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Bears GM Ryan Poles’ pursuit of Yannick Ngakoue began well before this week

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Anyone could’ve looked at the Bears’ roster after they got through free agency and the draft and pointed out that they skipped over a major need by bypassing pass rushers.

And pretty much everyone did.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles said Saturday he heard about it from coaches at his young son’s baseball games over the summer and even had someone yell to him on the beach when he took his family to Maui for vacation.

“Finally got that done,” he said Saturday at a news conference to discuss signing Yannick Ngakoue.

Poles’ two additions this week, Ngakoue at 28 and tight end Marcedes Lewis at 39, veered from his overall effort to build a young roster. Of the Bears’ 90 players in training camp, just 15 are 28 or older.

Ngakoue’s value is obvious for a team that was starved for pass-rushing help. Regardless of his age, he had 9 12 sacks for the Colts last season and 10 for the Raiders in 2021.

Lewis, however, had just six catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns for the Packers last season, but Poles defended the signing by saying, “His tape is still good.”

Poles added, “With such a young team, it was critical to get a pro’s pro, a leader, someone the guys can lean on to understand how to be ultimate pros and win a lot of games in this league, how to stay healthy and take care of their body — all those little things.

“He’s gonna bring that as well as help us in the run game and help us stay balanced. It’s incredible at his age.”



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