Pace will serve the Falcons as a senior personnel executive, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
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Pace Reunites With a Familiar Face
Pace is no stranger to the Falcons’ front office after working with general manager Terry Fontenot in New Orleans for 13 seasons. However, after 15 total years with the Saints, Pace left to take the Bears GM job in 2015 where he was up until he was fired following the 2021 season.
Chicago decided to move on from Pace after seven seasons as their GM and 48-65 while failing to record a playoff win.
Pace also joins some other former Bears coaches in Atlanta, including offensive coordinator Dave Ragone, quarterbacks coach Charles London, running backs coach Michael Pitre and outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino.
Not to mention ex-Bears general manager Phil Emery, whom Pace replaced in Chicago and is now also working as a senior personnel executive under Fontenot.
Pace Messed Up Draft Mitch Trubisky
During his seven-year regime, Chicago made it to the playoffs twice, but without a quarterback, they never made it past round 1. Their first postseason birth under Pace came in 2018 when they went 12-4, but then were eliminated in the wild-card round. Then two years later, they made to the playoffs after an 8-8 season in 2020, but again, were eliminated in the wild-card round.
After letting Trubisky walk in free agency, they put rookie quarterback Justin Fields front and center, who was clearly not ready for the big leagues just yet, and the Bears went 6-11 in 2021.
Once Pace was fired on January 10, he released a statement:
“I am proud to have poured absolutely everything into making the Chicago Bears a better football team every single day since first stepping foot into Halas Hall,” Pace said in the statement. “From the expansion of Halas Hall, to every staff hire, every roster move, every scouting trip, every draft pick was with a championship vision in mind. … We accomplished a lot, most notably an NFC North title, two playoff berths, 19 Pro Bowlers and 6 All-Pro selections.”
Despite some questionable draft and free agency picks Pace made with the Bears, Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic points out some of his accomplishments, including notable free-agent signings in edge Robert Quinn, tight end Trey Burton, wide receiver Allen Robinson and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks
And some outstanding draft picks including, safety Adrian Amos (5th round), center Cody Whitehair (2nd), safety Eddie Jackson (4th), running back Tarik Cohen (5th). linebacker Roquan Smith (1st), guard James Daniels (2nd), running back David Montgomery (3rd) and wide receiver Darnell Mooney (5th).
Let’s hope Pace brings all of the good mojo to Atlanta who desperately needs to ace this year’s free agency and the 2022 NFL Draft.
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