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Pace Wins Training Camp, Glennon is Glennon & Jaye Howard’s Poor Debut

| August 16th, 2017

Remember when people were calling for Ryan Pace to be fired?

Sure you do, it wasn’t that long ago.

He was stupid for taking a quarterback with just 13 collegiate starts, a D-II tight end, a safety with a rod in his leg and a tiny and a small running back from a small school. Guys like Matt Miller and Jason La Canfora quoted made-up sources saying Pace was SURELY going to be fired.

It’s early, of course, but two weeks into preseason, Pace is the unquestioned winner of Bears training camp.

Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns brought the topic up on their podcast last week. Who is the winner of training camp? Jahns named UDFA and 2017 Joe Anderson Boner Award winner Tanner Gentry. Hoge raved about rookies such as Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen, Eddie Jackson and, of course, Mitch Trubisky. Neither Hoge nor Jahns was wrong. Those guys all look legitimate. But one guy is responsible for all those individuals being in camp, in Bears uniforms. That’s Pace.

It’s funny how much a narrative can change once football players, you know, play football.

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Early Evidence Suggests Good Things for Trubisky

| May 18th, 2017

There’s beginning to be quite a buzz around Mitch Trubisky.

It’s been almost a month since the draft. The Bears were bashed nationally, with some clowns even calling for Ryan Pace’s job. But more evidence is pouring in and they’ve even played a little football. So far, the early returns are that Trubisky is better than he was sold to be before the Bears made the pick.

It’s often been said that teams never really know what they have in quarterbacks until they get them in their doors. The early returns are promising.

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Question Now Facing Ryan Pace: Are Fox & Staff a Match for Trubisky?

| May 15th, 2017

The Bears are in a bit of a pickle.

Ryan Pace, their youngest and boldest GM, has stacked his chips on number ten and is waiting for the wheel to spin. The development of Mitch Trubisky will define Pace’s tenure with this organization and determine greatly whether this is a fun team to watch over the next five seasons.

But Pace now must answer a pivotal question and he must answer it in this calendar year.

Are John Fox and his coaching staff

the right guys to get the most out of Trubisky?

The Bears can arguably afford a season under Fox, with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone focused on Trubisky’s fundamentals: snaps, mechanics, getting the play into the huddle…etc. But as Trubisky makes the transition from the classroom to the field, stability will be of the utmost importance. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the gold standards at quarterback in the NFL. It’s no coincidence that both have taken every single snap of their NFL careers under one head coach. (By the same token look at what instability has done to the productivity of Flacco, Eli, Rivers…etc.)

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Because I’m Not Done Talking About Mitch Trubisky…

| May 10th, 2017

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Bears traded up in the 2017 NFL Draft to get their future. If Ryan Pace & Co. are right about Mitch Trubisky, the Bears are looking at a decade plus of sustained, consistent success. If they are wrong, Bears fans are about three years away from another change in leadership.

Yesterday I had a friend on the golf course repeat the completely debunked “fleeced” narrative to me. You know, the one about how Genius John Lynch took all of Gullible Ryan Pace’s money over a street corner game of three-card monte. Fleeced, they say. FLEECED?!?! The Bears gave up some mid-round picks in order to attain theirs (and basically the entire league’s) most highly-rated quarterback in the draft. They didn’t trade Jordan Howard, Kyle Long and two future firsts. They didn’t even go so far as to give up a pristine, beautiful, perfect second-round selection. They gave up some thirds. A fourth. And got their guy.

[For those who haven’t read Peter King’s piece from inside the Niners draft war room, please read it. His reporting was terrific.]

What has been completely lost in the Trubisky conversation/debate is this: the kid is a great prospect. Not good. Not interesting. Great. In my mind, he was light years above the others in this quarterbacking crop and significantly better than either of the top quarterbacks from a year ago.

[For those who think this is me defending the Bears, Trubisky was my second favorite player in this draft. I have a blog where I write things. This is on the record HERE.]

Trubisky has size, speed, elusiveness, arm strength, intelligence, guts and – perhaps most importantly – he’s all football, all the time. The Tarheel signal caller may not pan out as one of the league’s best quarterbacks but it won’t be because he hasn’t put in every single second required to do so.

