May 30, 2024

Building a championship culture | 1920 Football Drive

Published June 12, 2023, 7:20 a.m. by Liam Bradley

Get an inside look at the offseason as general manager Ryan Poles charts a new era of chicago bears football. Step inside preliminary Draft meetings as scouts evaluate Darnell Wright, travel to the nfl Combine for exclusive interviews with prospects, then go inside the Draft Room as the bears select 10 players in the 2023 nfl Draft. All this and more in the bears behind-the-scenes series, 1920 football Drive, brought to you by Hyundai.

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we do a fantastic job in this room

identifying Talent

the word that comes to mind is powerful

I would say powerful


athletic very athletic

tough the Chicago

explosive speed selfless

he could be a special player all these

guys have a chip on their shoulder and

they want to prove that they can play in

this league and then help this

organization win championships





we're the 10th pick in the 2023 NFL


the Chicago Bears select Darnell Wright

offensive tackle Tennessee

the I made it moment for an NFL player

his hearing commissioner Roger Goodell

announce your name on TV an emotional

man will hug his family and friends

while wearing his new draft hat

realizing his dream has come true

that rewarding feeling is also felt by

the team who drafted him who have spent

countless months putting in the work to

get to that moment

all right so first I appreciate everyone

coming in I think it's a good

opportunity for us to get a head start

on this process just so everyone knows

big picture thinking you know we can pin

the board up here we'll move pretty fast

spend a little bit more time on

character for guys that are going to

All-Star games so that we can have good

questioning good interviews and get the

information that we need especially if

the area Scout or national Scout isn't

present I want to make sure we do well

there so we're going to take some good

notes this is the earliest I've done

this usually we picked like a position

or two but I think getting a big picture

understanding of what the draft looks

like right now is going to help


so we're going to start with Darnell


as a football player he does have good

football IQ we could draw on the board

he is very a talented guy he is a

starter ability he's got very good size

of the length he's a dense strong player

he's got balance of body control he's

got a lot of equipment with the ability

to change direction he can mirror good

use of hands and punch and he does have

strong and Kevin hands can set an edge

he could move the line of scrimmage and

then I run it down the middle of this


he's not budget he's not budging at all

you watch him have left tackle last year

you went up against Trayvon Walker and

Nolan Smith and he held his own I mean

they got him a couple times but

there's some snaps where he was shocking

him with his hands man he's heavy-handed


coach said you know he's a dude he's

come a long way since they arrived and

the day I was at practice he was jumping

around enjoying it

competing so

looked like he was happy to be there so

I just think that we just need to do a

little bit more work on this guy because

I think he's got heavy hands he could be

a starting right tackle for us day one

the Bears took advantage of every

opportunity to do their homework on

Darnell Wright

all eyes were on him when Luke getsy had

the chance to coach him at the Senior

Bowl in February

let's get after it today man all right

let's go get this thing all right we had

a great day out of you today okay you

had a great day out of you

let's go boys huh that's freaking go

down man let's go Gotta Get this

freaking juice going now right we had a

unique view just with Luke being the

head coach we had an opportunity to even

go into the meeting rooms as well so I

remember sitting behind Darnell you know

in those offensive line rooms and first

of all seeing how wide his shoulders are

big head big neck but also how he

approached the game how he interacted

with his teammates and then seeing him

grow it on the field and execute at a

high level I could see for how big of a

man he was to move with light feet on

contact you see shock and from there you

could see okay this guy's explosive he's

got good quickness we look at lean body

mass he's got big lean body he's a big

human being he's got functional Mass to

him and then just when you get good

competition going against you know other

top-end Talent you can see how they

react come on come on come on come on

the bigger the stage that's when he was

at his best he's athletic but he is a

strong and he's got great punch and

ability to pass protect and the strength

to also get off the line of scrimmage

and create space in the running game so

more and more time that we got to spend

with him it just became easier and

easier pick to make

Paul's and his staff were also dazzled

by three other players that they met

that week in Mobile

done by Steve

Tyrique was one of the better Corners

down in Mobile he really held himself

out that week he made a lot of plays

which stood out to us myself the staff

everything the coaches that were on the

fields I think being around him and

seeing that live and going back to that

ability to have that man cover skills

along with the ball skills really only

helped kind of show that he could play

you know in this league and especially

play outside

I remember Stevenson just the Poise that

he had in coverage and the speed and the

size and he will get in your face and

