Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace spoke Tuesday on a variety of topics, with the quarterback position being front and center after the Mark Sanchez signing (discussed here previously). However, Pace’s comments weren’t limited to just that position as he touched on numerous other topics such as Deiondre’ Hall’s arrest and future with the team, Kevin White’s upside, value in sticking to his rebuild plan, and more.
Head coach John Fox chimed in, too. Looking for his first winning season as Bears coach, Fox also had comments about Hall, White, and what he wants out of his ideal quarterback, among other things.
Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly, Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, and Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times were among those who caught up with Pace at the NFL owners meetings. While Dan Wiederer checked in with a Q&A session with Fox. There was a lot of ground covered by Campbell, Finley, and Arkush – and you should give all four pieces a read when the moment strikes you.
- Fox seems pleased with the Bears quarterback situation, so much so, he referenced happier times when a one-time backup quarterback helped lead his team to a Super Bowl appearance. Mike Glennon drawing a comparison to Jake Delhomme might be the most apt comp you’ll see with regards to the Bears’ new quarterback. Fox adds the Panthers saw less in evaluating Delhomme than the Bears did before snagging Glennon. Though, Fox did admit plucking a quarterback in free agency is a toss up: “You do your research and anytime you’re dealing with people, it’s a little bit of a crapshoot.”
- Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like Fox wants to draft a quarterback worth developing. At minimum, it appears as if Fox wants a player – who beyond all the measurable data – can develop into a leader. “We spend a lot of time measuring. … But it’s really hard to measure a guy’s leadership ability and a guy’s ability to inspire people around him. I think as I look back — and I’ve seen a lot of quarterbacks in 28 years — I think if I had to pick a trait, it would be the ability to inspire the people around you.”
- And how does one measure that? Fox circled Bears quarterback Jim McMahon as a quarterback whose inspirational skills helped guide his team to triumph more often than not. Obviously, handing the ball off to a Hall of Fame running back with an all-time great defense having your back eased McMahon’s load. But there is something to be said about the value of intangibles at that position.
- Kevin White is one of the players Glennon and the other Bears quarterbacks will (hopefully) be throwing to this season, and White will be a person of interest worth watching as this season develops. Pace is optimistic about White’s future, saying he’s “glass-half-full” and excited about White’s mindset and what the future holds. On the other hand, Pace was sure to note he was mindful of still adding depth to the receiver mix.
- As for Fox, he believes that outside expectations put on the former first-round pick will pale in comparison to the expectations White has put on himself. While White’s career has stumbled out of the gate, Fox seems to see something more in the potential starter at wide receiver. “I think he’s a very resilient guy. That’s one of the biggest reasons why we drafted him. I think his makeup will prevail.”
- Deiondre’ Hall was a fourth-round pick in 2016, but projected to be able to carve a role out for himself in his second season. However, a weekend arrest has Hall in the news for all the wrong reasons. Pace said he and Fox have talked to Hall, who Pace says is back in Lake Forest now. Pace said the circumstances surrounding the arrest are disappointing, but wanted to gather all the details before jumping to a conclusion.
- As for Hall’s future on the field, John Mullin of CSN Chicago offers up the possibility of Hall moving to safety. Pace said one of the reasons Hall was drafted in the first place was his versatility. Well, that and his ball skills and the ability to defend the pass. Those things could bode well for him when he takes reps at the safety position during the offseason program.
- Three years into life as a GM, Pace has all intention to stay the course in his rebuilding plan. Arkush writes that was one of the takeaways from Tuesday’s meeting: “Building through the draft is the primary way we want to do this.”