Ryan Pace Has Growing Needs to Address on Both Sides of the Ball and Other Bullets

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Ryan Pace Has Growing Needs to Address on Both Sides of the Ball and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

There is something about the way Ryan Pace looks at Matt Nagy that makes me excited about what’s to come with the Chicago Bears:

  • Even though the Bears have popped up as a potential destination for Jarvis Landry, Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach seems to believe Albert Wilson is headed to Chicago where he’ll join a familiar face, Matt Nagy. Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune connects the dots on a player who has jumped on our radar as a logical Bears free agent target. Considering the team’s multiple needs at receiver, I wouldn’t mind if both ended up in Chicago in 2018.
  • Over at Pro Football Weekly, Bob LeGere explains why the Bears need more help at receiver than you probably think (and you already probably think it’s a lot … and you’re not wrong). “The receiver position is a need position for us,” Pace said at the Combine. “Unfortunately, we have a lot of injuries there, so we’re kind of assessing where each one of those guys are in their rehab and then also looking to see what our options are as we go into the draft and free agency.” Position of need seems like an understatement after watching that group struggle to perform consistently, whether Mike Glennon or Mitch Trubisky was slinging the pigskin. Injuries to Cameron Meredith and Kevin White didn’t help matters, but the fact that their coming off season-ending injuries is a cause for concern moving forward.
  • Speaking of Kevin White, it looks like his collar bone injury is healed:

  • Because of the team’s recent cuts of Pernell McPhee and Willie Young, pass rush has shot to the top of the team’s list of needs, writes Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. Pace said pass rush is “always a priority” for the Bears and it will be exactly that this offseason. Leonard Floyd and Isaiah Irving are the only returning outside linebackers under contract and it’s not like this free agent class will be flooded with top-rated pass rushers. Detroit already used the franchise tag to keep Ezekiel Ansah (who probably wasn’t an ideal fit as a 4-3 defensive end) and Dallas will likely use the franchise tag to retain Demarcus Lawrence after his breakout year. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio was able to piece together a top-10 defense without much of a pass rush after having four edge defenders go on injured reserve, but history won’t repeat itself if Pace doesn’t replenish the position with talent.
  • Perhaps dipping into the draft would be the Bears’ best course of action in rebuilding their pass rush. In a piece by ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, NFL analyst Matt Bowen believes drafting Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds would fit the Bears’ recent draft history. Edmunds is a versatile and athletic defender who projects to be an outside pass rusher, but also someone who has coverage skills and can contribute as an inside linebacker in nickel packages. Having versatility is key to Fangio’s defense, and while he could stand to grow and develop, the upside is through the roof here.
  • You could point at several spots on the Bears’ offensive line and make a case for each being a position of need. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times offers up a pair of options who could provide potential upgrades for the Bears. While we’re often in awe of what Quenton Nelson has done to become the draft’s most sought-after guard prospect, Mike McGlinchey was Notre Dame’s left tackle and is cementing his place as the draft’s top tackle prospect. Like Nelson, it sounds like McGlinchey wouldn’t mind reuniting with his college position coach Harry Hiestand, who left the Fighting Irish to re-join the Bears.
  • Some crummy news from elsewhere among the draft’s best offensive line prospects as Albert Breer of SI.com’s The MMQB tweets that Ohio State guard/center Billy Price was believed to suffer a torn pectoral muscle while bench pressing during the combine. Price played both guard spots and center for the Buckeyes, and outside of Nelson, was viewed as one of the draft’s best interior line prospects. Price’s injury could be a lengthy injury, but he could still be ready to start the regular season. Unfortunately, Price could drop out of the first round and become a Day 2 pick. Price was a second-team All-American in 2016 and a unanimous first-team All-American in 2017. He is supremely talented and could be a draft weekend steal once he returns to health.
  • One of the most impressive things about Matt Nagy’s coaching staff is that he didn’t rely solely on his ties to the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s easy to load up on coaches raided from your previous squad, but the variety of assistants stands out. One mind Nagy was able to poach from Kansas City was Brad Childress, whose retirement was quite brief. Colleen Kane of the Tribune writes Nagy’s ability to coax Childress out of retirement should ultimately help the transition for the first-year coach as he takes that next step in his career.
  • After a productive 10-year NFL career, running back Matt Forte walked away from the game after gaining more than 14,000 scrimmage yards in 146 games. Forte did much of his damage in Chicago, where he gained 8,602 rushing yards, 4,116 receiving yards, and scored 64 of his 75 career touchdowns. As if there was any doubt how Forte wanted to end his career, he made it clear that he wanted to retire as a Bear via Twitter:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.