Pace's Parting Gift, Winning the Non-Trade, Wild College Friday Night, and Other Bears Bullets

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Pace’s Parting Gift, Winning the Non-Trade, Wild College Friday Night, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’ve been wanting Chinese food for a hot minute, but have also been making a strong effort to order in less. Maybe it’s just me. But I feel like takeout prices are on the cusp of making me say “let’s just see if I can make this at home” — because I throw down in the kitchen. My friend Jim’s Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe just might be make it into my rotation.

  • Ryan Pace is far from Chicago, 10 months removed from being ousted as the Bears’ GM, and still catching strays for what he did at Halas Hall. Joe Ostrowski shared this snippet from Michael Lombardi and it absolutely slayed me. Sound on:
  • That’s right. You heard that correctly: “How would you like to be Ryan Pace, who’s now an assistant GM naturally he got another job because he’s friends with people in the league. You picked Mitchell Trubisky, and you picked Justin Fields. So not only did you destroy your franchise once, you left a parting gift when you left. This is like farting when you’re walking out of a room, only the fart stays forever.”
  • Ryan Pace as a lingering fart is a wonderful metaphor that would’ve made any college poetry professor proud. And while I don’t think Fields is a bad parting gift, that Pace compromised the franchise’s future to save his behind and was fired nine months later serves as a nice reminder as why many (present company included) felt it was the right move to cut ties immediately after the playoff loss to the Saints. If only the powers that be would’ve seen everything everyone else saw.
  • There will come a point where we stop discussing Pace’s impact on the current state of the Bears. We’re not at that point just yet. Not when his (1) draft decisions left Justin Fields without suitable weapons or blockers and (2) salary cap management nudged his replacements toward the tear-down we’re still working through. To be clear, Chicago’s football team isn’t in its current spot solely because of the former GM. Ryan Poles shares some responsibility in this.
  • To be clear, Pace might be the reason Poles entered a tough situation, but it wasn’t Pace who targeted an injured 3-technique nose tackle as the team’s big-money free agent expenditure before a failed physical blew that deal up. Nor was it Pace making the main offseason acquisitions for the offense three one-year “prove it” contracts at receiver, a third-round draft pick with some yellow flags regarding his age and collegiate productivity, and veteran offensive linemen who can’t even crack this starting lineup. This isn’t to say Poles could’ve built a juggernaut in his first offseason. But he could’ve pieced together a more competent group on the offensive side of the ball.
  • And why did I specify offensive side? Because the defensive-leaning head coach has that side of the ball playing competitively through four weeks. Football Outsiders’ DVOA has the Bears defense as 15th best. That’s firmly in the middle of the pack, which is just about where they finished last year (13th) — but they’re doing this without Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, and Bilal Nichols up front. The run defense needs a ton of work. And getting Robert Quinn rolling would be wonderful. But that the defense is holding its own as a group where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts isn’t surprising. This is what I was expecting from a defensive-leaning head coach and veteran defensive staff. It’s almost as if the Bears really should’ve been turning their focus to fixing what’s been a broken offense since 2019.
  • The good news is that – barring something unforeseen – last offseason wasn’t the last one in football history. And this is not the last year of the NFL. Nor is it the final year of Poles’ contract. There is still time to right the ship and build the Bears into a modern franchise. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And we can say the same about every contending NFL franchise right now.
  • Since we’re looking ahead, we might as well keep eyes on some college football standouts who will probably be on our radar when NFL Draft time rolls around:
  • Speaking of the future, James Neveau (NBC 5 Chicago) writes the Arlington Heights Village board rejecting an ordinance proposal that wanted to ban tax incentives for business relocating to the village was a win for the Bears. This is relevant since everything is pointing to the Bears fleeing for the suburbs.
  • Back to the present! A cool experience is coming up for Justin Jones, who gets to wear the “C” on his chest this weekend against the Vikings, per the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley.
  • Big Guys in a Benz is back:
  • I can’t believe we’re talking about the Russell Wilson trade in this manner already. Then again, yes I can:
  • When I wanted the Bears to draft a quarterback who played like Russell Wilson, this isn’t what I had in mind!
  • Did the Bears dodge a bullet here? The early returns suggest they did. And, at minimum, they saved themselves the public slander of being on the wrong end of what could turn out to be the modern-era version of the Herschel Walker trade.
  • Colorado State snapped college football’s longest losing streak in the most bizarre fashion:
  • For those of you who weren’t watching college football after midnight on a Friday, it went like this: Before what would’ve been the first attempt, the refs missed a false start on the long-snapper. A timeout was called, which put that to sleep. And then the kicker missed poorly before the slowest-developing running-into-the-kicker penalty I’ve ever seen. The kicker would go on to make the practice try after the timeout freeze. And ultimately make it on the actual try that counted. If you were a Nevada backer, that was an all-time bad beat.
  • And that wasn’t even the wildest part of college football Friday:
  • I’ve never heard such an aggressive doink in my life. And I’ve never seen a PAT take a sharp left at Albuquerque like that. Sheesh.
  • How can you be “championship or bust” while simultaneously being the biggest cowards at MLB’s Trade Deadline? #TheseMets, indeed:
  • Trying to set expectations for these Bulls is a challenge for me at this point of the preseason. But no matter where I set the bar, one thing I want to see a ton of is highlights like these:
  • Some late-night trade action went down with the Blackhawks on Friday. Tab has the latest:

Author: Luis Medina

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