The entire situation around the Chicago Bears‘ power structure is interesting. When it comes to head coach Matt Nagy? Everybody, both local and national, agrees that he is gone after this season. It is a matter of when ownership decides to pull the trigger. While this is happening, it is rather surprising how little smoke there is surrounding GM Ryan Pace. The man who hired Nagy in the first place.
What is his status? This is where the situation becomes considerably foggier. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports recently said it was likely that Pace is gone after the season. SM’s own sources have indicated that it’s a 50/50 proposition at this point. His seat is heating up but might not be hot enough to convince George McCaskey he should be fired outright. So what is the truth? Longtime Bears insider Hub Arkush of Shaw Media offered his own update on the subject during an appearance on Parkins & Spiegel for 670 The Score.
From what he’s hearing, don’t count on Pace going anywhere.
“My sources are telling me that Ryan Pace is not in as much trouble as people think he is. But that there is consideration about whether they do need to reorganize that front office. So my focus is more on a top football guy. “
This statement falls in line with a rumor that many have bought into. That Pace might be shifted to another job in the team hierarchy while a fresh face takes over as GM. Then the two work together to hire the next head coach. This is a similar approach the White Sox took with Kenny Williams and the Bulls with John Paxson. Pace would lose the final say over the roster but he’d still have a prominent voice in the organization.
A win-win from McCaskey’s perspective. Would Bears fans be willing to accept that? Depends on who you ask. Some want Pace completely out of the picture, feeling he hasn’t earned a fancy new job title given his failures. Others believe he still has considerable value as a talent evaluator given the success the team has had in the draft over the past couple of years. As always, it is a complicated situation.
Ryan Pace needs a strong finish from this team
Not so much to make the playoffs or anything. Just to help show that this roster is capable enough to have success. It is merely a matter of getting the head coach right. Special attention must be paid to the younger guys. Specifically the 2020 and 2021 draft classes. How are they progressing? Does it look like they can play? The more of them that flash potential, the better it will look for Pace.
In that regard, the bag can best be called mixed. Jaylon Johnson has played really well at cornerback. So has Darnell Mooney at wide receiver. However, top 2020 pick Cole Kmet continues to suffer from consistency issues and isn’t looking like the primary target at tight end the team was hoping for. This year? Justin Fields certainly provided flashes of brilliance. Larry Borom looks like a keeper at right tackle and Khalil Herbert is an NFL starter on several teams. As for 2nd round pick Teven Jenkins? He’s yet to play a snap after undergoing back surgery.
These final five games are huge.
If those guys can take another step forward in development? Then Ryan Pace might have a case to stick around after the purge that is coming. If they don’t, then he’ll be left lamenting what he might’ve done differently as he seeks employment elsewhere. Either way, not everybody will be satisfied by the outcome.