(670 The Score) When the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky second overall in 2017, general manager Ryan Pace believed the organization was set at quarterback for many years to come.
Of course, those expectations have been tempered. Trubisky struggled during his first three NFL seasons, and Pace decided to create a quarterback competition by trading for veteran Nick Foles in March. The Bears also declined Trubisky's fifth-year option for 2021, meaning this could be his final season in Chicago.
But Pace still sees a quarterback in Trubisky determined to prove himself. That was clear to Pace in August as Trubisky competed for the starting job, which he was named the winner of Friday. Trubisky will be under center when Chicago opens its season at Detroit on Sunday.
"If you put yourself in his shoes and the offseason that he had, coming off last season -- where there was a lot of blame to go around last year, we could’ve been better in a lot of areas -- of course, being the quarterback, he takes the brunt of a lot of that," Pace said. "Then we trade for a quarterback and then we don’t exercise the fifth-year option and all these things happen.
"The moment he walked in the building, you just felt a different presence and a different mindset, and that carried him throughout camp. Just proud of the way he’s conducted himself.”
Pace believes the Bears' quarterback competition played out fairly despite there being less than four weeks of practices and no preseason games. He credited coach Matt Nagy and his staff for creating the structure of the competition.
The decision between Trubisky and Foles was ultimately made by Nagy, Pace said while describing himself as a "sounding board" for the choice.
However, Pace understands his fate as general manager could be tied to whether Trubisky rises or falls with this opportunity.
"I can say this with complete honesty, it was easy for me to watch this unfold because all I wanted is what was best for the team," Pace said. "Ultimately, all that matters is that we win football games. That's all that matters.
"There wasn't relief at all the whole time. Honestly, I just wanted what was best for our team."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.