New Chicago Bears team president and CEO Kevin Warren did not mince words in his introductory press conference at Halas Hall on Tuesday afternoon.
“I came here to win championships,” the former Big Ten commissioner said on the dais after being introduced team owner by George McCaskey. “To win the NFC North. To win the NFC. To win the Super Bowl.”
Those declarations were likely music to the ears of most Bears fans and Warren struck the right tone as he succeeds Ted Phillips in the role.
Warren said he was a “big believer in challenges” and his new job will include more than just helping GM Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus restore the franchise to prominence on the field. There’s also the not-so-small matter of building the team’s next stadium and Poles described himself as a “stadium nerd” after leading the Minnesota Vikings’ effort to build US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
Despite the city of Chicago’s latest video of the domed stadium proposal, Warren said the team is zeroed in on Arlington Park and that he recently drove by the site to see the possibilities.
“When you build a stadium, every single little thing matters,” Warren said.
Though Warren is expected to have a formal start date in April, he said he already had started in his own mind.
“Greatness is ahead of us,” Warren said. “All we need to do is go out and grasp it.”
What did we think of Warren’s press conference?
Here are five takeaways from our CHGO Bears staffers …
Not surprisingly, Kevin Warren made a positive first impression on Bears fans Tuesday. His energy is contagious and a major reason why he got this job. The Bears probably didn’t need to pay a search firm to help them land on the most obvious qualified candidate for the job, but George McCaskey deserves credit for making one of the most significant hires in Chicago Bears history. The stadium is obviously the first — and most important — order of business, but it stood out to me that Warren said he will meet with every employee inside the building and ask them what they would do if they “were a member of the McCaskey family.” Warren is not afraid to push the envelope and won’t be afraid to make necessary changes as well. Meanwhile, Bears general manager Ryan Poles seemed genuinely appreciative that the team included him in the final stages of the hiring process and he likes the fit with Warren. This is the start of a new era for the Bears as the McCaskeys will likely fade into the background a little bit while Warren and Poles lead the franchise.
Welcome to Chicago, Kevin Warren! Talk about a positive presence. It’s hard to not feel the passion he has for his new role with the Bears. You can genuinely feel that he has a deep desire to make a monumental impact on the franchise and to steer it toward greatness. If I could summarize his introductory press conference in one word it would be “spirited.” Warren even mentioned that his spirit is in this job. When is the last time you heard that from the top brass in Halas Hall? I’m energized. Warren has me ready to rock and roll this offseason and for the foreseeable future. He said greatness is within grasp, and I for one, believe him. He’s going to get the organization to buy into “Warren’s Way” and the improved culture will lead to something special. Could it be an epic state-of-the-art new stadium? Championships? Why not both? Welcome to the new era! Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride.
As far as introductory press conferences go, Kevin Warren’s was impressive. What stands out is his determination and overall goal is to leave whatever he starts in a “demonstratively better” place. One of the reasons he decided to leave the Big Ten and to take the role of President and CEO of the Bears was because he felt like he accomplished that in his previous position as commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. Also, Warren take a hands-on approach to his job. He shared that went to the Bears-Eagles game this season, bought his own ticket, parked and saw 80 to 90-year-olds sitting with the younger generation of Bears fans – symbolizing the connection and dedication people have with the Bears. He wants to know this fanbase, take on the challenge of improving the organization and will only feel that sense of accomplishment until he gets that done.
Kevin Warren was as good if not better than advertised. He double, perhaps triple downed on the Bears culture saying that he was here “to serve.” That his first day on the job will be the first day of his “internship” with the Bears. The feeling of comfort you get having Warren in charge is night and day from what it was felt like for … our Bears fans’ lifetimes. The S also stood out when Warren mentioned championships multiple times. Today feels like a great day to be a Bears fan.
Greg Braggs Jr.
It’s a new era for our Chicago Bears. Warren was impressive throughout his news conference. He strikes me as a no-nonsense guy. George McCaskey has always admitted he’s just a fan and I can respect that honesty but Kevin Warren seems like a boss. He said he doesn’t have fun on gamedays, he’s stressed out. Good, let’s stay on our toes. We all know of his reputation for helping build a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. And if there were any doubts that the Bears aren’t moving to Arlington Heights, those were laid to rest today. They are preparing to make the move and he was brought in to close that deal. As a fan, it was refreshing to hear this new president not shy away from the expectations on the field. He said “I came here to win championships. To win the NFC North. To win the NFC. To win the Super Bowl.” That’s what I’m talking about! Nice to have a fresh voice inside Halas Hall that will bring a new perspective to this organization. Something the Bears sorely need. Winds of change coming off the lakefront. And it’s a breath of fresh air.
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