If Bears fans were looking for substantive information from general manager Ryan Pace’s and coach Matt Nagy’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon, then they are going to be disappointed.
Pace and Nagy held separate Zoom calls with reporters, combining for 47 total minutes between the two.
Here are some “noteworthy” takeaways from Pace’s and Nagy’s annual “combine” media conference.
1. Bears would like to keep Allen Robinson
The Bears are saying all the right things about how they feel regarding star wide receiver Allen Robinson. But the 27 year old, who caught 102 passes for 1,250 yards and six touchdowns last season, is still without a new contract.
And as the March 9 deadline approaches for the franchise tag, it seems more likely that may be the direction the organization ultimately decides to utilize.
“Hey, we love Allen Robinson. He’s a great player for us,” Pace said. “We know that. And not just the player but the teammate, the professional that he is. Again, the franchise tag is an option for us. It doesn’t mean we’re necessarily going to use that. But we want to keep our good players, and Allen is a good player for us.”
Why the Bears are in the position with Robinson in the first place is mind boggling to say the least. But Pace pointed to the Bears’ past extensions as a reason why things may play out in the organization’s favor.
“We have a history of extending our players,” Pace said. “We usually find a way to make that work. The proof is kind of in the pudding with that. And every one of them is different. Every one of them is personal, and that’s why I’m sensitive, and I hope you guys understand, about talking about that in the media. But it’s a process. It takes both sides to work through that, and every one of them is unique.”
2. “Everything’s on the table” when it comes to quarterback position
The last time Pace and Nagy spoke at their end of the year press conference in January, the “everything’s is on the table” phrase was heard loud and clear amongst the Bears fanbase. It took :53 seconds into Pace’s presser for those infamous words to resurface, again.
Pace of course didn’t go into detail about the plan to address the quarterback position or whether Mitch Trubisky will be on the roster next season. (He also left it open that Trubisky could be back.)
According to Pace, the coaching staff has been having “daily conversations,” conducting film sessions and discussing traits they want to see in the quarterback position.
“I think we’re ready to kind of pivot a number of ways,” Pace said. “I think that’s going to be important this offseason, especially with that position.”
3. Bears’ defense is strength of the team
When Pace was asked what he believed was the strength of the Bears, he mentioned the coaching staff — which is definitely debatable — but then came to the obvious answer: the defense.
“We have a lot of talent all throughout our defense,” Pace said. “Are there areas that we want to be better in than we were last year? Of course. And I think we have done some things to already try to tweak that.”
Reporters also asked about nose tackle Eddie Goldman’s status for next season. Pace said that the organization is “excited to get him (Goldman) back in the mix.” The team has also been communicating with Goldman on a regular basis and did so throughout the season. All signs point to the 6-foot-3, 318-pound lineman being back in 2021.
4. Matt Nagy’s top quarterback traits
Nagy highlighted the three most important traits for a quarterback to have in order to run his system: versatility, decision making and leadership.
As Nagy talked about versatility, he did say if a quarterback doesn’t have that ability to run around and create plays, the team will “work around that.”
When it came to decision making, Nagy emphasized the importance of situational football and when those particular decisions are made.
And lastly for leadership, Nagy brought up the different ways in which quarterbacks can be leaders.
According to Nagy, there are “happy medium” guys like Alex Smith, who wouldn’t yell at his teammates but wasn’t necessarily quite either. Regardless of their particular style, Nagy said quarterbacks have the ability to “multiple t5. he players around them.”
5. Confident in several quarterback options
To wrap up the takeaways from Tuesday’s press conference, it only makes sense to go back to the No. 1 question regarding the Bears in 2021, who will play quarterback?
Nagy, of course, didn’t provide the answer to that question, but he did say “there are several” options that he would be comfortable with at this time.
He indicated there are a lot of variables and “what ifs” with these potential options. To turn the conversation away from the quarterbacks, Nagy said the offense needs to score more points.
What gives Nagy confidence that the offense can see more production, regardless of who is playing quarterback, is some of the young talent the Bears have added in recent years and seeing those players “jumping into their specific roles.”
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