Yesterday I was positively giddy with the hiring of Ryan Pace as GM because it signaled a new direction for the Bears. The Bears went outside the Bears family and brought in fresh blood to run the franchise.
Everything was looking good.
Today, Ted Phillips just had to turn my giddiness into uneasiness. The Bears President just had to mention that Pace would report directly to him. Mention might not be the right way to put it, he was somewhat defiant in the way he described the chain of command.
Has Phillips become self aware? Is he trolling Bears fans and media alike?
Or is it a signal the more the things change, the more they stay the same at Halas Hall? By all accounts, Phil Emery had complete control over the roster decisions, but still the ghosts of seasons past still loom over this franchise.
Could just be the paranoid Bears observer in me. Could be nothing to be worried about. Still, there is an uneasiness that looms over this all as Pace said he would lean on Phillips and company when making decisions.
It’s not all dark clouds and conspiracies at Halas Hall today, however. Pace said a lot of good things on Friday, but the thing I took away the most was how un-emery it all was. It was a soliloquy free day. As much as we enjoyed how transparent, the former GM seemed to be, in the end it was just lots of words.
Lots and lots and lots and lots of words.
If you asked Emery what he had for breakfast, he would have responded first that it was a good question, second why breakfast is such an important meal, third what was the process behind choosing the food he decided to consume that morning before finally stating eggs and bacon.
Pace got down to business. He very clearly noted several times that this team needed to be rebuilt through the draft. There were no long drawn out answers. He was concise and to the point.
While we tin foil hat wearers worry about Phillips, Pace maintained he had final control of 53 man roster. He stated a key to making things work in the NFL was the relationship between GM and head coach on personnel decisions.
He added the two most important relationships are GM and head coach and head coach and Quarterback. Despite a few attempts from media members in attendance to bring Cutler into the conversation, Pace side stepped that saying the focus now as finding a coach and getting ready for the draft.
The thing to take away the most, is how much emphasis Pace put on the head coach. He saw first hand what a strong leader can do to turn around a franchise when Sean Payton took over the Saints. Coming off a regime that showed no leadership, this next hire needs to be a great one. Pace said while there was a sense of urgency to find the next coach, he would not let any scouting deadlines leading up to the draft affect his decision.
Pace appeared to be the bright young mind many were gushing about Thursday when the news broke, but this isn’t about winning press conferences. This is about hiring the right guy to be the next head coach and rebuilding through the draft.
Hopefully Pace is the guy making all those decisions.