At Inside the League, we keep a pretty close eye on what happens in NFL front offices, so January is always a time of great interest as new general managers are hired and we dive into how they do things, why they were hired, and what’s ahead for each of them.
At the same time, we can’t know all of them, but fortunately, we know people who do. We reached out to several people in scouting about the new GMs in Minnesota, New York and Chicago. Here’s what they had to say.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Vikings (former VP of Football Operations, Browns)
- “He’s an exceptionally humble, hard-working and passionate person who just happens to be gifted with a brilliant mind. He won’t be perfect but, when it’s all said and done, I’n not betting against him.”
- “Extremely bright and impressive individual. May not have a traditional scouting upbringing, but he knows football and his blindspots. Should do a great job melding traditional and analytic viewpoints to find a consensus. Will force the staff to have strong reasoning for why they think a certain way, which should only improve their own process. Don’t have a bad word to say about him. Looking forward to watching him thrive.”
- “Kwesi’s curious by nature. Brilliant with (research and development). Always asking, ‘why?’ A humble leader and good human being who’s tremendously respected by those around him! He will be missed.”
- “Bright, articulate and surrounds people with his energy. He knows every employee. He (will be) genuinely missed by the support staff because they felt valued. Football-wise, he knows his strengths. He shares his football opinions. He knows what he doesn’t know. He (probably) got the job because he made the food servers, office staff, janitors, the suits and the billionaires feel his genuine warmth. They connect with him and they know that he is smart and that he listens. Kwesi will make the owner feel he has a voice. He will surround himself with smart people. He is a better judge of character than people realize.”
Joe Schoen, Giants (former Assistant GM, Bills)
- “Prepared. Hard worker. Good evaluator. Has media savvy. Can work well with others. Has a plan. Great family man.”
- “Family man with good sense of humor. Good evaluator; works well with others. Understands the game, understands the talent and how to get pieces to fit in a scheme as well as special teams. Understands the importance of what value a player brings to the team if he isn’t a starter.”
- “Highly competitive and efficient in everything he does. Has a healthy intensity to how he approaches scouting. Understands the big picture of roster-building and the types of players that are successful in the league. No surprise he’s ascended into the GM role. Very deserving.”
Ryan Poles, Bears (former Executive Director of Player Personnel, Chiefs)
- “Ryan Poles is an extremely deserving new hire. I always thought he was the best under-the-radar candidate I’d ever met! He has learned the scouting business from the bottom to the top, as he’s worked for Scott Pioli, John Dorsey, Chris Ballard and Brett Veach! He’s extremely well-organized; has an eye for talent evaluation on the pro and college level; he’s well-versed in analytics as well as subjective talent evaluation; and he is up to date on all technology and computer analysis.”
- “Organized and mapped out. Thorough and detailed in his approach. Personable, responsive and easy to work with.”
- “He is very detailed with his process. Great person who knows football and players. Will come in and treat everyone with respect and allow people to do their jobs without micromanaging.”
We look forward to tracking the ups and downs of all three of them, as well as the next GM hired in Las Vegas. We know you will, too.
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