Ryan Pace: I expect Bears to compete in 2016

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The Bears have been fairly busy in free agency this offseason, starting with the decision to use the franchise tag on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and continuing through the acquisitions of players like linebacker Danny Trevathan, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, safety Omar Bolden, linebacker Jerrell Freeman and tackle Bobby Massie.

Those signings addressed some of the bigger holes on the Bears roster coming out of a 6-10 season in 2015 and General Manager Ryan Pace thinks mixing new faces with players returning from injuries that kept them out of the lineup last year will lead to a more competitive group this season.

“I expect us to compete next year,” Pace said, via the Chicago Tribune. “I look at how we competed last year and the close games we were in with what we had. Now we’re going to have players back healthy that we didn’t have last year. We’re to our second year in the system where guys will be playing more naturally, more comfortable and we’re going to have a whole new free-agent class and a whole new draft class.”

With the No. 11 pick, the Bears can add another player who can upgrade the overall talent on the roster and push the team closer to realizing Pace’s expectation in his second year running the personnel show in Chicago.

38 responses to “Ryan Pace: I expect Bears to compete in 2016

  1. They lost Adam Gase and Martellus Bennett, and they still have Mopey at QB. Adding a bunch of B- and C-average players in free agency isn’t going to change much. If everything goes great, they’ll compete for a playoff spot, slide in at 9-7, and get stomped in the first round.

  2. If the Bears stay healthy, they will compete this year. Having Kevin White out all year and guys like Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal missing multiple games all due to various injuries, cost them at least two games. Not to mention Pernell McPhee was limited to half-speed the last few games for injury reasons also. Pace has done a tremendous job upgrading the roster but now all those good-to-great players need to be come into training camp in shape and be available throughout the season.

  3. Mr Pace – let’s revisit this topic in December. as of right now, we’ve heard this painful story each and every year. Trust, Confidence, and Respect by the Chicago Fans will need to be earned.

  4. It’s been known for a while that if Cutler can play smart, he can help this team a lot. Fox seemed to have him doing that last season, but old habits are hard to get rid of.

    While Langford played well, I feel he isnt as good as Forte. One of the biggest wild cards about this Bears team is what does Kevin White bring to the offense, does he get 1000 yards and 10 TDS or does he have trouble staying healthy for the season.

    One thing is for sure Fox is great when it comes to helping young teams become good.

  5. I expect Bears to compete in 2016 for second place with my Packers. The Bears have improved, while my Packers have been hibernating all winter.

  6. We want great Bears Packers games!

    Bear down Bears!

    Make the historic rivalry great again!

    Curly and George would be happy about that.

  7. The Packers and Vikings are still ahead of them, in most areas. They will be better than Detroit, but that’s about it, far as the division goes.

  8. When he says he expects them to compete he really means … “Expect to compete for 2nd place with the Vikings .. behind the Green Bay Packers”.

  9. When you look at how many close games they lost last year, if healthy, then they should compete. Whether that means winning the division or a wild card, IDK. They should be in every game.

  10. I do think the Bears will be competitive next year. They won’t win the division (barring an extended injury to ARod), but I fully expect them to be 2nd in the NFCN and challenge for a wild card. The Vikings over achieved last year and will come back down to earth in 2016 as AP ages and Teddy shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not the answer. The Lions are going to be picking in the top 5.

  11. You are either rebuilding and growing or you are a contender. Seems the Bears have been living in that purgatory between the 2 since 2010

  12. .
    The Bears have 9 evenly spaced draft picks in a year where several teams like the Patriots, Ravens, and 49ers hold an abundance of picks, but have gaping holes in their draft boards. If the Bears played their cards right, they could end up with a dozen new faces.

    As Bears fans know, their roster could use an infusion of new, young blood, unburdened by the failures of previous years / regimes. I’d say this is a make or break draft for Pace. Chicago fans will have little patience if the Bears draft their usual array of coat racks and turnstiles.
    .

  13. And there’s Fox as head coach, wow!! Fox is the worst coach I’ve ever seen continue this long in Football, Fishers right behind him…

  14. mialto says:
    Apr 11, 2016 11:38 AM

    Mr Pace – let’s revisit this topic in December. as of right now, we’ve heard this painful story each and every year. Trust, Confidence, and Respect by the Chicago Fans will need to be earned.
    ………………………………………………………………….
    packer fan here…. some times they are right though…. remember lovie’s first presser…. goal is to compete and beat the packers…. at least early on he was correct….mediocrity is not what bear fans, and NFCN fans, deserve…. each team in the division needs to push the others so when one of us gets to the playoffs, we are already battle tested…time to make NFCN division champ mean something

  15. 6ball says:
    Apr 11, 2016 12:26 PM

    .
    The Bears have 9 evenly spaced draft picks in a year where several teams like the Patriots, Ravens, and 49ers hold an abundance of picks, but have gaping holes in their draft boards. If the Bears played their cards right, they could end up with a dozen new faces.

