An offseason full of disappointments; missing out on big free agents, a number of assistant coaches bolting and a team coming off of its worst season in decades all contributed.
There’s little surprise then that the fanbase has been pretty anxious and irritated.
Patience in the city of a proud and decorated football franchise, that hasn’t hoisted the championship trophy in over 30 years or tasted the playoffs in six seasons, is wearing thin.
Yet it seems like fans have been hearing an awful lot from general manager Ryan Pace over the last three months.
Each time the message has been a little different, depending on the questions but the message has been the same: he and the staff have to build the team through the draft in order to build sustained success.
It’s all beginning to fall on deaf ears though. None of the talk matters.
Fans have been hearing the talk now for going on three seasons and they’ve watched the team win a measly eight games.
No one will likely publicly hear from Pace again until after the first night of the NFL Draft. The message will likely be similar to the after-season presser and the video message last week:
“We’re going to get better. We will improve.”
Stop. Saying. That.
It’s silly and it’s vague and it’s trivial. Pace knows the fans are frustrated. The fans know Pace wants to build a good team but just saying it doesn’t do anything.
Go out and make it happen.
Stop the talk. Fans won’t care if they don’t hear from the GM. In fact, they would probably rather hear from anyone but the GM. If the GM isn’t talking it might mean he’s doing things like scouting and evaluating and meeting with players.
Season ticket holder Bill in Naperville doesn’t care that Pace recorded a video message in March that says ‘Thanks for plucking down three months’ salary, just hang in there.’ No, Bill wants to see a team that fights and scraps and hangs around in games and plays with heart and toughness after Bill slogs in through sleet from the ‘burbs at 6 a.m. on a Sunday to watch the beloved.
The words of a GM to a restless fanbase mean squat when there’s nothing to back it up. Fans don’t care that Markus Wheaton is a “first in the building” type of guy. They don’t need to know that Prince Amukamara is “steady and consistent.” They simply want to see a receiving corps that won’t drop a game-winning TD or blow their assignment on third and 12 while clinging to a late lead.
If anything the team owner should be the ones pandering to the ticket holders and explaining why they are paying more after seeing substantially fewer wins.
The GM has a football team to improve. It’s time for Pace to put up or shut up. He has to nail his first three draft picks or the next video he’s making will be a video resume´.