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Bears GM Ryan Pace voted Sporting News Executive of the Year for 2018

first_imgMORE: All 2018 Sporting News NFL awards”It’s extremely humbling,” Pace told Sporting News upon reception of his award. “It’s also motivating. (Halas and McCaskey) have really set the high standards we strive to live up to. Every day we walk into Halas Hall. To me it’s just a constant reminder of how fortunate we are to be a part of this.”For Pace, 42, the seeds for success in his fourth year as Chicago’s GM were planted well before January of 2018, but that was when the Bears hired Matt Nagy as the 16th head coach in franchise history. With a new coaching staff in place, Pace went to work.On the first day of free agency, Pace signed two wide receivers in Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and a tight end in Trey Burton. All three would become major contributors to the Bears’ offense in 2018. In the NFL Draft, Pace landed immediate contributors in linebacker Roquan Smith, left guard James Daniels and wide receiver Anthony Miller.Then came the trade that sent shockwaves throughout the NFL. On the first day of September, Pace dealt a handful of draft picks to the Raiders in exchange for edge rusher Khalil Mack.”The happiest people in the building was probably our secondary,” Pace said of the Mack deal. “It kind of jolted our team at the right moment.”Today we presented @ChicagoBears general manager Ryan Pace with the 2018 Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year award, as voted upon by his fellow NFL team executives.Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/ktAAoTKogn— Sporting News NFL (@sn_nfl) March 24, 2019By the end of the season, Chicago had the league’s top-ranked defense in points allowed per game (17.7). Along with Mack, the defensive stars included defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who Pace acquired in 2016 free agency and extended in 2017; safety Eddie Jackson, who Pace drafted in 2017; safety Adrian Amos, who Pace drafted in 2015; cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, both of whom Pace extended in 2018; and linebacker Danny Trevathan, who Pace signed in 2016 free agency.Offensively, the Bears fielded a top-10 unit in 2018 led by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who Pace drafted in 2017. Other key contributors included the aforementioned receivers plus running backs Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, who Pace drafted in 2017 and 2016, respectively; right tackle Bobby Massie, who Pace signed in 2016 free agency; and center Cody Whitehair, who Pace drafted in 2016.Simply put: Pace acquired a ton of talent, and he did it quickly. The result was a 12-4 season in 2018 and Chicago’s first NFC North championship since 2010.”The momentum really started when we hired Matt (Nagy),” Pace said. “It carried into free agency, the draft, and then the Mack trade, and then into the season.”I think really when you think about this award, it’s really a reflection of our whole staff. Our scouts, our coaches, the relationship we have working together. It’s our personnel department and all the hard work by those guys. I feel like this is staff of the year. I feel like we won this together.” For a Chicago Bears executive, being grouped with names like Halas and McCaskey is quite an honor. So Ryan Pace can bask in a kind of glory that expands beyond the distinction typically associated with Sporting News’ Executive of the Year award.Based on a vote of Pace’s peers, fellow executives throughout the NFL, the Bears general manager has been named Sporting News Executive of the Year for 2018. He is the third Bears executive to win the award. Mike McCaskey won the award in 1985, and George “Papa Bear” Halas won the award in 1956. Pace is not alone as a Bear who is being honored for his work in 2018. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who was hired by the Broncos as head coach after the season, was voted Sporting News Coordinator of the Year. Mack, Fuller, Jackson and Cohen were voted to Sporting News’ All-Pro Team.That is six individuals from one team represented in SN’s NFL awards for 2018.Not a bad year for Pace’s Bears.Sporting News Executive of the Year: Past winnersYearWinnerTeam1955Dan ReevesLos Angeles Rams1956George HalasChicago Bears1957-71No awardsN/A1972Dan RooneyPittsburgh Steelers1973Jim FinksMinnesota Vikings1974Art RooneyPittsburgh Steelers1975Joe ThomasBaltimore Colts1976Al DavisOakland Raiders1977Tex SchrammDallas Cowboys1978John ThompsonSeattle Seahawks1979John SandersSan Diego Chargers1980Eddie LeBaronAtlanta Falcons1981Paul BrownCincinnati Bengals1982Bobby BeathardWashington Redskins1983Bobby BeathardWashington Redskins1984George YoungNew York Giants1985Mike McCaskeyChicago Bears1986George YoungNew York Giants1987Jim FinksNew Orleans Saints1988Bill PolianBuffalo Bills1989John McVaySan Francisco 49ers1990George YoungNew York Giants1991Bill PolianBuffalo Bills1992Ron WolfGreen Bay Packers1993George YoungNew York Giants1994Carmen PolicySan Francisco 49ers1995Bill PolianCarolina Panthers1996Bill PolianCarolina Panthers1997George YoungNew York Giants1998Jeff DiamondMinnesota Vikings1999Bill PolianIndianapolis Colts2000Randy MuellerNew Orleans Saints2001Dan RooneyPittsburgh Steelers2002Bruce AllenOakland Raiders2003Scott PioliNew England Patriots2004Scott PioliNew England Patriots2005Art Rooney IIPittsburgh Steelers2006Mickey LoomisNew Orleans Saints2007Ted ThompsonGreen Bay Packers2008Thomas DimitroffAtlanta Falcons2009Bill PolianIndianapolis Colts2010Thomas DimitroffAtlanta Falcons2011Ted ThompsonGreen Bay Packers2012Ryan GrigsonIndianapolis Colts2013No awardN/A2014Steve KeimArizona Cardinals2015Dave GettlemanCarolina Panthers2016Reggie McKenzieOakland Raiders2017Howie RosemanPhiladelphia Eagles2018Ryan PaceChicago Bearslast_img

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