Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles on Thursday attempted to defuse any lingering concerns stemming from quarterback Justin Fields' offhand comments and a turbulent 24 hours inside the team's locker room.
After Fields appeared to blame his struggles so far this season on the team's coaching staff and then later had to clarify his statement, Poles praised his quarterback, saying "No one in our entire building, none of our coaches see Fields as a finger pointer at all."
In addition, Poles insisted the team isn't panicking, despite a dismal 0-2 start.
"No one is flinching at any situations, not our owner, not our president, our head coach, not myself, none of our players. Everyone is focusing on solving the issues that we have so that we can be a better football team," he said.
Here is the opening statement from #Bears GM Ryan Poles. Personally, I think he did a fantastic job of showing leadership, being as honest as he can, and assessing where the team is at. pic.twitter.com/TqxeQmuwhy
— Barroom Network (@BarroomNetwork) September 21, 2023
Fields said Wednesday he didn't feel he was playing the way he needed to be successful, characterizing his performance as "robotic." When asked to explain why that was, Fields opined that it "could be coaching."
After taking a storm of criticism on social media, Fields later clarified to reporters that he was not criticizing the coaching staff and his earlier comments were taken out of context.
A day later, Poles praised Fields for making sure things didn't just linger. "I thought he took ownership of everything," the second-year GM said. "He didn't have to say anything about that."
In addition to the team's offensive woes -- ranking near the bottom of the NFL in total offense and passing offense through two weeks -- the Bears also had to deal with Wednesday's sudden resignation of defensive coordinator Alan Williams for personal and health reasons.
"Slow start, 0-2, not where you want to be," Poles said. "We've dealt with life issues. We've dealt with injuries, and that's all real and that's a part of what we do and what we got to deal with."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bears GM Ryan Poles backs QB Justin Fields after controversial remarks