The Chicago Bears met with several GM candidates in January. Over a dozen at it turned out. Team chairman George McCaskey and his search team led by Bill Polian were determined to evaluate the best possible candidates and find the right man for the job. It wasn’t surprising that Indianapolis Colts assistant GM Ed Dodds was among those names. He has developed a reputation over the past decade as one of the best talent evaluators in the business.
Yet, for whatever reason, he’s either bypassed or been passed on multiple times in recent years despite several interviews. Some Bears fans were hopeful he might be interested in Chicago. A big market town with non-intrusive ownership and football-crazy fans. He is also connected to former Bears scout Chris Ballard, who is running the show in Indianapolis. Not long after his interview, though, news broke that Dodds had taken himself out of the running.
It was a rather abrupt development that didn’t get much explanation.
Finally, the executive spoke on the subject with Zak Keefer of the Athletic. While he didn’t single the Bears out specifically, he detailed why he hasn’t landed a GM job yet. He chalks it up to him not feeling great about team situations and then maybe not liking his honest (let’s say undiplomatic) approach. From the way he phrases it, he was unimpressed with the Bears’ setup and didn’t want to waste their time.
“I’m respectful and polite, but if they ask me a question, I’m gonna give them the answer I believe is the right course of action,” he said. “If they don’t wanna do it that way, that’s fine, that’s their prerogative … they don’t have to. But (I tell them) what I’d do.”
“I’m gonna look at each one independently and make the best decision I can,” Dodds added. “And if it’s not (the best), I don’t want to waste their time. So if I look at it and I’m like, ‘No, that’s not quite the situation I’m interested in,’ then I’m not gonna (continue with the process).”
Then again, some people believe it wasn’t entirely Dodds’ decision. He may have been the one to bow out, but there were rumblings when it happened that he was doing it to save face. According to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, who was on top of the Ryan Pace firing before anybody else, the interview with Dodds did not go well at all. The likelihood of him getting the job was dead almost from the beginning, so he made sure to exit quickly.
Dodds’ interview went terribly. This is unsurprising. https://t.co/sWYK4CHYB4
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) January 19, 2022
Ed Dodds’ loss ended up being Ryan Poles’ gain.
There were some rumors that the Bears brass flubbed the interview because they asked the wrong questions. That feels somewhat odd considering there is no set guideline of right or wrong questions in this business. The goal of every team is to find the guy that is the best fit. Then it is about hoping they can find enough good players to build a champion. Successful GMs are not all made the same way. Their personalities and philosophies are often quite different.
Ed Dodds comes across as a highly intelligent man, and a very stubborn one. He knows one way of doing things when roster-building, which is how it will be. If an organization doesn’t like it, he’ll move on rather than consider the idea of tweaking his process. Ryan Poles doesn’t think that way. He believes it is essential to be malleable as a GM. Have convictions, sure, but remember to listen and always be open to new ideas.
It isn’t a surprise the Bears quickly grew to love him.
Maybe Dodds will be a great GM someday, and he’ll do it his way. As long as the Colts continue finding success, he’ll keep getting opportunities. It just feels as if an unwillingness to accept a challenge and adapt feels like a fatal flaw.
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