Wild new info revealed about Ryan Pace’s first head coach hire

The discussions surrounding Ryan Pace and his status as GM remain hotly debated. Despite all the positive things he has done for the organization, lots of people are ready to move on from GM. There are several reasons for this, but much of it has to do with his choice as head coach. John Fox in 2015 and then Matt Nagy in 2018. Both ended up being disappointments after promising starts.

Still, many people wonder how much Pace had to say in the first hiring. While reporting that Fox became the guy, there were several reports indicating that GM had a veteran coach forcing him out of ownership. While talking about the supposed benefit of the new NFL rule that allows teams to interview candidates two weeks before the end of the season, longtime insider Hub Arkush dropped a surprising nugget of 670 The Score.

“My understanding, according to several sources, is that when Ryan Pace was hired, he already had a verbal understanding that Dan Quinn was to be the Bears head coach. Then Seattle takes on the Super Bowl race. Well, the Bears are being advised by Ernie Accorsi, they have the youngest GM in the league, they do not want a first-time coach. John Fox suddenly becomes available.

Good friend of Ernie Accorsi. McCaskey and Phillips liked the idea. They talked Ryan Pace into it. That’s my understanding of how it all went down. Ryan could probably have vetoed it and did not, but nonetheless it happened because Dan Quinn was not available to be interviewed. “

This is wild.

Quinn was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks at the time. The team probably had one of the best defenses in NFL history. They dominated the league in 2013 on their way to a Super Bowl title and did so again in 2014. Pace was hired as GM on January 7, 2015. Three days before Seattle’s start in the playoffs against Carolina. A battle they would win. This made it challenging to interview the coordinator.

Then the other shoe fell off. Five days after Pace got the job, Fox was fired by Denver. Not sure how long to wait for Quinn, it seems McCaskey and Phillips took Accorsi as their starting point to insist the veteran coach would be perfect for the team. Pace, who is known for not being the most combative personality and has just been hired, met their wishes. Everyone knows what happened after that.

Things could have been different if Ryan Pace held up

After narrowly missing out on another Super Bowl ring, Quinn was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their new head coach. His first year they went 8-8, improved from 6-10 the year before. So in 2016, the team marched to a record of 12-4 and rolled into the Super Bowl. They would also have won the game, if not for an epic comeback of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Atlanta went 10-6 the next to reach the playoffs before the back-to-back 7-9 season in 2018 and 2019.

After a tough start to 2020, he was fired. Now he’s the defensive coordinator in Dallas and has the Cowboys to play their best on that side of the ball for years. Experts believe it is only a matter of time before he ends up as head coach again somewhere else. No doubt Ryan Pace to this day wonders how different things could have been in the early years if he had gotten his way. Unfortunately, a well-meaning but misguided ownership put him in handcuffs.

Now he is in danger of losing his job.

To be fair, McCaskey corrected his original mistake by giving Pace free dominance to pick the guy in 2018, and GM was still wrong. Nagy came in with a high profile just like Quinn, but far less actual credibility. While the young coach had leadership qualities, his actual understanding of the head coach requirements proved overwhelming after a period of time. An unfortunate what-if Bears can add to their extensive library.

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