LAKE FOREST, IL.– The 2022 offseason has yet to officially start for the Chicago Bears but the talk has never really stopped. Since the end of the 2020 season, questions have lingered about the future of general manager Ryan Pace. When Pace first stepped to the podium eight years ago after being hired by the Bears, his energy and commitment to being great was apparent.
It could be argued that one simple quote from Pace has been the exact opposite of how his tenure has gone. Fast forward seven seasons later and Pace has missed on two head coaches, drafted two quarterbacks in the first round, one winning season, and two playoff appearances with zero wins.
“The recipe to winning Super Bowls is stringing successful drafts together again and again,” said Pace via the Chicago Tribune in 2015. “We are acquiring football players that fit the Chicago Bears. There will be a major emphasis on character, toughness, instincts, and intelligence. Guys, it’s all about winning games and that’s what I’m here to do. Every decision we make goes back to what’s best for this organization. It’s as simple as that. Our plan will start being put into place to get the Chicago Bears back to the sustained success this city deserves.”
When the Bears season ends on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, it’ll be the sixth time in seven seasons that Pace has had a losing record. When Monday rolls around, expect head coach Matt Nagy to be fired, and when Pace returns, the Bears will allow him to hire a third head coach.
Pace returning isn’t about Chairman George McCaskey reinforcing who’s really calling the shots at Halas Hall. It’s about McCaskey’s own confidence and belief that Pace can live up to what he said eight years ago: Building a long-term and sustainable winner.
The ship for Pace to turn the Bears into a winner hasn’t necessarily sailed, especially with rookie quarterback Justin Fields now the future of the franchise but it’s hard to ignore Pace’s first seven seasons with the Bears. A new head coach essentially means Pace’s window will reopen for however long McCaskey sees fit. Fields too guarantees Pace some additional job security. In what is quickly turning out to be the most anticipated offseason in franchise history, the Bears are confident Pace can deliver despite a tumultuous tenure so far.