CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –Two of the most unpopular people in Illinois right now are Bears Chairmain George McCaskey and Bears CEO Ted Phillips. They are at the forefront of the decision to bring back general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy for another season. It’s a decision that goes against the wishes of most Bears fans.
“I want to take a moment to tell Bears fans we understand your frustration. We’re frustrated too,” said McCaskey via Zoom.
“In terms of the fans, yea we get it. They’re angry,” said Phillips.
Yet Phillips and McCaskey believe Pace and Nagy deserve another shot to fix the Bears. They point to the great culture on the team Pace and Nagy have instilled. They point to the leadership skills of those two men. They point to how well Pace and Nagy work together, and they point to how those two men held the team together through a six-game losing streak.
“This is a people business,” said Phillips, “And when we step back and we’ve taken a look at what are the qualities of a successful manager, general manager and a head coach we feel that Ryan and Matt check off lots of those boxes.”
Pace has been in charge of the football side of things for six seasons and he doesn’t have a playoff win to show for it. He has some glaring mistakes too that would have cost many NFL GMs their jobs like drafting Mitch Trubisky ahead of Patrick Mahomes and DeShaun Watson. Still Phillips says he sees signs that Pace is on the right track.
“The reality is if you break his tenure from ’15 to ’17 and then ’18 to ’20 there have been vast improvements in ’18-’20.” “Have we gotten the quarterback situation completely right? No. Have we won enough games? No. Everything else is there.”
Some people would say that the wins and the quarterback position are pretty much everything. The fans don’t trust Pace and Nagy to get the quarterback position right. Phillips and McCaskey do.
“Frankly we’re excited about, and so are Matt and Ryan, about the ability that the two of them to look at that position together whether it’s free agency, the draft, whatever current quarterbacks we have, and to make the right decisions.”
McCaskey says cleaning house isn’t the way to go. Not this year. “It would be a perfectly natural reaction to say, ‘Back up the truck. Major overhaul.” “Sometimes that’s the right answer and other times it isn’t, and we think the right answer at this time is continuity.”