Setting the Pace
I know Ryan Pace has plenty of detractors — some more vocal than others. However, if you do not give him credit for what he’s done with this team since January, then you’re not being fair or objective.
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The 2017 squad finished 5-11, and for the fourth consecutive year, were set to pick in the top 10 of the NFL Draft. Before doing so, this team would undergo a transformation, the likes of which had not been seen in Chicago in such a short amount of time.
First, he identified the man he wanted to be the Bears’ next head coach, and went out and got him. Despite interviewing with and being courted by the Indianapolis Colts, Matt Nagy is the Bears head coach because of how the two connected during the interview process. The two were in lockstep from the very beginning, and it became clear to Nagy that Chicago was where he wanted to be.
Next, he brought in Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, and Taylor Gabriel to give Mitchell Trubisky three, new toys on offense. Then he went out and drafted Roquan Smith, Anthony Miller, James Daniels, and Bilal Nichols, all of whom have made considerable impacts on the season.
Those moves alone would have been enough to get Pace into contention for NFL Executive of the Year, but then he goes out just before the start of the season and acquires Khalil Mack for virtual peanuts?
Players of his ilk don’t get traded. When they do, they usually command a king’s ransom in return, as they should. Pace and the Bears got one of, if not the, most dominant defensive player in the NFL. They should have paid through the nose. Except they didn’t. In fact, based on some reasonable projections, the Bears got Mack in return for basically a mid-first-round pick. Truly remarkable.