Do you still hate Ryan Pace?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Fans have been down on Ryan Pace, but has this off-season turned around their opinions?

I’ve been covering the Chicago Bears for a couple different websites for the last 4+ years. The one constant I’ve found in the comments section is the steady hate for Ryan Pace. Pace took over a sinking ship back in 2015 and had a vision for the future of the Bears. It was a vision he relayed to ownership and ownership wanted that vision to materialize and hired Pace as the team’s next GM.

The issue with the vision is that it meant gutting the team. Other than Kyle Long and a few others that proved their worth (Kyle Fuller, Charles Leno), Pace didn’t see any real building blocks on the team. Fans saw Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte and still thought this offense could be something special. But Pace saw aging players, some of them difficult to deal with, and didn’t want them a part of the team’s future.

Fans still think that’s a mistake, despite the fact that Bennett and Forte are out of the league and Marshall is clinging to his last life. Jeffery did have a nice season last season in Philadelphia, but, oh by the way, will miss the beginning of the year as he’s recovering from a surgery, which was one of the main reasons Pace was hesitant to commit to him financially.

Out with the old and in with the new. The rebuild began. The Bears made a misstep and that they weren’t forthright with the fans. When Theo Epstein took over the Chicago Cubs, he didn’t tell the fans they would be good in a couple of years. He told them to be patient, and they were rewarded with a World Series championship. Pace and Bears’ ownership stayed quiet, so as the losses piled up, fans got angry.

Pace became the target of many fans. They felt he was incompetent and didn’t know how to spend in free agency. The fans let their anger get in the way of objectivity. They didn’t see that he was hitting the reset button on the roster and starting over and that it was going to take time. Those that did see it, preached patience, but those that didn’t called the others sycophants.

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Pace built up a core of players through the draft that include Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, Jordan Howard, Eddie Jackson, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd, Mitch Trubisky, and now the likes of Roquan Smith and Anthony Miller. Once he had enough young talent in place, he struck in free agency and added the likes of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel. After that was in place, he made the mother of all moves and brought in Khalil Mack.

Pace has built this team in his vision. He started from scratch and now, entering his fourth season, he’s seeing his team materialize. Ownership is seeing it, and now, many of the fans are seeing it.

If Trubisky makes the jump that many analysts feel he’s ready to make, Matt Nagy’s squad could push for a playoff spot this season and be Super Bowl contenders in 2019. It’s there for the taking and it’s now on the shoulders of Trubisky.

Some Bears fans have always supported Pace, and others have turned the corner and are seeing the vision. Others, still think Pace is driving this team into the ground. They refuse to give Pace credit for any of this, or they just don’t believe the team is very good.

Do you hate Ryan Pace? Some Bears’ fans still do, but they really need to open their eyes and see what’s right in front of them.