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Pace promises broad, thorough search


Bears general manager Ryan Pace speaking to the media during a press conference Monday.

After informing John Fox that he would not return as Bears coach Monday, general manager Ryan Pace began searching for Fox's replacement.

Here are six things we learned about that process from Pace during a press conference he conducted later in the day at Halas Hall:

(1) While many believe that the Bears will target an offensive-minded coach to work with promising young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, that's not necessarily the case.

"I don't want to paint ourselves in a corner," Pace said. "We're looking for the best coach; best character, best leadership. I don't want to paint ourselves into offense or defense. It's going to be a broad, thorough search."

(2) Pace will make the final decision on hiring a coach, but he will discuss the process with chairman George H. McCaskey and team president and CEO Ted Phillips.

"It's a collaborative effort with Ted, George and myself," Pace said. "I look at our relationship and communication as an asset during these times. The final decision is mine. I see a lot of parallels to our draft. Of course in the draft, the final decision is mine but I welcome a collaborative effort and it's worked out for me in the past."

(3) Pace declined to specify the qualities he's seeking in a coach.

"We're going to get into that as we go through the interview process, which will be thorough and extensive," Pace said. "I don't want to get into the exact details. It's a competitive market, but you can bet that we have criteria in mind that's very detailed and I'll feel very confident when we hit that."

(4) The Bears may involve Trubisky in the process.

"That's something we're discussing," Pace said. "I know a lot of teams have done that in the past. That's definitely something we're going to look into."

(5) Pace already has a short list of potential candidates.

"A lot of work has gone into this," Pace said. "I've been very thorough. That's what we've got it scaled down to some extend to be a little bit more targeted and aggressive and I did that. It started [Monday] and as soon as I walk out of here it's going to continue, and we're in a position of understanding that and if we need to be aggressive we will."

(6) Pace wouldn't say whether Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio will be considered for the opening.

"I have a lot of respect for Vic," Pace said. "He did a great job with our defense over the past three years. But we're not going to get into who's on our list or who's not right now."

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