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Ryan Pace Explains What Makes the 2018 Class of Free Agents Different from Past Failures

Analysis and Commentary

Diving into the deep end of the free agency pool comes with a fair share of uncertainty. But in a world where you have to risk it for the biscuit (or in this case, Mr. Biscuit), Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace was ready and willing to stick his neck on the line to do right by quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

With Allen Robinson at the head of the class, there is good reason for Pace to feel good about what has been accomplished so far during free agency. While speaking at the Bears Business Summit at Halas Hall, the team’s general manager spoke glowingly of the group of free agents he signed to turn around the team’s fortunes. In doing so, he also underlined why this class is different than the one that preceded it.

“One common denominator is they’re all young. Every one of these acquisitions is young,” Pace explained, via the team’s official website. “There’s some background with a lot of these players with coaches we have on our staff, which I think helps minimize your risk a little bit.”

While receiver Kendall Wright and tight end Dion Sims had a prior history with a coach on staff, a majority of the failed class of 2017 – Mike Glennon, Markus Wheaton, Victor Cruz, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps – were short-term stop-gaps that didn’t have these kinds of connections.

With that in mind, the Bears’ course of action in free agency makes a little more sense now, doesn’t it?

Robinson had a connection with new Bears RBs Coach Charles London, who was on Penn State’s coaching staff when the Bears’ newest No. 1 receiver was snagging passes in State College. Cody Parkey played under new Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor while in Cleveland. Edge defender Aaron Lynch spent his rookie season in Vic Fangio’s defense while in San Francisco. Backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray each had connections with head coach Matt Nagy from their time in Kansas City.

Even Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton had an indirect connections to Nagy. Burton played for Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, who coached with Nagy under Andy Reid. Gabriel learned about Nagy’s offense through former college teammate and Chiefs running back Charcanderick West.

There’s no way this is all one big coincidence. This all feels like it was done clearly by design. Because football, like life itself, is all about the meaningful connections you make along the way.


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.