Disclaimer: I take no sides in the "Cutler vs Hoyer" argument. I want my team to win and I know both QBs do some things well and some things poorly. This is about why we haven't done what, say, Philly did - spend a boatload to get a #2 pick and use it on a QB. Now, on with it:
No idea if I'm reading too much into what Pace has and hasn't done, but I thought I'd put this out there rather than leaving it in one of the post-game threads:
1st-rounders are always really risky, since they’re your best shot at getting a guy who’s going to walk on the field and crush skulls. Pace is a new guy who wasn’t hired explicitly to come in and fire/replace Cutler. He’s also only a few years older than me and obviously hasn’t been a GM before. Plus, about the only person who couldn’t determine that the nascent 2014 Bears were going to be bad was Helen Keller. Therefore, Pace had to make a big choice:
Do I spend my first 1st-round pick on a QB and gamble on my (bad) team being able to keep him alive? Or do I spend on something other than a QB in a position that’s going to help the team overall?
Regardless of what the reasoning was behind it (this ain’t the LSATs, it doesn’t matter that I probably didn’t guess the underlying logic correctly), Pace went with Option B. The fact that his pick got hurt sucks, but it’s not like he picked Kal-El, son of Jor-El of Krypton. The Jaguars lost their guy in preseason too last year. Happens to somebody every season. I like to think that he’s trying to build up something resembling a real team to hand to a new QB, considering how important the position is, how many 1st-rounders you get every year, and how short the Bears were of everything that mattered when Pace came in.
Plus, imagine what would have happened if he’d spent a 1st-rounder and, say, a 2nd-rounder on QBs in his first two years. Especially if one, the other, or both didn't work out - like he got Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning, and followed that up the following year with Giovanni Carmazzi over Tom Brady. (The fact that the fanpost function can't even pull up links for Leaf or Carmazzi should tell you something.)There would be mobs of meatheads in the streets howling about him wasting picks and how he’s hurting the team by not stocking back up after Emery destroyed whatever Angelo hadn’t already burnt down. He may not care about the mobs, but his bosses probably do – plus they probably weren’t going to like him taking high-round QBs that fizzled every year, regardless of the reasoning. Even if George McCaskey isn't the bumbling dimwit Michael is, it can't be good for anybody if the GM is constantly throwing high-end draft picks away on QBs who can't stick because the O-line is a bunch of poorly maintained turnstiles and the defense is a pile of rotten Swiss cheese that's just been set on fire.
Could be a little bit of Answer D, all of the above – not wanting to waste picks, not wanting to hand the shattered fragments of a team to a new kid who doesn’t know anything, wanting to build something to hand to a new guy, maybe even wanting to see what Fox and company would put together before looking for a college QB who seems like he’d fit. Totally sucks for us fans right now, but it’s to be hoped that this will get us a real team, instead of the spit-and-baling-wire act Angelo and Emery were doing. It’s also a decent, though possibly wildly inaccurate, theory behind him trying to build up the O-line – the O-line is critical no matter who your QB is, and ours has been bad for, like, a decade. Having a good O-line is why Dallas handed their team to a new kid and are winning a lot. Why not us?