Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace met with the media Monday afternoon to go over why John Fox was fired and what they’re looking for going forward.
Here are some of the highlights:
Ted Phillips opened things up before introducing Ryan Pace with a contact extension for the GM:
- New contract will run through 2021 to match a new coach’s four-year deal.
- “When Ryan was hired three years ago he told us that building through the draft wouldn’t be easy.”
- Cites team’s third-highest roster turnover rate, but says they’ve added young talent.
- They saw key characteristics of a good GM when they hired him and he’s continued to show them: understands player development, building trust, management, knows what coaches want, taking calculated risks, salary cap management.
- “He knows he needs to improve, as we all do.”
- Thanks the fans and his bosses for the opportunity
- “I have the upmost respect for Coach Fox, he is a friend.”
- “He helped set the foundation for this franchise.”
- Says the results weren’t where they needed to be and knows he (Pace) needs to be better
- “It’s on us to continue to surround our young QB with talent.”
- On contract extension matching a new hire: “Stability comes to mind, I think it was important”
- On what he’s looking for: “I don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner: It’s got to be the right guy, we’re not looking at offense or defense.”
- On Fox’s 14 wins: “I feel much better about where we are right now than I did a year ago” says that’s because of Trubisky, but says those 14 wins are on him as well
- On if Trubisky or anyone else will be involved: “It’s a collaborative effort”
- On if Vic Fangio would have gotten a look before the end of the season: Says it was never considered firing Fox in-season to get a look at anyone else
- Shutdown question of if Fangio is a candidate or not.
- Won’t say if Fangio is a candidate to return under new head coach as coordinator, never says yes/possibility
- On injuries: “We did a lot to address it over the last year and obviously it wasn’t enough. There’s going to be some deep studies.”
- On Mike Glennon: “I have no regrets in being aggressive at the position. Sometimes things don’t work out. Luckily we took two swings.”
- On criteria and qualities of a new coach: Says he wants to keep those things in-house and protect it for interview process
- On Trubisky’s development over the year: Talks about how he got better, reiterated that he doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Says with his work ethic and that over the offseason he will grow in confidence of being ‘The Guy’
- On free agency failures: Says that as drafting improves they can be more selective in free agency
- On if experienced head coach is the right way “I wouldn’t say that, again we don’t want to paint ourselves into a corner.”
- Says they are discussing allowing Trubisky to be involved in the coaching hire process
- Says new Halas Hall renovations are going to help team in multiple ways
- Says hiring process is a “collaborative effort” but final decision is his but says he wants input from others, like he gets in the draft. Final 53 say is and will be his.
- Says a final decision on Fox wasn’t made until last night.
- Says that roster turnover has been made for talent, for character and reiterates that this offseason is going to be big and emphasizes “stacking drafts.”
- Says that when talking with younger coaches and any candidate that they will ask about potential staffs and who they would bring in but wouldn’t give a ballpark number of candidates.
- Seven draft picks, one top-10 pick, healthy cap space and young roster make this an exciting offseason
- Thorough process, understands it’s a competitive market and that they will be aggressive to get the process rolling and find their guy.
- Won’t rule out possible college coach being considered
- Never felt that Trubisky was overwhelmed, could process a lot and that the moment was never too big.
- Says he is prepared to find the right coach because of his experience and the people he has working with him.
- Says last search was different because of the roster and he is here with a “core group of guys” (basically saying that he was sort of alone last time, making a choice in a room of other people he didn’t hire).
- Keeps saying “It isn’t about him” it’s what is best for the Bears
- Says Leonard Floyd is progressing well and is rehabbing well and that he is right on track.
- Says that there are no official requests have been submitted, despite what was reported. Says that is due to his respect for Fox, cites personal and professional nature of the business. Had to go about it the “right way.” (Reading between the lines: It’s kind of a jerk move to start looking before you’ve fired the guy and before he’s out of the building)
- On how many draft classes he needs to build sustained success “We’re looking for it now, we need to capitalize.”
- Says he will lean on George and Ted, but also his league connections and personnel guys
- Says Kyle Long is dealing with several things but is progressing
- Says he’s proud of Kyle Fuller’s season: “Very professional approach, very even-keeled,” says that Fuller “attacked” last offseason
- “There’s no quick fix, we just have to make sure we keep...” drafting well, IDing talent, etc.
What did you think of Pace’s comments, can he find the right coach?