I woke up early on Saturday morning and saw “Khalil Mack” trending on Twitter. I thought, “uh oh, what happened”. I read up on the news and I was in shock! The Chicago Bears had traded for Khalil Mack! Now as a football fan, I was very excited with what the Raiders were building. They drafted Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Mack and I thought that was a nice young core of players to build with. I followed them pretty closely and was excited at the success they had early in their careers. Essentially, I was a Mack fan already and respected him as one of the best defenders in the NFL. Now that he’s playing for my favorite team, I’m obviously excited!
When Ryan Pace was hired, I felt this sense of optimism that he would build a team that would compete and get back to the postseason and hopefully, the Super Bowl. Just from his interviews, the way he talked about building a team resonated with me and I was sold. The start of his tenure has had mixed results. Some hiccups in Free Agency with some not so good signings, a few injury prone first round picks but to say that Pace hasn’t put the Bears in position to be competitive would be missing what he has done since he’s been hired. His attention to detail and the continuous plan to bring in talented players has been apparent, especially late in the draft. I like how he leaves no stone unturned, he’s found some nice values late and they’ve become starters for the Bears. Some organizations like to build through the draft, others like to build in free agency. The best organizations like New England, utilize every form of building a roster, whether it’s via the draft, free agency, and trades. The Bears have done that since Pace has been hired and I am pleased with the job he has done so far.
He’s slowly putting together a team that can be competitive for years to come. The defense is pretty solid and should take their play to the next level by inserting Mack. The offense has shown flashes in preseason so that is still pending for review but Pace has shown a willingness to put Coach Matt Nagy and Quarterback, Mitch Trubisky in the best possible position to succeed. Obviously, the Bears have to eventually go out and win games but because of Pace’s aggressiveness, it should start happening very soon!
The key trait that has set Pace apart from the Bears General Managers of the past is his willingness to take risks. The risks he takes are ones that seem to be calculated though, not just done without considering alternatives and discussed with the coaching staff. When speaking about the trade for Mack, Pace said, “This is a premier player at a premier position and this doesn’t come around that often”. In years past, Bears have always played things pretty safe and as a result, haven’t really had many star players like Mack on the roster. The only real risk the Bears have taken to yield a high caliber player was the trade for Jay Cutler and the results were very underwhelming during Cutler’s tenure as a Bear. Now I’ll admit, I am more optimistic than many other Bears fans but I do feel like the Bears are in good shape with Ryan Pace making decisions and if the Bears eventually win a Superbowl, we will have Ryan Pace to thank for that!