disrupt timing which is one again a

multiplier that can help everybody

else's safety's over the top the pass

rush to get home and Pickens another one

just long armed ability to shock and

keep offensive blockers off of his body

shed to the ball another guy that has

some high-end physical traits which is

also big for Coach Foose time to turn it


Tom turn it up

we did a lot of work with Roshana the

passion that not just myself but the

whole entire building had across the

board from from scouts to coaches this

guy is wired every bit to a t of what we

want these guys to be made up of

for my chair when I listened to my

Scouts talk the conviction that came out

of them was incredible I actually joked

with them like oh you don't like them do

you and they actually got mad at me like

they love this kid we love this kid his

makeup so again he's another player that

I think is going to come here and help

us get to where we're trying to go

buying interviews are crucial to finding

the type of player a team is looking to


but what actually goes on in the room

this year the Bears decided to switch

things up we did something different

this year we put a putt-putt green on

the floor and we had a dart board and

before we get into all the questions we

do some fun games and compete a little

bit to get the guys to relax

we got a miniature putter for you so

that's good for you oh yeah

play against coach polls today

is they don't expect it so like what

putting them like yeah you can see they

have fun and they realize that Chicago

Bears were here just to get to know them

a little bit

we got a chance to interview him at the

combine and the more you're around them

the more you enjoy being around them I

mean just just a wonderful person to be

around and then as a player it's really

rare to see a guy with his size and his

athleticism you know he's a big man that

moves well very athletic he's got a lot

of position versatility and then the

lateral agility to work down the line

but I thought it rare so I think that

you know the sky's the limit for him in

terms of upside what he can do for the



I don't think you can get enough you

know face-to-face time getting to know

them what they're about some of the

things that they've gone through in both

their life and Football Life to show

that they have the resilience that it

takes to play in this league I was the

uh Eric scottman went in there your

people your coaching staff everybody has

phenomenal things to say about you he's

a great kid his wiring is right he's

used to playing in the cold weather in

Cincinnati he's tough-minded and he's a

worker he's he's just going to fit in

well he's a great teammate it's all

glowing remarks

Tyler's explosive the one thing that you

see is he gets off the spot with a very

quick you know first step and then he

has the rare ability to get faster as it

goes down the field we thought that that

combination with Justin's deep ball

would be a really good combination and a

good Duo where we can create explosive

plays how's your day going it's going

good you tired yet no no sir

get to know you a little bit we're gonna

kick it off with some questions from one

of our Scouts that came in the school a

couple times what stands out with Javon

is just the athlete and the traits that

he has to develop to be a top-end

interior player who also has that

density to him on contact Can Shed

blockers off of his body and find the

ball with good quickness and feet

we got a chance to bring him in and he

just has a presence he is still fairly

young but he walks in the room obviously

he's a large physical presence but he

just has this intensity and this

maturity to him and I think the makeup

the way he plays the game he matches

everything we want to do with our DNA

prepares defense

good job big man good job

as the NFL draft inches closer Scouts

get a final look at the top draft

eligible players at Pro dates


one of the rare opportunities for

prospects to put on a bears Jersey is

the local pro day which the Bears host

annually at Hallis Hall

guys if you're running bring it up real


all right so let's just do let's do this

let's go numerical right just so we stay

in order you get two runs run one if you

don't mind when you're finished just

loop around that way kind of stay out of

the way for film and nobody stand behind

if you need to warm up stay over there

everybody did into pro day for the start

everybody remember the rules just main

thing is give us a second pause at the

top when you get in your stance and get

loaded up in cocked give us a one second

pause and then explode out if you roll

or anything or stumble go ahead and pull

up and reset not a big deal got it all

right I'll not your names as you come up



here we go back up top


all right I'll finish you up

you guys look pretty good though yeah

doing a good job this is a good drill

I've been on the wrong end of holding a

bag before

over time we all had

defense you got about 20 minutes guys

good work man good work

good job I appreciate you sir

job fellas thank you appreciate it yeah

man good job

hours on the road studying tape stacking

draft boards leads to one of the most

impactful weekends for the future of

this franchise


what's up

are you trying to create it

well what would you be wrong in your


okay cool got it thanks

Chicago has traded at six Philadelphia

that's always

I don't know

hey it's Ryan pulse from the Bears how

you doing


you remember what we talked about when

we came down there and worked you out

yes sir