Oh, and that guy described above? He’s on the Bears now! He’s on the Bears because they have a general manager who knew Mike Glennon is nothing more than a guy who could have carried the water for a year should the team had been unable to attain a quarterback in this year’s draft. They have a general manager who recognizes ‘good enough’ at quarterback in the NFL is never good enough.

When Jerry Angelo made the boldest move in modern Chicago Bears history – giving up a pile of picks to acquire Jay Cutler – it changed the franchise for the next decade. Did it work out? No. For a myriad of overly-analyzed and debated reasons the Bears didn’t win enough games with Cutler at quarterback. Was it the right move to make? Unquestionably.

The second boldest move in modern Chicago Bears history happened Thursday night, April 27th, about fifteen minutes after the 2017 NFL Draft commenced. In the long-term it could provide the Bears their Aaron Rodgers and cement Pace’s legacy in Chicago. In the short-term it has lined the mirror and handed a rolled up $20 bill to Bears fans and media. A quiet coffee shop of an off-season program and Bourbonnais summer has become 2 AM at Limelight in the 80s.

For years we heard defensive coordinator Greg Blache tell us sacks were not important when it comes to pass rush. When while wide receivers were dominating the game, we watched Angelo ignore the position year after year after year. Now the Bears are led by a man aware of his surroundings and unafraid to dramatically alter them in an attempt to improve. It’s called guts, folks, and the Bears GM has ’em.

He’s taken the risk. Now we all hope to reap the reward. And in the meantime, there’s a buzz about the Bears again.

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Bears Fans Should Love Pace’s Aggressiveness

| May 3rd, 2017

“I don’t want to be average around here, I want to be great and these are the moves you have to make.”-Ryan Pace

For the first time in my lifetime, at least the parts I can remember, the Bears have a General Manager who gets it.

They have a GM who doesn’t just want to make the playoffs or compete with the rest of the division.

They have a GM who wants to kick everybody’s ass.

And, for some reason, people are mad about it.

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Five Thoughts on the Mitch Trubisky Selection

| April 28th, 2017

(1) The Bears made their draft about Mitch Trubisky and Ryan Pace staked his tenure on the success of the Tarheel quarterback. One can argue whether the Bears could have stayed pat at three and still ended up with their desired quarterback but Halas Hall did not believe that. They believed staying at three meant possibly losing out on the guy they refused to leave Thursday night without.

(2) I got an email out of the blue Monday saying – essentially – “sounds like you boys are all-in on Trubisky”. I thought, “Okay, that’s odd.” Told Jahns. Told Dannehy. Went to a someone reliable around the Bears and they unreservedly confirmed it. Yesterday, once the Myles Garrett pick became official, I was 100% on Trubisky coming to Chicago.

(3) This pick makes the entirety of the off-season program more interesting. OTAs, Bourbonnais, preseason games…etc. all become about Trubisky and his development. And for the first time in my life, I’m considering going to training camp for a few days.

(4) Pace will try to get at least one of those mid-round picks back tonight.

(5) I refuse to rule out Trubisky playing in 2017.

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Mike Glennon, the Thing?

| April 1st, 2017

A few weeks back I texted a friend, who also happens to be pretty damn high up with an NFL franchise that doesn’t play their home games in Chicago. I asked him a simple question, “Is Mike Glennon a thing?”

His response: “Pace sure thinks so. Tried to get him last offseason.”

I followed up, making sure he wasn’t fucking with me, then put that information on Twitter. It died there. I thought, “Eh, maybe nobody cares.” Turns out the fans did care but they waited until more reputable newsmen put the information out there to express it. (And yes, I’m kidding. No, I’m not a newsman.)

Ryan Pace likes Mike Glennon. He thinks Mike Glennon can be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. And while Glennon’s arrival won’t deter the Bears from targeting the QB position at various points of the next two NFL drafts, it’s pretty clear that if you asked the front office to layout their best case scenario moving forward it involves Glennon winning a lot of games and STAYING under center.

Listen, I know I’ve been schizophrenic when it comes to this Glennon stuff.

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Finding A Quarterback: No Interest in Mitch Trubisky?

| March 22nd, 2017

(Author’s note: Last week I wrote I didn’t think the Bears would draft a quarterback third. Forget that, they can’t possibly think Mike Glennon is the answer.)

There has been almost nothing to link the Bears to North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky, which is exactly why I think they really like him.

