Hey Ryan, It’s been a while since we talked. In February, I accused you of overseeing the city’s most hopeless rebuild. In April, I scoffed at the hype surrounding the hiring of Matt Nagy, saying it was the same old song and dance that came before the likes of John Fox and Marc Trestman. In both instances I challenged you, prove to the city of Chicago and its loyal Bears fans that something was different this time. That we aren’t just setting ourselves up for another horrible disappointment.
The offseason was encouraging, the aggressive free agency period that brought us the likes of Allen Robinson and Trey Burton to pair with Mitch Trubisky raised some eyebrows. The draft, which brought us Roquan Smith, James Daniels and Anthony Miller is shaping up to be perhaps the best of your tenure. But after years of being let down by this franchise, I promised myself I wouldn’t buy into the hype. No, not again. Not until this team was winning games. But by going out and acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders on Saturday morning, you have managed to thaw my frozen heart.
It is with this newfound goodwill towards the Bears organization, that I must humbly apologize. Every move that has been made this offseason has been the right one. The roster turnover has been one of the most drastic in memory, and it appears the Bears now have not only a roster built for future success, but one ready to challenge for the NFC North crown right now.
A move like trading for Khalil Mack takes all the things that Bears’ Front Offices have lacked in the past. It takes an ability to pounce when the opportunity presents its self. It shows a willingness to take calculated risks for the good of the team. But most importantly, it shows a commitment to making this Bears team the best it can possibly be, regardless of the inherent risk.
It’s also clear now that you have what I doubted you had coming into the offseason, and that is a plan to bring this team out of the dumps. More importantly, a plan that doesn’t involve stop gap measures to fix every problem that pops up, and a plan that now begins to appear to be actually working. It will be some time before we know if the plan actually worked, but it takes gumption to have a radical plan like you do, and it takes a lot to stick with it in the face of adversity and criticism (from people like me).
We don’t know how this move will be viewed in four years, we don’t know if Mitch Trubisky is indeed the franchise savior at quarterback. But what we do know is, you are is going to do everything it takes to find out, and in a city where General Manager’s are often criticized for an unwillingness to do what it takes, you have shown that you have the moxey required to take the team where we all want to see it go. So for that fact alone, you have a newfound supporter in me.
For years, Bears fans begged the organization to buck the trend. To stop spinning their tires in the mud and become a progressive, forward thinking NFL team that is always looking to take the next step. Under Ryan Pace, the Bears are finally that team. Should this rebuild fail, should Mack fail to live up to expectations and Trubisky join the long line of disappointing Bears quarterbacks, well, that’s part of the business. But in the mean time, I’ve seen enough from Pace and co. to officially start drinking the Kool-Aid. And one more time Ryan, I’m sorry. It’s been a while since I can proudly say this, but I’m ready. Bear Down.
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