Devout Bears loyalists, committed fans, and indifferent supporters everywhere were given a special treat on Wednesday.
That’s right, Dear Reader. General manager Ryan Pace, he of zero playoff wins despite spending the second-most money in the NFL over the last five seasons, graced a gathered press contingent at Halas Hall with his presence. And as I know you might have guessed; he used an approximate half-hour (after being 40 minutes late for a 3:00 p.m. Central presser; Lake Forest is on island time) to elaborate on every pertinent Bears issue with a trademark eloquence.
Let’s dive into the Pace treatise everyone was anticipating with the 2021 season right around the corner. Everything Is Fine.
Fresh developments come first in honest conversations, such as the aging linebacker given $13.2 million guaranteed in the off-season starting the regular season on injured reserve.
Bears GM Ryan Pace says LB Danny Trevathan has had an ongoing knee issue and team wants to "let him take his time" to get ready to play.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
To be sure, a fair answer. Knee injuries for players over the 30-year-old hill aren’t anything to be concerned about, especially if they have a history of knee ailments. One can only assume that considering the Bears’ track record with injury progress, Danny Trevathan, in this case, did not have his leg amputated. We’ll see him in Week 7, good as new.
Divulging the status of long-standing defensive veterans is nice and all, but what about hopeful long-term building blocks? You know, like the ones tasked with protecting the first Big Boy quarterback prospect the Bears have drafted in decades?
Bears GM Ryan Pace says OT Teven Jenkins had back issues at the start of training camp. Surgery immediately alleviated symptoms. They believe it was a "common" procedure and definitely think it's possible to get him back this season.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
Oh, phew, what a relief. I was a lot more concerned before Pace, of all people, told me this was common. Thank goodness. The player with back issues at the end of his collegiate career merely had minor surgery on a part of the body notorious for healing well.
Ryan Pace says this back issue is "way different" (in a positive way) than the back issues that OT Teven Jenkins had in college.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
Great news! Pace’s description is one of the first instances I’ve ever heard a back injury construed as a positive. Teven Jenkins must be distinct and unique in comparison to just about every other human being. It’s also not like he has to block 300-plus pound men several hundred times a year, or whatever, as his primary job responsibility. Knowing that, it’s wise and prudent to potentially bring him back this year. Everything’s coming up, Bears.
At least Tarik Cohen is on the right track, and the Bears have definitive knowledge of where he stands.
Ryan Pace "doesn't want to get into specifics" when asked a yes/no on whether RB Tarik Cohen had a second surgery. So you have your answer.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
Ah, well, nevertheless.
I’m positive it means nothing that Pace doesn’t want to get into any meaningful details regarding an injury that, typically, takes about nine months or so to recover from for most people. No setbacks are present here. Please disperse and please stop asking questions, everyone. Expect Cohen to be scoring touchdowns as usual while definitely only having one prior knee surgery.
I want to level with you, Dear Reader, because I know I’m not alone. But do you remember what you had for dinner last night? What about a couple of days ago? No? Me neither. Man, I’m getting old. In a way, we’re like three peas in a pod with Ryan Pace.
Bears GM Ryan Pace won't say why Akiem Hicks mysteriously missed a practice last month because it was too long ago to remember. Ok.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
Who among us has the time to track the comings and goings of the litany of people in our lives, let alone core players synonymous with your regime being pulled from a practice? How exhausting that must be for anyone who can manage. Godspeed and solidarity with you brave souls.
Whoa, so much talk about the walking wounded. I should pivot.
Regarding the situation that has everyone on pins and needles over the last month, I’m also with Pace. We should be in lockstep with the declining veteran quarterback that no one has any established emotional investment in, who was only signed as a failsafe after swinging and missing on a certain superstar. At the same time, he keeps the exciting future of the franchise on the bench. This makes sense to me!
The answer to every question about Justin Fields playing is that Ryan Pace and the Bears like how Andy Dalton is playing. Pace says the goal is to watch Dalton win and look over to see that Fields is killing it on the practice field as he develops.— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 1, 2021
Right on, Ryan. Don’t listen to the haters. I will tune in as Andy Dalton wins against a regular-season schedule featuring seven 2020 playoff teams, including a road tilt with the defending Super Bowl champions at peak powers. Dalton will, indeed, be killing it while for non-arbitrary decisions, Justin Fields kills it on the practice field every week. If I know one thing (that’s up for debate), it’s to trust how the Bears handle quarterback development.
Anyway, the Bears open the 2021 season on the road with Andy Dalton as their starter at the helm of the NFL’s oldest roster. They’ll take on the Super Bowl contender Rams in their first game in their new stadium in front of a packed house with millions of people at home watching this duel of titans on national television.
I, for one, look forward to hearing from Pace again in early January, which might be too soon, when he’ll regale us with songs of the Bears’ Tremendous Progress once more.