iStock/Thinkstock(LAKE FOREST, Ill.) — The Chicago Bears introduced the youngest general manager in the NFL, Ryan Pace, on Friday.
Pace replaces Phil Emery, who was fired after the season ended, and spent the previous 14 seasons working in the New Orleans Saints front office, the last two serving at the director of player personnel.
Pace will now have the duty of finding a head coach after the Bears fired Marc Trestman when the season ended.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s an offense or defensive coach, if it’s a 3-4 or 4-3 [defensive system],” Pace said. “I’m looking for the head coach that has the traits we’re looking for. That’s confidence, charisma, discipline, leadership; the best man for the job.”
Pace will have to decide the future of starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who was benched late in the season because of poor play. He will also have to improve a defense that ranked 30th overall in the NFL.
“In 2005, we came into that season when Sean [Payton] got there in ’06 and everyone thought, ‘This is a massive rebuild,” Pace said. “This team has been decimated.’ And we quickly put together a team to go the NFC championship that very next year.”
“But then if you think about the next two years, we were continuing to build, continuing to progress. So 2007, [we were] progressing, 2008 progressing, 2009 we won a Super Bowl,” Pace continued. “The most important thing is we have an aggressive plan and we’re improving, [we] developed an organizational philosophy right then and there on the players that we wanted to acquire, and the whole building was on the same page. Everything was focused on winning games, everyone dropped their egos, and the rest is history.”
Chicago has missed the postseason seven out of the last eight years.
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