George McCaskey Backs Ryan Pace, Bears' Leadership

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- Bears chairman George McCaskey expressed confidence in general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy on Tuesday, two days after the team finished a disappointing 8-8 season that began with championship aspirations and ended without a playoff trip.

"Every year we talk about the goal being to win the Super Bowl," McCaskey said. "Some years, you feel you're better positioned to do that than others. We certainly thought that was the case in 2019. So, the 8-8 record was especially disappointing in that light.

"We're confident in Ryan and Matt to do what's necessary to get us back on track."

The Bears haven't made any changes to their front office or coaching staff in the aftermath of their underachieving season, though Nagy said the future of his coaching staff is still being evaluated. 

The Bears' chairman since 2011, McCaskey indicated he won't get involved in the decisions made by Pace, the team's highest-ranking football operations executive. Chicago is 34-46 in five seasons under the direction of Pace, who began a rebuilding process when hired in early 2015. Nagy is 20-12 over his two seasons leading the Bears, with a wild-card round loss in the team's playoff trip in 2018.

The Bears have employed three general managers since McCaskey took over as chairman, with Pace's five-year tenure the longest under his watch.

The Bears have had back-to-back winning seasons just once in the last 24 years. Despite that, McCaskey believes the Bears can still sustain success after a disappointing 2019 campaign.

McCaskey referenced the Bears winning the NFC North with a 12-4 record in 2018 and the core of that squad remaining intact as part of his confidence in Pace and Nagy. He believes the Bears will respond after their recent struggles.

"The key is that evaluation process," McCaskey said. "It's going to be thorough. It's going to be forthright. It's going to be honest. And at times, it may be painful. But that's what we need to do to get better. I was especially impressed when Ryan was talking about the lack of ego and the humility is really going to help us. We can't be afraid to point the finger at ourselves. Matt says he wants to know what he can do to make us better. Ryan wants to know what he can do to make us better. And the same applies to me. 

"I want to know what I can do to make us better. Is it staffing? Is it resources? Is it facilities? Do I need to ask more questions? Do I need to ask fewer questions? It's a balancing act. You want to be involved, but you don't want to interfere. We'll just have to see how it plays out."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.