Ex-Bears Starter Throws Major Shade at ‘Idiot’ GM Ryan Pace

Former Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long

Getty Former Bears guard Kyle Long, former starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky and GM Ryan Pace in happier days prior to the start of the 2019 season. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Kyle Long is dropping truth bombs like Javon Wims drops touchdowns. The former Chicago Bears offensive lineman walked away from the game just over a year ago, and he has been working as an analyst for CBS Sports ever since. Never one to beat around the bush or mince words, the recently retired right guard has been consistently supportive of his former team, particularly quarterback Mitch Trubisky, often going to bat for the players while also subtly letting his feelings about head coach Matt Nagy be known. Now, he’s shading general manager Ryan Pace in a brutal and obvious way.

When discussing quarterback Deshaun Watson’s current situation with the Houston Texans along with fellow analyst Adam Schein, Long took the opportunity to take a savage jab at the current Bears GM.

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Long Blasts Pace for Handling of Deshaun Watson in 2017 NFL Draft

In a segment devoted to discussing the current unhappiness of Watson, who has demanded a trade out of Houston, Long took the opportunity to harken back to 2017, when the quarterback was famously overlooked by Pace in particular:

“We have to start from the beginning here,” Long said. “When Deshaun Watson was coming out of college, [Clemson coach] Dabo Swinney said: ‘This is next Michael Jordan of football.’ And if you’re not an idiot, you take that seriously. And if you are an idiot, you may go to the Pro Day and not even have a chat with him.”

Long, of course, is referring to the utter lack of due diligence displayed by the Bears general manager leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft. According to a blistering report by Dan Wiederer and Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune in November of 2019, the Bears “hosted dinners and private on-campus workouts with [Mitch] Trubisky and [Patrick] Mahomes but not with Watson … they met with Watson during the assembly-line interview process at the combine and for a bit after his pro-day workout. That was it.”

Instead of strongly considering Watson, a proven player who had won a national championship, Pace overlooked him entirely and traded up to select Trubisky — and we all know how that turned out. Long’s thinly-veiled insult feels noteworthy simply because he has never taken such obvious shots at Bears brass before, but he has taken multiple jabs at Chicago’s current head coach.

Long Has Made His Feelings About Matt Nagy Known

Long has openly mocked Nagy after bad losses this past season, and he has been candid about how he feels about the Bears coach, noting that should he ever come out of retirement, he would not play for the current staff.

Long also expressed disappointment after Bears chairman George McCaskey retained both Pace and Nagy after another dispiriting season in 2020. “I feel bad for Bears fans,” Long said after the team had a much-maligned year-end presser. “They’re the best. They really are. They stand by this team. They stand by the organization. They’ve had enough and they want to win.”

Pace and the Bears pulling off a trade for a player like Watson is as unlikely as it gets — but it would be the perfect way to right the ultimate wrong while also rewarding a fan base that deserves its first franchise quarterback of the Super Bowl era.

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