Rozner: Bears' Pace sounds wise in saying little

  • Bears general manager Ryan Pace didn't say much Tuesday on the team's future, but said he has a plan in place.

    Bears general manager Ryan Pace didn't say much Tuesday on the team's future, but said he has a plan in place. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 3/2/2021 5:52 PM

Ryan Pace had perhaps his most lucid news conference to date Tuesday when he met the media.

And that's because he said virtually nothing about the Bears' plans.

 

That's wise, actually. There's no virtue in signaling your plans to the other clubs, agents, players and even the fans, especially creating expectations when you're uncertain about what you might accomplish.

With NFL free agency about to kick off, and a wild trade market already conducted daily on social media, the general manager said little about how big a move the Bears might make this year.

"It just depends on the opportunity," Pace said. "It's not like we go into it and say, 'Hey, we're going to take a big swing just to make headlines and make a splash.' It depends on what's presented to us.

"We're going to see a lot of guys hit the market in the coming weeks. As a staff, we have to be able to pivot and adjust along the way. There may be some things that we might not expect."

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The Bears have to find a quarterback after four years of the failed Mitch Trubisky experiment.

No one really knows why they're still employed, but with Pace and Matt Nagy desperately trying to keep their jobs, mortgaging the future to get a QB is certainly a price they'll be willing to pay, though Pace isn't going to announce that to ownership.

"It's a collaborative effort in this whole building. It really is," Pace said. "It's not just one or two people. It's an entire building making these decisions.

"It's not just short term. There has to be a long-term thought process in place. That's the right way to do it and that's the way we operate."

It hasn't really been the way they operate, but what do you expect him to say? He's not going to tell George McCaskey that he's willing to give away the next five years to take one more shot, but that's what Pace has to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

They don't want to go into next season relying on Nick Foles, though Foles certainly got the worst of the draw last season, when the offensive line was a disaster, the running game didn't exist and Nagy refused to protect his quarterback with a reasonable game plan.

In fact, when Nagy spoke Tuesday he sounded like a coach who could live with Foles as his quarterback.

Nevertheless, the Bears are searching desperately for someone more mobile who can understand a defense and chew gum at the same time.

"Right now, everything is on the table in regards to the quarterback situation," Pace said. "That includes players on our current roster. That includes free agency, trade, the draft and a combination of all those.

"We have a plan in place and now it's about executing that plan."

Not only is a plan in place, but Pace said the "foundation pieces are in place."

Some things never change.

As for Trubisky, virtually no one in the NFL believes he will get another chance here, but Pace isn't ready to throw a going-away party quite yet.

"We're not going to lay all that out right now," Pace said. "Those are all internal discussions we've had. Everything's on the table with all the quarterbacks.

"It's been daily conversations that we've had. Discussing different players and different avenues to acquire those players and in different combinations. We're ready to pivot a number of different ways. That's going to be important this offseason, especially with that position."

While Pace has never been shy about pouncing on an opportunity at great cost to the franchise, he insisted that he will be careful not to get robbed again.

"With any trade we can't be reckless," Pace said. "We're always going to have our limits with trades. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in a bad position where you're stuck."

He's been plenty reckless in the past, especially when he decides he must have a player, Trubisky easily the greatest and most painful example of his desperation.

But this time it won't be on Pace if he makes another huge gamble that has disastrous consequences. Ownership knew that by giving this regime one final chance, that those in charge would give up anything and everything in order to save their jobs.

It's likely to happen. Now, it's just a matter of who and when.

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