The Chicago Bears and general manager Ryan Pace have received high praise for their work so far this offseason. Many of the team’s biggest concerns have been addressed extensively via free agency and the 2018 NFL Draft.
This time last year, the team had just selected quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and many wondered if the right decision was made. Since then, Pace has totally revamped the Bears offense with the sole objective to make Trubisky the best quarterback he could be in every way possible.
The reconstruction of the offense began with the firing of defensive-minded head coach John Fox and the hiring of a young, offensive-minded coach Matt Nagy as his successor. In choosing Nagy, Pace found a creative up and coming offensive mind that comes from a proven coaching staff in Andy Reid and the Chiefs.
Nagy is in part responsible for the success of Alex Smith career over the past five years as Smith has averaged 20 touchdowns passes and six interceptions. When entrusted with offensive coordinator duties for the Chiefs’ final five games of the season, the offense averaged 26 points.
Last season, the team had arguably the worst collection of wide receivers as none of their wideouts recorded more than one touchdown catch all season. Kendall Wright was the only receiver to record a 100-yard receiving game all season. The only other consistent wide receiver threat throughout the year was Dontrelle Inman who didn’t join the team until late October via trade. It was apparent the team lacked a big-bodied receiver with a wide catch radius and a receiver with “deep threat” possibilities.
When free agency began last month, Pace moved quickly and aggressively and signed the best wide receiver available in Allen Robinson.
Robinson is the true number one receiver the team has been missing since Alshon Jeffery left. He gives Trubisky a large target that can fight for 50/50 balls. Pace added a deep threat in former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel who averaged over 15 yards per reception twice in his four-year career.
In the draft this past weekend, the team traded back into the second round to select Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller who many project to be a downfield threat for the Bears. The three new targets are noteworthy because they excel in the two aspects that Bears wide receivers were at their weakest last season.
Along with new tight end Trey Burton who has familiarity with Nagy’s new offensive system, the Bears have given Trubisky multiple targets to be successful in many different ways. Including Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Adam Shaheen, Kevin White, and Dion Simms, the Bears offense has so many options for their second-year quarterback to throw to. Having a coach that will know how to utilize those weapons only makes the possibilities for the Bears offense and their quarterback that more exciting for next season.
Last season when Trubisky debuted, Fans and analysis were fearful that a lack of weapons and an ineffective offensive coaching staff could possible do more harm than good for the development of a rookie quarterback. When the offseason began it was evident and imperative for Pace to address the shortcomings around his most important draft pick. Pace has achieved all his goals this offseason and because of it has received rightful praise from all. He has built excitement for his team because of his dedication to building around and for his quarterback who can repay him when the season begins.