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Pace intends to get to know Cutler

Ryan Pace can see how Jay Cutler performed this season by flipping on an iPad. But the new Bears general manager won't draw any conclusions about the quarterback until spending some time with him.

"Evaluating the quarterback is more than just what I see on tape," Pace said Friday at his introductory press conference. "There are a lot of other things that go into the position and for me to fully answer that question I need to get to know [Cutler] as a person."

After signing a lucrative long-term contract a year ago, Cutler was benched late in the season. In 15 starts, he completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards and an 88.6 passer rating. He threw a career-high 28 touchdowns, but led the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers. cameras followed Ryan Pace during his first full day at Halas Hall as General Manager.

"The quarterback obviously is a critical, critical position to achieve sustained success," said Pace, who spent the last 13 years working in the Saints' personnel department. "But it's not the only position. For us to have a lot of success, all 53 guys are going to be accounted for.

"I witnessed things with [New Orleans quarterback] Drew Brees that I have in my mind that I know why he was successful and those are ingrained in me. But I want to get to know Jay. I want to get to know him further before I come to those conclusions."

Asked when he would speak with Cutler, Pace said: "I'm going to meet with him soon. But right now I'm really narrowed on this head coach search. I'll have time to talk to Jay. But I don't have a set date."

Thorough evaluation: Pace declined to offer his take on individual Bears players Friday, but he revealed that the team's entire roster would be thoroughly evaluated.

"That will be a critical first step in us making the right offseason plan and decisions," Pace said. "We'll be a team who looks at every single avenue in improving our roster. We'll be aggressive in our approach. But for the Bears to have sustained success, we must build through the draft.

"The recipe to winning Super Bowls is stringing successful drafts together again and again. We are not just collecting athletes. We are acquiring football players that fit the Chicago Bears. There will be a major emphasis on character, toughness, instincts and intelligence.

"It's all about winning games and that's what I'm here to do. Every decision we make goes back to what's best for this organization. It's as simple as that."

Back to basics: After ranking 27th in the NFL in rushing and 31st in points allowed in 2014, Pace knows that the Bears must improve in both areas, especially playing in a cold-weather climate.

"The weather here can be brutal," he said. "To win in that environment you've got to be able to run the ball, you've got to be able to play tough defense. When you think about the Chicago Bears over the years, it's tough, physical defense, and we're going to get back to that."

Handling adversity: Pace is proud of how the Saints overcame adversity during his tenure with the team. After being displaced by Hurricane Katrina and going 3-13 in 2005, New Orleans rebounded to win the NFC South title the following year.

Decimated by suspensions and fines during the infamous "Bountygate" in 2012, the Saints bounced back in 2013 to go 11-5 and earn a wildcard berth.

"It's not always a honeymoon," Pace said. "I'm smiling today and things are great today, but how do you handle yourself when it's not that way? How does the head coach handle himself when it's not that way? I think I've learned that I can handle adversity and persevere through it. I'm a very competitive person, a very aggressive person and challenges like that don't bother me."

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