Bernstein: Where's Ryan Pace Amid Bears' Struggles?

Difficult times call for more of a public presence from an organization's leader.

Dan Bernstein
November 05, 2019 - 2:08 pm
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(670 The Score) I'm sure you've seen the photo pop up somewhere in one of your timelines -- it's the one of Bears general manager Ryan Pace in the hallway outside the media room, peeking furtively through a slightly open door, wearing a look of suspicion as he regards what he surveys.

It's used aptly these days to pose the question of when the nominal leader of an NFL franchise plans to emerge from hiding and answer some difficult questions from independent reporters about how his team has stumbled to a 3-5 start despite lofty expectations of Super Bowl contention.

It can't all be put on the shoulders of coach Matt Nagy to be the face and voice of the organization, especially not when the going is tough.

Pace's pregame appearances on Bears Radio don’t cut it. Avoiding this aspect of the job does nothing to exemplify the kind of accountability always referenced by executives and coaches.

Granted, Pace has been largely unavailable during his entire tenure, even when riding high last season. But difficult times call for more public presence, not less. Pace hasn't spoken with reporters since before the regular season began.

Say what you want about the decisions that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has made in managing the Cubs' competitive phase, but he's always there to answer for what's happening for better or worse, owning his mistakes and explaining what he was thinking when moves were made. Both he and general manager Jed Hoyer make themselves available regularly both to the assembled beat media and in extended radio interviews that contain no preconditions. The Cubs brain trust exists with enough confidence to speak as openly as they can about whatever we all see right in front of us, choosing no alternative world in which to live.

And while we're running down the list, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has been similarly transparent and visible as he leads a reconstruction of the organization, taking pains to allow fans to see the process as he does. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is more apt to appear on the record than Pace too, and even Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson grits his teeth and suffers through the slings and arrows of press conferences more often than his football counterpart.

That is to say that Pace is the ghost among his peers running the respective sports sides of Chicago's big league professional entrants, and it's a dubious achievement, looking all the worse as the Bears' troubles mount after four straight losses.

This his coach and these are his players, especially the quarterback he traded up to get who's wandering forlornly in his own football wilderness.

We deserve to hear Pace explain how it came to this and what he plans to do about it.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.