    As Bears fans know, their roster could use an infusion of new, young blood, unburdened by the failures of previous years / regimes. I’d say this is a make or break draft for Pace. Chicago fans will have little patience if the Bears draft their usual array of coat racks and turnstiles.
    ——————————————————–

    I think Pace earned the benefit of the doubt by pulling in 4 starters in last year’s draft, with his first round pick missing the entire season.
    Goldman looks like a player they can build around on the DL. Grasu was overmatched, but the story on him was he needed an NFL weight room to be effective; he did fine for his first action. Langford did enough to allow them to let Forte leave. Amos started every game at safety. And they got significant contributions from UDFAs in Timu, Anderson, and Jones-Quartey. They are going to be fine with Pace calling the shots.
    This year, he gets White back on the field, and has 9 picks to play with.

  16. The Bears coaching is still very good, although it will be interesting to see how the loss of Forte and the OC impacts the offense. Then again, if Cutler plays under control, the issue isn’t the offense as much as the defense. If the defense is improved, there’s no reason to think the Bears can’t compete for a playoff spot.

  17. The “Cutler sucks!”narrative is so old. The guy is 32 now and we all know exactly what he is. A strong arm and tendency to try to use it as an eraser for deficiencies on the team, leading to turnovers. Like him or not he was a top 10 QB last year in a league currently devoid of much talent at the position. There is no doubt in my mind that he could have won a Super Bowl if inserted in Peyton’s place on that Broncos team.

  18. crewchief15 says:
    Apr 11, 2016 12:26 PM

    And there’s Fox as head coach, wow!! Fox is the worst coach I’ve ever seen continue this long in Football, Fishers right behind him…
    =====================================
    The vast majority of coaches never get to a Super Bowl. The guy has made it to the playoffs 7 out of 14 years in the league.

    He’s certainly not the best coach in the league, but you could do far, far worse.

    I’m guessing that you haven’t been watching football for very long.

  19. White was a wasted draft pick……many of the others from 2015 draft played because of the switch to the 3-4 and the existing roster was so bad.
    I hope Pace does not fumble the 11th pick in the draft.

  20. I have a hunch the Bears will reach the playoffs after finishing one spot ahead of the packers.

    I actually se the packers ending last in the NFC North this year.

  21. Cutler didn’t keep the Bears out of the playoffs last year. He didn’t get them in either. Bears needs were deeper than one player. They will probably start 2016 with 11+ new starters. They need to start competing, or the Ernie Accorsi master plan is not working.

  22. Bears will compete this year, they competed last year and more than half the season they had a top 10 defense with scrubs and Fangio. They lost 3 or 4 games by 7/3 points in the last seconds of the game during a rebuild. Could have easily been 9-7 or 10-6 with an injured 3rd string team.

    Fangio’s scheme and the new LB core is going to be a whole new ball game.

  23. Ya know, I love the excitement of Pace, but someone needs to tell him that guys who get hurt are just guys who get hurt.

    I think the last time I remember the Bears healthy for a season was when they had a guy who has since been fired twice.

  24. We all expect you to compete Ryan. About 2/3 of the most glaring problems are fixed for now so just focus the first two or three rounds of the draft on fixing the other 1/3.

    I’m thinking an OLB/DE type who can penetrate and rush, another OT to compete with Leno at LT or play swing OT if Leno prevails, and young CB whose better at playing man and press coverage than Fuller is might be good players to draft in those first three rounds.

    Provided some of the second and third year guys on the roster step up this year we’re not looking all that bad now that we added Trevathan, Freeman, and Hicks on defense and Massie at RT. Those are all major additions at spots that needed “fixing”.

  25. Cutler had his most error-free season ever last year, but failed to provide the spark they needed on offense. I think Langford will step up and be a decent RB, and Zach Miller will be fine in placeof Bennett. Jeffery and White need to stay healthy.

    They may not light it up on offense this year, but with the revamped ‘D’ they shouldn’t have to.

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