(670 The Score) The decision that haunts Bears general manager Ryan Pace the most in his six-year tenure in Chicago is one he claims he has learned from. He just won’t detail what he has learned or where he went wrong in his evaluation process previously.
In a season-ending Zoom press conference Wednesday in which chairman George McCaskey cited a strong culture for retaining Pace and coach Matt Nagy after Chicago posted back-to-back 8-8 seasons, Pace was asked directly about his decision to draft Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft as the Bears’ franchise quarterback. In doing so, Pace passed on future star quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, a choice that has defined his time in Chicago – and led to the million-dollar question Wednesday.
What specifically was the misevaluation that led you to choose Trubisky over Mahomes and Watson and what have you learned from that mistake that will help you get the next quarterback decision correct?
“I get the question,” Pace said before completely dodging the question. “We’re focused now on what did you learn as we go forward and making sure any acquisition we make that we’re doing it the right way. I would say this – the chapter, we still got a lot of decisions to make. The season just ended three days ago. We have a lot of things we got to work through with a lot of decisions on our roster, including quarterback. Some of those things still got to unfold. The key word to me is taking this on together with our scouts and not just with Matt – with the coaches that he has around him. I really feel strong, especially with the quarterback position, when you talk about Matt and (assistants in Dave) Ragone and (John DeFilippo) and (Bill) Lazor and us just taking on a lot of these tasks together, that’s what gives me confidence.”
Trubisky has struggled in his four NFL seasons, which included losing his starting job to veteran Nick Foles in the third game of this past season before gaining it back late in the year after Foles was hurt. Trubisky is now set to become a free agent, with Pace saying everything remains on the table for the Bears as it pertains to his future.
Meanwhile, Mahomes is off to one of the best starts of any player in NFL history, as he’s a three-time Pro Bowler, was the 2018 NFL MVP and led the 2019 Chiefs to a Super Bowl championship. Watson is a three-time Pro Bowler for a Texans organization that finds itself in turmoil now.