It was Time
With the foundation of the roster in place, 2018 was the year of Ryan Pace.
It started when he got to hire his own coach. Fox was a collective decision. Sure, Pace signed off on the idea, but Fox was never Pace’s guy.
Matt Nagy was Pace’s guy. Pace wanted a creative offensive mind to mold his quarterback and turn his team into the contender he knew it could be.
With Nagy in place, it was time to get weapons for Trubisky. Pace went out and grabbed Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel in the free agency period and then added Anthony Miller in the draft.
In addition to that, Pace snagged talented players like Roquan Smith, James Daniels and Bilal Nichols in the draft as well.
In one offseason, Pace added eight starting caliber players to his roster. That’s basically a third of your regular contributors. That’s an incredible stat.
The cherry on the top to an incredible offseason was, of course, the acquisition of Khalil Mack which turned a solid defense into the best in the NFL.
The roster rebuild was complete. Pace had his coach, his quarterback and his team on the field. With that complete, the Bears put together a worst-to-first season, won the division and proved that they were not just back, but all the way back.
Pace’s impact on the franchise in 2018 wasn’t just on the players he put on the field. Pace completely redid the strength and conditioning staff (resulting in a healthier roster), pushed hard for a complete upgrade of Halas Hall and completely changed the culture of the franchise.