New GMs: Schoen, Poles, Adofo-Mensah

Joe Schoen
Joe Schoen
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Conference Championship - Three new general managers to discuss in the NFL: one last week, one today, and one coming soon.

  • Joe Schoen, formerly assistant GM of the Bills, will take over the Giants.
  • Ryan Poles, formerly assistant director of player personnel for the Chiefs, will take over the Bears. Word is that Poles may be paired with Jim Caldwell as head coach.
  • Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, VP of football operations for the Browns, is rumored to be taking over the Vikings, since the Vikings were deciding between him and Poles.

Adofo-Mensah is of particular interest on this website because he's very analytics-driven, with both undergrad and graduate degrees in economics. Also note that these moves mean that (for now) there are more Black general managers in the NFL than head coaches.

View Full Article


24 comments, Last at 28 Jan 2022, 2:04am

1 there are more Black general…

there are more Black general managers in the NFL than head coaches

On the other hand, every black HC has won a Super Bowl and has never finished below .500.

2 I don't know what to think…

I don't know what to think of Poles as a GM but I will feel better if the coach he ultimately hires is not Caldwell, Quinn, or Eberflus, the 3 names reported to be favorites prior to Poles being hired. I suppose it's possible that Poles might honestly want Caldwell above all other candidates, and if that's the case I'd be a little skeptical but fine with it; but if they hire Caldwell I'm going to assume that it's another case of McCaskey/Phillips/consultant truly making the decision and we'll be headed for Pace/Fox 2.0.

4 I know Caldwell is not the…

I know Caldwell is not the type of hire to get a fan base fired up, and maybe Chicago is not the right fit for him, but I really think he deserves another HC job.  He went 2-14 when Manning got injured, and he was forced to trot out Curtis Painter at quarterback, but he was 60-36 with 4 playoff appearances otherwise.

20 And 36-28 with the LIONS…

And 36-28 with the LIONS. That line by itself should make him a contender for any open job. He's the first coach to leave Detroit with a winning record since Joe Schmidt in 1972.

3 Interesting

Good to hear more black GMs.

Now what brave soul is going to take the last AND least GM spot in Vegas?

10 When Colbert steps down as…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

When Colbert steps down as the Steelers GM after the draft, I will be rooting for someone of asian descent. Or a woman. Or a LGBQ+ person. 

14 Easy. You check their…

Easy. You check their twitter profile.

A combination of all identity boxes checked would be ideal. 

What someone's professional history is, doesnt matter... the most important thing is that we tell our fans we are inclusive and diverse. 

It would be great if we could win the Identity Politics Bowl in 2022. 

Go Steelers

16 Read again.I'm not fighting…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I was writing a parody, of course.

I couldn't give a flying rat's behind about what color or ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation or hair style a new GM or head coach is, as long as the new GM is good and competent.

This focus on diversity is feeding the real racism. Stop categorizing people by the color of their skin. 

Tough to do, but practice it and you'll get better at it. 

Have you ever seen the Morgan Freeman interview, when he was asked about Black History Month? He said he didn't want it. Because he didn't want his history relegated to a month. 

"Then how do we end racism?" asked the interviewer.

"You stop calling me a black man, and I'll stop calling you a white man" he replied. (I'm paraphrasing, I don't remember word for word.)

That video is 12 years old.


18 I didn't ignore it, I just…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I didn't ignore it, I just didn't notice it.

"To show that it's still not without it's bias... that's why"

So America keeps focusing on skin color to reduce racism, "to show that it's not without it's [sic] bias" ??

I'm sorry, I honestly don't understand how that works.

You categorize people based on color in the hiring process, to show you're not biased. Is that the conclusion?

22 If racists categorize people…

If racists categorize people based on skin color, and non-racists don't acknowledge that is taking place, then racism will be perpetuated. That's how it works. Structural racism exists, so if we pretend it isn't happening, then people of color will continue being disadvantaged in the hiring process.

Or are you one of those who likes to think that structural racism doesn't exist?

24 You asked me a question - a…

You asked me a question - a very broad one, going passed this topic of GMs in the NFL, but I'll answer as well as I can.

"Structural Racism:

laws, rules, or official policies in a society that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race"

I think there are no laws (anymore?) that support an unfair treatment of people based on race. I could be wrong. Do businesses have these rules in place? I don't live in the USA - someone tell me if this is the case or not. 

I do know that the US signed the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that all humans are treated as equal before the law without discrimination.

So, racism exists. Yes. Structural? If those laws or rules are not in place: no. 

We were talking about the hiring process of GMs in the NFL. Does the NFL have rules in place that prevent certain colors/races from being hired? Is there structural racism in the NFL? The answer is "no". Or there are memos flying around I don't know of.

Again, does that mean everything is fair and square? Probably not due to bias. We are mere tribal and territorial animals and since most owners are old and white, this rule is to negate that bias? I can understand that. 

I must warn that segregation and categorization does not help against eliminating this bias. 

Like Morgan Freeman said "I'll stop calling you a white man, and you stop calling me a black man."


21 What someone's professional…

What someone's professional history is, doesnt matter

This feels like you're presuming that this hypothetical "identity" candidate will be less qualified than the white men who are typically hired into NFL management roles. Considering the track record of most GMs, that's a pretty bold presumption. It's also a pretty silly one, given that obviously only qualified candidates are considered for any management role and that there is no objective way to determine the "best" candidate.

7 Adofo-Mensah is reported to…

Adofo-Mensah is reported to be definite for the Vikings. Have no idea if he'll be any good, but I think undrergrad and masters econ. degrees from Princeton and Stanford provides a better than average chance of the guy being intellectually disciplined in his approach, which ought to avoid the obviously dumb stuff. That and some good luck will go a long ways.