Imrem: Could Polian give Bears the jolt they need?

  • A report links former Colts GM Bill Polian, left, to a possible front-office position with the Bears as an advisor -- and who needs more advice than a 3-10 team?

    A report links former Colts GM Bill Polian, left, to a possible front-office position with the Bears as an advisor -- and who needs more advice than a 3-10 team? Associated Press

Updated 12/11/2016 6:20 PM

The way the Bears' decade is going, media rumors are more compelling than the games are.

Oh, sure, the Bears-Lions game was interesting Sunday as Detroit had to rally in the fourth quarter for a 20-17 victory.


Please, though, don't dare utter that the 3-10 Bears made the 9-4 Lions work to remain atop the NFC North.

The NFL has only three or four elite teams. The Lions aren't one of them. This was just another Bears loss.

The morning's news on "The NFL Today" pregame show on CBS-TV was more tantalizing.

Jason La Canfora reported that Bill Polian "would strongly consider the right opportunity to return to the NFL and is expected to garner heavy consideration for a front-office position in Chicago, according to league sources."

Is this really possible? I don't know but I believe it because I want to. Yes, even though rumors have Polian going somewhere every year.

Polian, currently an ESPN analyst, had successful runs as general manager in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis, including four straight Super Bowl appearances with the Bills and a championship with the Colts.

Who better to evaluate John Fox, though Polian does like head coaches with Fox's experience, and Ryan Pace, whom Polian praised when the Bears hired him as general manager?

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The Bears are improving despite injuries but someone has to determine whether Pace and Fox can take them from this stage to the ultimate stage.

Polian is 74 years old, which means he has forgotten more football than anyone currently at Halas Hall can remember.

OK, age is a consideration. Team builders are skewing younger in all sports and relying on newfangled analytics.

Whether Polian is young enough at heart and mind in that respect must be discussed, as should whether he's willing to surround himself with stats geeks.

Regardless, bringing in Polian, a Hall-of-Famer, is a move that should have been made two years ago when Bears chairman George McCaskey said club matriarch Virginia McCaskey was peed off at the team's direction.

Out with GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman; in with Pace and Fox.

The "out" was successful but the "in" hasn't been, not yet anyway, not judging by the Bears' subsequent 9-20 record.


The Bears always can use a Bill Polian's guidance, considering the franchise has won only one of the 50 Super Bowls despite residing in the NFL's best market.

George "Mugs" Halas Jr. jolted the Bears when he and his father hired general manager Jim Finks in 1974. Then George "Papa Bear" Halas Sr. jolted them by bypassing Finks, firing head coach Neill Armstrong and hiring Mike Ditka.

The bold moves eventually led to the 1985 Bears winning Super Bowl XX.

Now another jolt wouldn't hurt, to management or players, to philosophy or culture, to something or everything.

La Canfora mentioned the role of "senior executive adviser," which is vague enough and expansive enough for Polian to influence the McCaskey ownership.

Considering that Polian, off the field, and Peyton Manning, on it, teamed to win a Super Bowl with the Colts …

Well, maybe they could team with the Bears to find a quarterback after all these decades.

Hey, if you're going to go for it, go for it all the way.

So, yo, Bill Polian, come on down!

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