what was that be one of the best one of

the best

getting ready to put in the work to get

to that place

yes sir well we're going to put your

name in here and uh you're gonna be a


yes sir the Chicago Bears select Darnell





the one thing that stands out with him

he's the Town Center he plays with the

edge to him I think through the process

that Darnell was a player that we wanted

to get on our team I think everybody's

excited to get it done

for sure

are you still waiting yeah man Chicago

Bear select Devon Dexter senior Florida

Gators D type

we were kind of sweating it out and

sitting there and you're watching the

picks come off and you're hoping he gets

to you



and we felt like we had a home run with

the kid being there where he was with

that kind of skill set

Zach how we doing man I'm pretty good

how you doing pretty good you better be

great man I'm pretty good coach



time there's a couple of guys that we

were hoping would be there I think

everybody is thrilled I'm thrilled


yes sir so I'm looking at your tag

you're on our board and it's got a Biz

logo on it with a Green Dot you don't

know what that means but that means

you're our kind of guy a true leader a

man a true example a culture Setter

hopefully for us a future Captain will

be here for a really long time

oh nice

you nice to meet you too

do you uh you ready to be selected

I am

a good player he's explosive he's fast

he's very good at getting open deep

I think he's a great kid

linebacker from Oregon the athleticism

speed for his size the instincts I

really like so that was that was what

you know Pharrell Smith defensive back

Minnesota I think everybody's really

excited we had a lot of guys that we

were able to pick up that you know maybe

we weren't expecting to be there Travis

well no I know we won't regret it your

special dude when you got good tape

you're gonna help can Williamson you

ever heard of the plane at the right

place at the right time yes sir I'm

ready for it


all right



welcome to Chicago Bears yes sir

appreciate it

I was at Chalkville time

I was sitting there I was getting a call

but then the Eagles were picking I

thought I was going to the Eagles or

something but then I saw the area code

or Illinois the last couple days I just

been trying to go to sleep so I can

hurry up and wake up and be dry

what up man

the man the man the man

thank you

did the video yes


that was small

he plays exactly in the way you play

exactly same 100 years later

he wrote it back put it all out


University that's just a few more there

it is

he packs yeah

there you go that's it

the table is set for rookies and tryout

players to earn the opportunity to make

their mark on this franchise

you have done it better than Charles

Peanut Tillman how's everybody doing

first off let me be one of uh many

people to congratulate you I know uh you

guys have worked really hard to put

yourselves in a position to be sitting

in these seats and 20 years ago I was

right where you were sitting in those

seats and it is an absolute honor and an

unbelievable feeling all the hard work

that you guys have put in to put

yourself in this position to be here

it's finally paid off but what I will

tell you is

it's just now getting started

differences are What Make Champions not

the similarities

and the biggest difference is how we

think Champions think differently if you

want to advance your development in this

game Run toward criticism

run toward it don't be sensitive when

you do something wrong take it all right

I want to be better my foot was here I

need to be right here if my stance was

there I need to be right there run

toward criticism everyone in this room

wants you to succeed I want you to

succeed I ain't played since 2015 and

I'm still a bearish fan and that's why

I'm here now because I'm rooting for


it's been a long time since this this

town has had a Super Bowl and you guys

are hopefully can be the the missing

pieces to help this organization win


but you really have to believe it

Champions think differently you got to

believe that go out

make smart choices

be good people and I promise you this

city will love you forever and with that

amen I wish you guys nothing but the

best I'm rooting for every last one of

y'all man y'all be good good luck

you know once the draft ended you kind

of sat back in your chair and I had our

guys pull up our our depth chart and I

couldn't be happier about the work that

we put in and the progress that we've

made the rosters heading in the right

direction again the goal is to compete

for championships and you got to have

the players to do that we got bigger

longer faster more athletic might be the

biggest offensive line in the history of

rookie mini camp

right yeah

I think offensively we've gotten more

explosive you know at the receiver

position but also giving our quarterback

time with protection and then probably

enhance the Run game as well


666566 that's how I'm saying the center

six two and then you go six eight six

six eight six six seven six five six six

six nine six seven six six like I'm

saying if you put put that up against


and then defensively again bigger longer

faster defensive backs that can fly and

interior players are going to allowed to

be disruptive in both the run of the

past game so I think we took the next

step we're getting better I've always

mentioned it's on paper now but we have

to put it to action and all these

players had to come in and compete and

we'll see what we got




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