HAWL IN: Like Mitchell’s car, Ryan Pace is on the clock

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13 MAY 2016: Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace in action during the Chicago Bears Rookie minicamp at Hallas Hall, in Lake Forest, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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LAKE FOREST – The inquiries that were waiting for the Bears’ general manager and his first round draft pick were copious on an unusual night at Halas Hall.

Many of them were quite serious. Why move up one spot in the draft? Why give up four picks to do so? Why did you pick a quarterback  – and why this one?

Ryan Pace knew they were coming. So did Mitchell Trubisky. His stunning selection by the Bears meant that a lot of serious questions were coming from an inquisitive group of media and a confused lot of fans.

Per usual, though, there is usually one question to break up the mood. Oddly enough, Pace as the first to ask it to his new quarterback.

“You’ve got to promise me one thing?,”  Pace asked Trubisky on the phone minutes after drafting him. “You’re going to drive that beat up car here that you’ve got.”

Pace is referring to his beige 1997 Toyota Camry – a car that’s got over 170-thousand miles on it and the general manager saw Trubisky with during his visit with the quarterback in March. Obviously, it wasn’t the best thing he noticed about the quarterback during his dinner and workout after the combine, but it certainly was something that stuck in Pace’s mind.

Funny how this aging Toyota provides a proper synonym for the tenure of Pace as the General Manager of the Chicago Bears. Lets face it, that car’s not going to last forever. The clock is ticking off its time as a functional automobile.

What will keep it going is good maintenance and a little care along with some good rustproofing. Not wrecking it would sure help, too.

Same goes for Pace, the general manager of the Bears who selected Trubisky and wanted his car at Halas Hall.

Whether you agree with giving up the picks or not, the selection of a quarterback with one of the franchise’s highest picks in history puts him on the clock. This is nothing new, for a number of general managers have seen their careers made or lost by picking a signal caller in the exact same position.

Pace had some time and patience for the Bears’ powers that be considering he inherited a mismanaged franchise and roster. All of the issues weren’t on him when he arrived, getting two years to start making some progress with a team that’s missed the playoffs for nearly a decade.

That changes now. There is no honeymoon anymore.

By taking the admirable risk of selecting his franchise quarterback, Pace put his reputation and career in Chicago on the line. Trubisky’s development will be scrutinized and eventually his play will be as well, and all of the pressure is on him.

If Mitchell succeeds, gives the Bears’ consistent success, and solves a decades-old quarterback issue Pace will be a hero. If he goes the way of Cade McNown or Rex Grossman, Pace will be out of town with him.

At least one promise was kept so far with the quarterback – the car. Trubisky brought the automobile from Chapel Hill to Lake Forest just like he promised.

The clock is ticking on the automobile that belongs to the future of the Bears’ franchise. It is as well for the guy that insisted that both of them make their way to Chicago.



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