Chicago Bears announce Piccolo Winners, Prepare for 2022 NFL Draft

Herbert, Quinn named as Brian Piccolo Award winners, Ryan Poles meets with the media in advance of the NFL Draft.

Khalil Herbert (L) and Robert Quinn (R)

The Chicago Bears have announced that and rookie running back Khalil Herbert and veteran outside linebacker Robert Quinn were selected by their teammates as the 2021 Brian Piccolo Award winners. 

The Piccolo Award has been voted on and given to a Bears rookie every season since 1970 in memory of Brian Piccolo. In 1992, the award was expanded to include a veteran as well. The Piccolo Award is a special honor voted on by the Chicago Bears players, who select a teammate they feel best exemplifies the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Brian Piccolo.

Herbert said during his acceptance, “loyalty, teamwork and dedication is always something I’ve strived for, on and off the field is, so I’m honored to receive this award.” The award was particularly poignant for Quinn, who told the audience that during his freshman year at North Carolina, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Fortunately for Quinn, it turned out to be benign, and a possible fatal prognosis never materialized. “They said I had a week to live, and I’m still here, so I proved them wrong on that.” He told the audience how he was nominated for that award in college, and that’s when he learned about Piccolo. Quinn went on to publicly thank his teammates for the nomination.

Later that day, Bears GM Poles met with the media to discuss the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.

GM Ryan Poles

Highlights from the press conference:

Making trades: The biggest thing is how many players you have at a certain level. So, can you move back and get a quality player at that next spot? Also take into consideration where will you get kicked other picks – that’s an additional player, so where is that pick located in the draft, and get I get a quality player at that level as well? You accumulate at the back level so can you package and move them again.

On the use of technology vs old fashioned scouting: I feel like my foundation is old scouting. That old foundation was set early in my career. A lot of that has to do with watching tape, watching a lot of tape. And understanding that sometimes you’re taking a good football player. Sometimes, it’s that basic. Are we taking a good football player? Do I think you can use some of these tools and technologies to get too cute, absolutely. But I think that my foundation is at the end of the day, I want to take away a good football player, because I’ve watched the tape and there’s proof on the film. But I do like to use the numbers on paper to confirm what I see.

Constructing a team with limited draft capital: It’s definitely a challenge, but at the same time, that’s why I was hired – to take what we have and construct the best roster we can and have the best draft we can. I do think we will be in the business depending on where it is and what it looks like, and moving back and trying to create more. That’s just what we’ve been handed and we’re going to maximize that.

Making sure that Justin Fields has enough talent on offense: Anytime you improve the team over all, you’re helping all of the players out. You can say well he needs receivers, receivers, receivers, but he needs blocking too. And he also needs balance in terms of running the ball efficiently. and getting that done up front. Then you can do some play action pass stuff. You can do different things. Maybe returners to flip the field and score more points. It’s all connected. That’s really why the mind set is to the best players on this team as possible. If I get too lopsided, by doing a specific thing, I think that leads to big mistakes.

On discipline with draft capital: It’s being disciplined by keeping draft capital so you can draft the right players and develop them as well as the financial commitment it takes on the other side too. There’s consequences for all of those actions.

The NFL Draft begins Thursday April 28, however the Bears do not have a first round pick in 2022.