Bears general manager Ryan Pace met the media on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and fielded a variety of questions.
What does he look for in playmakers?
“You’re looking at guys that are making critical game-changing plays at critical moments, when the game’s on the line and it’s in the fourth quarter. You look how close all of our games were and there are certain players that step up in those moments and we need more of those type of players.”
How difficult is it finding players to fit a 3-4 defense?
“I think more and more teams are running 3-4 [schemes] now, so those guys are getting plucked over more. You used to be able to pick the undersized defensive ends and you’d kind of be in a smaller group, but now it seems to be more the norm.
“Some of these defenses in colleges, they’re just shooting gaps. They’re not just using their hands. We’re looking at guys that can take on a block with their hands and they have length to separate and shed, and they’re stout. There are certain D-linemen that you look at and you say, ‘This guy’s ideally kind of a 4-3 3-technique, on the other hand, this guy’s more of a 5-technique that has length and he’s stout. You’ve just got to sort through that.”
Did he and head coach John Fox discuss coaching changes?
“John [Fox] and I are close enough where every decision we’re bouncing off each other. But ultimately, the coaching staff, that’s on him. Just like as when we hire scouts, I bounce guys off him as well. We’ve hired Curtis Johnson as our new receivers coach, who we all have background with, and we’re excited about him.”
What made the Bears choose to promote quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to offensive coordinator?
“Dowell [Loggains] is a really good coach. He’s really intelligent, he’s got a lot of new ideas, he’s very confident. It wasn’t just about keeping continuity, it was also about hiring the best guy, and we feel Dowell is definitely that. I’m excited for some of the new wrinkles, some of the new ideas he has. One thing I like about Dowell is, he came into the league as a scout, so I’m kind of biased toward that a little bit. He understands personnel, he understands player development, and how guys fit into different roles.”
When asked if Loggains’ relationship with Jay Cutler was important to the decision to promote him, Pace said, “That was part of it. We feel Jay played well last year, we feel he’s going to play even better next year, and having Dowell in place kind of continues that progression.”
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