Rozner: Did Bears' Pace finally get a draft pick right?

  • Bears general manager Ryan Pace has had a subpar record in seven drafts.

    Bears general manager Ryan Pace has had a subpar record in seven drafts. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/30/2021 3:01 PM

Ryan Pace is on the hot seat.

This was the breaking news, the stunning national narrative heading into the 2021 NFL Draft.

 

Seriously.

You could have hired a crash test dummy six years ago and an aluminum mannequin would have produced exactly as many playoff victories as Pace has produced during his legendary reign as the boss of Bears football.

But now on his seventh draft, suddenly the Teflon Con is on the hot seat?

That's pretty funny.

With seven opportunities to build a team, as he butchered draft after draft, trade after trade, free agent signing after free agent signing, Pace has been allowed to mortgage the future and spend like a drunken mayor with absolutely no consequences, no fear of what might happen to him as a result of his record.

If you had a nickel for every time you heard or read "Ryan Pace can't afford a miss this time," you'd have many nickels, but every disaster has been followed by a contract extension or more "collaboration" with George McCaskey and Ted Phillips.

His most extraordinary move was getting everyone in Chicago to believe that it was all the fault of John Fox -- not to mention little Don Segretti -- and at the same time getting more money and more term from the family.

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That was flipping brilliant.

Fox wasn't even told by the GM that they were drafting Mitch Trubisky, but Fox was given his walking papers as a result of inept management.

Look, you have to admire a man this bad at his job who seems to have a contract for life, snowing his bosses year after year, regardless of record.

No doubt, the drafting of Justin Fields will buy Pace another five years.

If it works, if he's able to win even a single playoff game somewhere down the road, Pace will be hailed a hero by the cheerleaders and given a parade by the locals.

Huzzah!

If it does not work, Pace will blame Nagy and start anew with another coach, another seven-year plan for building the next great football dynasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It was somehow Fox who took the fall for the insane move of one draft spot and all that treasure spent to get Trubisky, and it will be Nagy this time as Pace has again given up much capital to get his quarterback.

Pace's hand-picked coach -- the quarterback whisperer -- has thus far been unable to prepare a sliced grapefruit in time for breakfast, but Nagy is again responsible for developing the Bears' next Super Bowl quarterback.

Maybe Nagy can get it done this time. He better. Make no mistake about how this will play out if Fields is not the answer to every question.

The head coach will be jettisoned and the GM extended.

"You can draft the players," Pace said Thursday night, "but you have to develop them the right way."

In other words, he's been right all this time.

It's on Fox, Nagy and the 52 offensive assistants they've employed over seven years that haven't gotten the job done with the likes of Jimmy Clausen, Matt Barkley, Brian Hoyer, David Fales, Mike Glennon, Chase Daniel, Nick Foles, Tyler Bray and a future Hall of Famer in Trubisky.

Ryan Pace should run for office.

He had perhaps the biggest miss in the history of the franchise -- Trubisky -- and many others in the last seven opportunities, and yet somehow it never matters. He has obviously convinced someone in ownership that he's the best GM in franchise history and all he needs is for the coaches -- the coaches he hired -- to do their jobs properly.

There's no other explanation for a seventh opportunity.

For your sake and the sake of Bears Nation, here's hoping Pace finally got one right and that Nagy will put Fields in a position to succeed.

But that nagging feeling in your gut is you know Pace is the superb talent evaluator who selected this quarterback and Nagy is still in charge of the offense.

No wonder you're a little scared.

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