The NFL draft is “controlled chaos” under any circumstances, let alone working from home along with the rest of pro football as teams prepare for the 2020 draft under stay at home.
The standard backdrop was behind him. However, Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace spoke to the media via Skype video chat from his dining room table in advance of the team’s participation in this year’s draft.
“I look at it this way,” says Pace, “football intelligence is always an emphasis for us. Maybe we’re even more mindful of that this year. We have good coaches and that’s when we lean on them too, to develop these guys under unusual circumstances. When you have intelligent football players and good coaches that can develop them, you find a way to make it work. I think the good teams right now deal with the circumstances, they adapt to the circumstances. If you do it better than the other teams, then it’s a competitive advantage for us. I think that’s what are guys are doing. I’m proud of the way our coaches and our players have adapted.”
It’s not without travails. His daughter is getting her schooling at home in the next room. Pace described how his multi-screen setup got knocked off the air when his wife was vacuuming and clipped his power cord.
I can’t remember the last time for a month straight we sat down and had dinner every night”Ryan Pace on working from home during Covid19
The continuity that we have with each other makes it easier. I don’t feel like trades for us are going to be any more difficult this year. I have a phone here right in front of me. It’s that same phone that I would have in the draft room, with every (other team’s) GM direct dialed on at the click of one button. So I think every thing is efficient. I think leaning on the continuity of our staff. I don’t have any concerns about us pulling off any trades, or being aggressive if we need to be.
He added, ‘We are always mindful of how many players are going off at certain positions to project who could be there when we get there, to our picks. We have averages over the past ten years. We have some of those analytics in place. You are watching what trends are taking place in the draft.”
Pace also noted that he hasn’t really thought about what the season might be like if there is a reduced schedule or some other kind of change. ” The whole focus for me is on this draft right now.” He noted, “once we get through this weekend, Ill kind of open up and start thinking about those things.”
The GM was also asked about his objectives with no first round selection, but having two choices in the second round. “We are aggressive by nature. We operate with a no regrets mindset. But you also have to be responsible with those draft picks. We do have seven draft picks. Having the two number twos is important. I think we just have to weigh it. Whenever there’s conviction from us as a whole, and consensus from our scouts and our coaches together. That makes it easier for me to pull the trigger (on deals). It depends on the draft unfolds.
The rest of the questions surrounded the timing of the release of Trey Burton ,whether or not Mitch Trubisky would be optioned for the fifth year of his contract, added competition at kicker for Eddy Piniero, losing HaHa Clinton-Dix to Dallas, and the relative strength of the offensive guard postion.
It will be interesting to see what happens ion draft night, in addition to the technical challenges facing the NFL.