After sending a team of people, including Ryan Pace and John Fox, to Clemson for Deshaun Watson’s workout, the Bears didn’t send anyone of note to see Trubisky this week. There were also no reports of Pace going to watch Trubisky during the season. Really, nothing has connected Pace and the Bears to Trubisky other than a standard interview at the combine.

Hell, we even have Pace talking specifically about having a problem with what is perceived as Trubisky’s biggest flaw, experience:

“Yeah, it carries a lot of weight. I think there’s nothing that can really substitute that,” Pace said at the Senior Bowl. “It’s already a big jump from college to the NFL as it is, so the more of that you have, the more beneficial it is.”

I don’t buy it. 

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Ryan Pace Signs Glennon, But Quarterback Picture Remains Unclear

| March 9th, 2017

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

18.5 million.

That’s the number that matters.

It’s the amount guaranteed to Mike Glennon over the course of his three-year contract with the Chicago Bears. It gives him a nice one-year deal for an NFL starting QB and, hopefully, a well-paid second year on the bench. But it’s not the only number that matters. When it comes to the future at quarterback for the Bears, two other numbers carry immense significance.

3.

36.

Those are the first two selections for the Bears in the 2017 NFL Draft. And if the team hopes to come out of the spring with their quarterback of the future, history tells us they will need to find that man with one of those two selections. Because history also tells us Glennon ain’t the guy.

Yes, Jay Cutler is gone. And barring unforeseen circumstances Glennon is going to be the quarterback in 2017. Those sixteen games provide the 6’6″ signal caller (say that five times fast) with every opportunity to keep whomever the Bears select in Philadelphia well behind him on the depth chart.

Glennon is getting the chance every quarterback in the NFL wants – the chance to make a team his own. Last year Brian Hoyer got it and refused to throw touchdowns before shattering into a million pieces. Matt Barkley also had it until his carriage turned back into a pumpkin.

Glennon has a chance to be the guy. And it would make the lives of those working at Halas Hall much easier, and ascend them to borderline hero status, were he to turn out to be the starter for the next seven years. But Ryan Pace has to hedge this bet. He has to look to the draft to secure the future of the quarterback position. And he has to look early.

It’s an odds play. Glennon may turn out to be a good starter but Glennon AND Trubisky or Watson or Kizer or Mahomes or Peterman gives the Bears far better odds of solidifying the position. Just signing Glennon to this short-term contract is only a solid move for the organization if the correlating move happens before Friday night wraps up on draft weekend.

If the Bears get to the Round 3 and haven’t yet taken a quarterback, the Glennon signing will and should raise every eyebrow in Chicagoland.

Pace has begun to paint the future of the quarterback position in Chicago. But until late April, we won’t see the completed canvass.

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Questions For the Potential Glennon Signing

| March 8th, 2017

Spent a day being a prick about this on Twitter. Here are some questions:

(1) Do the Bears believe Mike Glennon to be the future at QB beyond 2017?

(1a) If yes, it will greatly impact their draft strategy. That might be the craziest thing going. If the Bears think one of the quarterbacks in this draft has the potential to be a franchise player there were only two “acquirable” guys that should alter their approach: Jimmy Garoppolo and Tyrod Taylor. Glennon? No.

(1b) If no, it’s fair to say Glennon is at least a more entertaining option that Brian Hoyer. We know exactly where Hoyer’s sky is located. Glennon’s sky is TBD. This is an attempt to be positive.

(2) If the numbers are real, how could a $14 million salary for Glennon in 2017 NOT preclude the Bears from taking a QB in round one? The best case scenario if the Bears take QB in round one is the round one QB starting in September. That would mean the best case scenario is a $14 million backup quarterback.

(3) Is Ryan Pace really willing to risk his job on this guy? Mike Glennon? Really? It just feels so outrageously stupid. I’m not arguing Glennon will stink but the chances of his being a multiyear success story as Bears QB are not very good. Pace has to know that.

(4) So the Bears just really wanted to say goodbye to Jay Cutler, huh?

(5) Does a move like this excite a single fan? Even though the story line was overrated, the team did play to an empty building at the end of the 2016 season. Do the folks at Halas Hall think this signing brings a single person without the last name “Glennon” into the building? It doesn’t.

(6) If he wins, will everybody love him? Yes.

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