Chicago Tribune- The combination of the Chicago Bears’ quarterback depth chart, the team’s dismal history at the position and pressure on general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy to boost the fortunes of the franchise made it overwhelmingly clear the team had to make a move in the first round of the NFL draft.
That happened Thursday night when the Bears maneuvered up to select Ohio State’s Justin Fields with the 11th pick. Pace is no stranger to aggressive moves, but his trade partner was an unexpected find. Dave Gettleman of the New York Giants traded down in Round 1 for the first time in nine drafts, a week after saying he didn’t do it because he wasn’t going to be fleeced.
The Bears paid a big price for Fields, sending the Giants their 20th pick and fifth-round pick at No. 164 this year and first- and fourth-round picks in 2022. The key for Pace was protecting his draft capital Friday — picks in the second and third rounds — because he has more holes to fill on the roster.
Now the Bears have a future at the position when you look beyond Andy Dalton, whom the team named the Week 1 starter after signing him in free agency. The presence of Dalton and former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles should provide Fields with a solid room to begin his career, and there will be two questions: When will Fields be ready, and when will the Bears perhaps have to turn to him for a spark with Pace and Nagy needing to deliver “progress,” as judged by Chairman George McCaskey?
I know this is going to sound big turd in the punchbowl. But I called you here because I care about you. I wouldn't if I didn't.
You know in the movies when the beautiful too good to be true female character suffers at the hands of some scumbag lowlife who mentally and physically abuses the shit out of her for years and years and she can't seem to quit him? You sit there wanting to scream at the screen, "what the hell are you doing!? Leave him. Kill him. Do something. Anything. Stop taking him back!" But that's exactly what she does. He puts her in the hospital and you think that's it, that's the straw that broke the camel's back. But nope. He apologizes, tells her he loves her, and she falls for it. Again. Always takes him back.
That's what it feels like living in Chicago watching Bears fans.
It's like watching one of those Lifetime movies like I just described but with the fans playing the role of the mentally and physically abused spouse, and the McCaskey Family playing the role of the abuser.
It's been happening for decades now, and Bears fans just can't help themselves from thinking, "this is it. THIS is the time things change".
Nothing fucking changes.
Time is a flat circle.
We saw it play out on the grand stage yet again last night.
Stop me if you heard this one before, but Ryan Pace, burned more first-round picks, a fourth, and a fifth to move up in the draft, this time to 11 and take a highly touted quarterback, in Justin Fields from The Ohio State University.
You could argue the move was selfish (the logical argument) in that Pace and his bumbling sidekick Matt Nagy are on their last leg. Picking Fields mortgages their futures at least another two or three years. If the team struggles again this season than the McCaskey's can chalk it up to being a bridge year, waiting on Pace and Nagy's guy (again) to give them a real, and fair, shot (again).
Who the fuck cares about draft picks in next years draft that may not peak for another 3-4 years when you probably won't be around to see them because your job has been on the line for the last 2 years. It was time to go all in for Pace and that's exactly what he did. Guy gives zero fucks about draft picks, kinda have to respect it.
The issue, and need for this intervention Bears fans, is the reaction to this all.
Scroll on the Barstool Chicago or the guy's twitter timelines and you'd think the Bears won the NFC last night.
The south side went nuts when the White Sox showed the pick on their jumbo tron.
It could just be that the bar has fallen so low for the Bears when it comes to drafting that the fact Pace took a guy with a pulse was cause for celebration. But the fact the city is chanting "we're saved" and crowning Fields as the savior is exactly why Bears fans want to collectively jump off a bridge every December.
Rather than work yourselves into a frenzy, maybe take some deep breathes.
Pump the brakes.
Stop anointing this kid as the chosen one and getting your hopes up through the roof.
Slow down on printing the Super Bowl "Fields of Gold" shirts.
Let's not totally ignore history, very recent history, and the fact that Pace and Nagy just played out this exact scenario and failed miserably in doing so.
Sign an over-the-hill, QB that nobody else wanted yet you big against yourself for (Mike Glennon/Andy Dalton).
Name him the starter in April for no logical reason. (Maybe a contract stipulation? To instill confidence? No clue)
Immediately followed by sacrificing draft capital to move up and select another quarterback that isn't exactly a sure thing.(Trubisky/Fields)
Let me stop you before you say it, "you can't compare Fields to Trubisky" one will be good and one sucked.
To which I say, you can't judge anybody thrown into the hornet's nest that is the Chicago Bears fairly and objectively.
Not trying to give Trubisky a free pass here, but if you're one of the people that are delusional enough to think that if Pace drafted Mahomes or Watson over Mitchell, things would have turned out differently then I would love to smoke what you're smoking.
Mahomes is obviously one of the best athletes of this generation, an all-around freak show. You would have to be a mad man to argue that. But if you don't think the Chicago Bears would have found a way to fuck that up then you don't know the Chicago Bears. Mahomes could not have landed in a better situation than he did with the QB whisperer Andy Reid and surrounded by track star weapons.
And it's not necessarily just a 100% Pace and Nagy problem. It's systemic. The famous saying that a fish rots from the head couldn't be more apropos here.
It starts with the McCaskey's. You can't blame Pace and Nagy for being who they are. They are who they are. The blame lies in the idiots that hired them (and passed on Bruce Ariens because they didn't like how he did in a mock press conference)
The Bears have been a circus far before Pace took the job and brought in Nagy. And they will be long after they're gone.
The McCaskey family is the constant.
All-Decade Team Chicago Bear Roosevelt Colvin came to New England in 2003 after spending 4 years in Chicago and suffered from severe culture shock. He was outspoken about what a clown show the entire Bears operation was in hindsight having observed how the Patriots did things. Not to make this a Patriots dick suck blog, but he said it was so night and day, not just on the practice field and in the film rooms, but walking into the building every day. It felt professional and like a winning organization from the first day he was there. He said that practices were planned out to the minute and that players got more done in half the amount of time because there was zero time squandered standing around waiting on coaches, or discussing bullshit. He said players held each other accountable and you didn't want to be the guy to fuck up such a good thing.
That's a winning culture.
I am in Cleveland for the Draft and like everybody else, we were watching it live last night. When our crowd, (heavy OSU fans) saw that Fields was headed to Chicago on tv there was a loud moan in the room.
Like finding out your best friend's dog just died.
Everybody felt awful for the kid.
Then the Bears trotted out this video and somehow Chicagoans took this as Justin being excited and I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
I'm not even going to get into the fact that Ohio State QB's have never panned out in the pros because that's an entirely different subject and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And being a Pats fan, we are very much in a glass house having drafted the lofty doughboy from Bama last night.
(I can't stop laughing at this)
Just take it one day at a time. Baby steps.
As fans it's obviously way easier said than done.
And you know that once Dalton turns into a turnover machine and the Bears are 2-6 the rumblings about Fields getting a shot will begin in the stands, on The Score, and on social media and the pressure will be on Pace and Nagy. Just like it did with Mike Glennon and Trubisky. The "plan" to ease him into things and let him learn under the veteran will be scrapped and into the fire he'll go.
I'm really rooting hard for Fields. He's a great kid (a very faithful SeeSaw guest) and a great player. I just really hope the Bears don't rush him along and ruin him like they're so good at doing. And I hope Nagy doesn't undermine him by ignoring his phone calls and texts, and no-showing to one-on-one meetings…
Not to close on a sad note, and throw more salt in the wound, but this is why Gaz is the master of chaos.