Why Ryan Pace Deserves Executive of the Year Award

The Chicago Bears have been one of the hottest teams in football as of late, starting the season at 8-4. This team looks a lot different than the team fans saw which ended last year at 5-11. Guys have developed and Mitchell Trubisky is having a great year breaking Chicago Bears QB records, but there is one big reason that the Bears are sitting on top of the NFC North at 8-4: Ryan Pace. Ryan Pace has made moves throughout the last year that has shown that he is all in on the Bears to win now. Here are a couple of reasons why Ryan Pace should win executive of the year.

1. Trading two-first round picks for Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack is the biggest superstar the Bears have had around since Brian Urlacher. Last year, the Bears were in multiple top 5 defensive categories. The team's huge weak spot was defensive end opposite of Leonard Floyd. Pace took a gamble on Aaron Lynch in the summertime in hopes he would be the guy then Khalil Mack happened. Khalil Mack has been a monster on the defensive side of the ball, recording 9.0 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and one touchdown. He is pushing 300 lb grown men with ease. Khalil Mack has morphed this team into a top 3 defense in the NFL

2. Adding wide receiver depth around Mitchell Trubisky

Last years biggest development issue for Trubisky was throwing the ball. Pace realized that Dontrelle Inman and Josh Bellamy cannot be your best receivers on the field. Pace then went out to sign Allen Robinson, who before his ACL injury has 1300 yards receiving while Blake Bortles was throwing him the ball. Taylor Gabriel, a speedster from Atlanta. He then went out to add Trey Burton who had just won a Superbowl with the Eagles. Pace was not finished there, he also drafted another great wideout in Anthony Miller. Pace has hit on all 4 receivers this year and Trubisky finally looks comfortable throwing to his new targets.

3. The 2018 Draft

The 2018 NFL Draft was a huge success for the Bears. The Bears needed an inside linebacker next to Danny Trevathan after Jerrel Freeman was suspended for PEDs. With the draft, Pace addressed that need by drafting Roquan Smith. Smith won the Butkus award at Georgia which is given to the best linebacker in college. In the second round, Pace addressed the need for offensive line depth by drafting James Daniels who has looked like an absolute stud in the games we have seen him in. After that, Pace traded back into the second round to draft Anthony Miller from Memphis. Miller currently is 5th on the team in receiving with 399 yards but he looks like he has real potential to be something great. Bilal Nichols, the teams 5th round pick, is one of the highest graded DL when on the field. Tough to say he will see much of it with Akiem Hicks on the depth chart. We have not seen much of Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Kylie Fitts except for special teams. Javon Wims, the teams 7th round pick, has not been active very much because of the wide receiver depth the team has but the kid has absolute talent for a late round pick. 

4. Adding an offensive-minded head coach

The last time the Bears added an 'offensive-minded' head coach was Marc Trestman 5 years ago, so when Bears fans hear that term they cringe. Matt Nagy is different. A prodigy of Andy Reid, Nagy has implemented multiple schemes defensive coordinators have never seen before. The Bears are a run and gun team like the Chiefs and Nagy knows that. The offense is run around a lot of RPOs and motion, way different from last years "give Jordan Howard the ball twice and then throw for it" offense John Fox had. We've seen an exponential jump in Mitchell Trubisky's development and it is because Nagy is calling plays and showing trust in Trubisky's instinct. 

5. Beating the Green Bay Packers before starting the season

Pace had a couple head to head matchups this year against the Green Bay Packers. At the beginning of free agency, the Packers offered Kyle Fuller a 4-year, $56 million contract. The Bears ended up matching that contract and Fuller has been one of the best corners in the NFL while being tied for the league lead for interceptions with six. Secondly, the Packers went after Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the same spot. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy convinced Fangio to stay in Chicago and the Packers secondary has looked shaky throughout this year. Lastly, Pace took Khalil Mack. The Packers had been in the running for Mack as was one of the lead candidates to land the Superstar. Ryan Pace not only landed Khalil Mack, but crushed all hopes of the Packers landing a defensive superstar.

By Steve Ross