Ryan Pace swung and missed too many times in trying to find a quarterback.
Give Pace credit for doing everything he could to try to solve the Chicago Bears quarterback problem that has plagued the franchise ever since 1950 when Sid Luckman retired.
The harder he tried, the worst it got.
10 different quarterbacks started for the Chicago Bears during Pace’s tenure. He signed seven quarterbacks and drafted two others in the first round.
Pace inherited Jay Cutler and that is where the problem started.
Pace never had the quarterback aligned with the head coach. He hired John Fox and forced a quarterback marriage with Cutler that was not going to work. Pace probably should have cut Cutler and taken the salary cap hit instead of trying to shoehorn Cutler with Fox.
Although, Cutler’s first year was promising. It was so good that offensive coordinator Adam Gase got a head coaching gig with the Miami Dolphins. Still, it was evident that Cutler was not Pace’s guy.
Pace desperately wanted to draft Marcus Mariota in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was unable to move up to get Mariota. Injuries ravaged the quarterback position in the 2016 season.
Pace then overpaid for Mike Glennon in 2017. Then he moved up from the third pick to the second pick in that year’s draft to select Mitchell Trubisky.
He moved aggressively to make sure he got his quarterback. He famously picked Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and never met with Deshaun Watson during the pre-draft process–although in hindsight, not meeting with Watson is probably a good thing.
That fateful pick will forever be a part of Ryan Pace’s legacy. He passed on an MVP quarterback for a boom-or-bust prospect. Trubisky busted.
He threw an inaccurate deep ball and he could not read defenses. He could run but if he was forced to stay in the pocket, Trubisky did not prosper.
It is unknown if Mahomes would reach his potential had Pace gone with him. There is a pretty good chance that Mahomes would still be with the Chicago Bears and not say, a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Plus, Pace had two more failures as he tried to make up for the Trubisky disaster.
He then traded for Nick Foles in 2020 because the prior coaching staff (we will get to them shortly) felt he could run the offense better. Foles failed.
Pace then signed Andy Dalton to be QB1 in 2021 after being unable to acquire Carson Wentz or Russell Wilson. A little luck allowed Pace to be in a position to trade up and draft Justin Fields.
Drafting Fields might be the best move Pace ever made but remember Fields was not Pace’s first choice. Who knows how much draft capital (we will also get to that later) Pace would have given up to land Wilson.
The Denver Broncos are learning that the hard way this season. It could have been the Bears instead had the trade last year gone through. Also, Fields is probably never a Bear if the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers, Broncos, or Falcons had taken Fields.