The Pace Evaluation
Despite some fans and even some ignorant folks in the media, there still is a collection of Ryan Pace haters out there. That number has dwindled significantly after the success of 2018 but there are still plenty that don’t think he knows what he’s doing.
If you’ve paid attention even a little bit, you know that Pace can certainly do the job as GM of the Bears and do it well. He won Executive of the Year in 2018 via the Sporting News. His success isn’t going unnoticed.
But it did take a while to get where the Bears are now. What Pace built was going to take time, but his lack of transparency is what created the anti-Pace contingent.
The bottom line is that Pace turned around a team that had been in the playoffs once in the last eight years when he took over. He saw a roster basically devoid of talent and built it from the ground up. He held over four players from the previous front office (and one of those players is a punter) and built a roster from scratch.
Everything that Pace did from 2015 to 2017, all the “questionable” moves, was building to where the team is now. So the critic that wants to say that the Bears didn’t need to rebuild or that the rebuild took too long or that Pace should be dinged because Quintin Demps didn’t work out are simply people who weren’t looking at the big picture.
Pace was patient and built the team in his vision and he was rewarded with one of three Bears’ seasons since the 1980s where the team won 12 or more games.
Simply put, Pace is a top-notch draft talent evaluator. His record speaks for himself there. Pace and Nagy have created a locker room that players want to be a part of. Players are now talking about that atmosphere that has been created and how opposing players want to be a part of it.
After his recent stretch of free agent acquisitions, questioning his free agent moves is also a difficult thing to do. Bears fans should expect even better things this year from Allen Robinson.
One thing we’ve mentioned throughout this piece is Pace’s lack of transparency and that’s clearly not something that is going to change. Pace keeps Halas Hall buttoned up tight. There’s not a lot of information leaving those walls and Pace doesn’t speak with the media often and usually when he does, there isn’t too much information being relayed.
At this point, transparency doesn’t do too much for Pace and the Bears. Pace is clearly going to run this franchise similarly to how Belichick runs the Patriots. There’s no issue with that and some would even applaud that approach.
The problem was that it didn’t exist from the start. In theory, Pace and the Bears owed nothing to the fans, and perhaps being honest with the rebuild would have caused more headaches with guys like Cutler on the roster (why would you rebuild around a QB north of 30 years old?), and it would have created more questions than answers, but it certainly would have caused less of a frenzy than it did when the rebuild began.
Pace has built arguably the deepest roster in the NFL. He has a team coming off a 12-4 record with a young core and the potential, if his QB develops, to be contending for Super Bowls for the next decade.
Anyone looking at Pace’s full body of work needs to look a the current roster because this is the roster that Pace set to build starting 50 months ago.
When you look at the laughing-stock the Bears were when Marc Trestman was fired to where they are now, there is no conclusion to make when evaluating the work of Ryan Pace other than to say that the job he has done has been nothing short of phenomenal.