How Bears' George McCaskey Convinced Ryan Poles to Accept GM Job

Yes, Poles impressed by McCaskey picking him up at ORD originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Amid all the reports of interviews, and secondary interviews, and who was or wasn’t a finalist, one piece of Bears news drew a surprising amount of debate from fans everywhere: George McCaskey picking up Ryan Poles from O’Hare ahead of their secondary interview for the general manager vacancy. There was a video, it went viral in Chicago, and of course it led to questions, like “Did McCaskey drive, himself, or was he in the back with Poles getting chauffeured?” And, “Did that actually resonate with Poles?”

On Monday, we got answers to both of those questions.

“Yes, I drived,” McCaskey said. “Parked in the garage, White Sox level. Three bucks to the city.”

In his introductory statement, before even taking questions, Poles specifically thanked McCaskey for that moment.

“From the time I met you, I quickly realized you were a special man,” Poles said. “Dedicated, passionate and hungry to get this right. I still can’t get over the fact that you met me at baggage claim and gave me a ride to the facility to get to know me at a deeper level. As you know now, I value people and relationships and that told me everything I needed to know about you and this franchise.”

It was McCaskey’s goal to leave that type of impression, and clearly it worked.

“I wanted to show him that we care,” McCaskey said. “I wanted he and I to have the opportunity to speak one-on-one. And I wanted him to have the opportunity to see Halas Hall if he wanted, which he did.”

Ultimately, it was moments like those that influenced Poles to accept the job in Chicago, without heading back to Minneapolis to hear the Vikings’ pitch for their GM opening.

“My relationship with George, I got a feeling for what this place is all about and that got me excited.”

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