The Chicago Bears held two events Tuesday at Halas Hall.
General manager Ryan Poles met with reporters to talk about his plans for his first draft with the team. And members of the organization gathered to honor the recipients of the annual Brian Piccolo Award.
Along with Poles’ draft preparation and his thoughts on position depth within the draft class, here are three we learned at the events.
1. Robert Quinn hopes his résumé helps his case for staying with the Bears amid the staff changes.
The defensive end, who was the veteran recipient of the Piccolo Award, said the first thing that popped into his head when the Bears fired former general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy and hired Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus was “this isn’t my first coaching change.”
“Sucks to say, but I’ve been through many in my career,” the 11-year NFL veteran said. “The only thing I thought of was hopefully my résumé or my production from last year gives me a little weight to keep my foot in the building. At the end of the day, it’s a business. Again, you see Khalil Mack getting traded.
“I didn’t expect to go anywhere, or want to go anywhere, but again, this is a crazy business.”
Quinn said he was shocked when he heard Mack was traded to the Los Angeles Chargers.
NFL Network reported Tuesday teams were inquiring about trade scenarios for Quinn but noted the Bears weren’t shopping him.
Quinn said he’s not thinking about the possibility and instead is focused on trying to repeat the stellar individual season he had in 2021, when he had 18½ sacks, 22 quarterback hits and four forced fumbles.
“Physically, mentally, spiritually, make sure that’s all put together,” he said. “(Finding) ways to get the best version of myself every day. This isn’t my first rodeo, so I think I know how to prepare during the offseason.”
Quinn didn’t attend the Bears voluntary minicamp last week because he said he’s still trying to get his body right, but he was with Eberflus and defensive coordinator Alan Williams while at Halas Hall for the Piccolo Award ceremony.
“Calm, cool and collected,” he said of the duo. “They want to get to know the man before the player, so they get to know your family and who you are. Anyone can watch game film and figure out who you are as a player, but to get to know your guys in the locker room, it just shows the type of character they have. So you can build up a stronger locker room and friendship in the building.”
2. Poles said the team is ‘in a good place’ with Byron Pringle after the wide receiver’s arrest.
A Florida Highway Patrol officer arrested Pringle on Saturday on charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license after suspecting the Bears wide receiver of doing a “donut” on the street in his 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Poles said Pringle notified him of the arrest and communicated “the right way.” Poles said he was glad everyone was fine after the incident but declined to go into detail about their conversations.
Poles signed Pringle to a one-year deal in March after working with him over Pringle’s first four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I know him very well,” Poles said. “It’s not a reflection of who he is at all. You don’t want your guys in the news at all. At that point, it’s disappointing. But we had good conversations about it. We’re in a good place. We’ll keep that between us.”
3. Quinn and running back Khalil Herbert accepted the Piccolo Awards.
Herbert was the rookie recipient of the award, voted on by players for teammates who embody “the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.” Herbert, a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, had 103 carries for 433 yards and two touchdowns.
Herbert said he knew a little bit about Piccolo’s story before accepting the award. Quinn learned about the former Bears player in college when he won the ACC’s Piccolo Award for the conference’s most courageous player.
Doctors discovered Quinn had a brain tumor when he was a senior in high school, and he originally was told he had only a week to live. But the tumor was benign, and Quinn had surgery to enable him to live with the tumor.
Quinn said he felt a connection with Piccolo, who died of cancer at 26.
“I remember looking at my mom for I don’t know how long, kind of (in) disbelief,” Quinn said. “More in shock. I mean, you try being 17 and they tell you you’ve got a week. … But after a couple of days I kind of came to grips with it — ‘I’m about to leave this world.’
“I was trying to go out as happy as possible and I guess from there on out, I just tried to live that same way because we all go though bad things. It’s just how you approach it and make the most of your situation. I’ve been blessed to still be here today and keep making positive of my situation.”