Williams just a couple days after getting drafted, already at work with Bears wide receiver DJ Moore in Los Angeles.

The Bears used to be bad and boring, now they are good and cool.

Those same sports television shows that Mitch Trubisky once wanted turned off inside Halas Hall are raving about what the Bears did. Most agree Poles had the best draft in the entire NFL. Some of the national analysts rank the Bears off-season first in the league. Sure, the Bears traded away their second-, fourth- and fifth-round picks, but they acquired Montez Sweat, Keenan Allen, and Ryan Bates with those picks. They got a haul without ever having to trade down as so many suggested before the draft.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s probably two things.

You don’t get trophies for winning the off-season, and what happened to skeptical Silvy?

First of all, why be skeptical when the Bears have had a real plan and a process for not only this off-season but for this rebuild from the start? Poles tore it down in 2022, watched the Bears’ losing streak grow to 14 games in 2023 while trying to build the roster, and is now poised for a playoff push in his third year as GM. Some teams get stuck in rebuilds forever. Poles deserves flowers the week after the draft, not skepticism.

There will be plenty of time to discuss if Matt Eberflus will be the right coach to take this team where it wants to go, or if Shane Waldron can maximize all the pieces of this offense, or if the Bears have enough depth on both lines, or if the Bears are fooling themselves with their stadium plan. For now, it’s time to appreciate the accomplishments.

As I was walking out of the Bears draft party, a fan stopped me and asked what we were going to talk about now that we don’t have to figure out what Poles would do in the draft anymore. I responded, “wins.”

And that’s the point to all of this, it’s now time to win. The accolades are terrific.

The positivity is a 180-degree turn after the toxicity of the quarterback debate that the Fields’ fanatics created throughout the winter.

But now it’s time to win. Our draft-night parties must become a thing of the past, and playoff parties have to become the constant.

Dare I dream of a Super Bowl party?

This off-season could be the one that makes that dream a reality.

• 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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