Bears

Nick Foles says he's excited about opportunity to start for Bears

Nick Foles says he's excited about opportunity to start for Bears

The Chicago Bears will hold an open quarterback competition between incumbent Mitch Trubisky and newly acquired veteran Nick Foles this summer, and unlike most competitions that feature a player who's new to the club, Foles will bring a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding of Matt Nagy's offense to his duel with Trubisky.

It's something that could end up giving the former Super Bowl winner the upper hand.

"I have a foundation from when I was in Kansas City, and we ran a different version in Philadelphia that was different than this," Foles said during a conference call with the media on Friday. "But that's the fun part. You get to bring that information of what we did in Philly to Chicago and try to fine-tune it and develop it and mix it into the Bears offense DNA. 

"I would say there is a strong infrastructure there with the knowledge of it. It's just going to be talking to coach Nagy about his coaching points and being on the same page and understanding how he wants it run. He knows me. We've known each other since 2012. Though, we've never been in a position like this where he's the one calling plays as the head coach. That's unique."

It'll be a unique situation for Trubisky, too, who for the first time in his professional career has to earn the right to start.

RELATED: How will Mitch handle battle with Foles

Foles said he's already spoken with the former second overall pick, and they're both focusing on doing what's best for Chicago.

"Mitch and I have already talked, and we wanted to start out on the right foot because ultimately it's about the Chicago Bears, and it's not about the egos of the quarterbacks," Foles said. "The quarterback competition becomes such a big thing in the NFL, which it is. The quarterback is an important position. But ultimately we have to do what's best for the Chicago Bears. So having that healthy quarterbacks room will be a big part of that."

It's hard to imagine a scenario that doesn't include Foles as the Bears' starter on Week 1. His history of success at the highest level combined with his history with Matt Nagy and the fundamentals of Chicago's offense makes him a hard out for Trubisky, who has yet to prove he even deserves to be an NFL starter through three seasons in the league.

At the very least, Foles is entering this competition with a lot of confidence.

"It's nice to have that foundation. But it's by no means starting over with no knowledge of the offense. So I'm definitely starting out on my two feet, and I'm excited to learn more about what they're doing. There might be a few different terminologies and different run game and stuff like that. But I'll be able to understand it decently well hopefully to begin with."

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell releases statement on death of George Floyd

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USA TODAY

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell releases statement on death of George Floyd

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement Saturday evening regarding the tragic death of George Floyd.

"The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country," Goodell's statement reads. "The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions."

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As protests break out nationwide, Goodell said "there remains much more to do as a country and league," to combat racial inequality.

"These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action," he said. "We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners."

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Leadership lessons Ryan Pace learned from time with Sean Payton, Saints

Leadership lessons Ryan Pace learned from time with Sean Payton, Saints

Every organization in the NFL is working hard to adapt their workflows while under COVID-19 restrictions. Rookie minicamps have already been missed. Organizations are still unable to meet as a full team, and that’s obviously a challenge. But Bears GM Ryan Pace may have a leg up due to the lessons he learned while working in the New Orleans Saints’ front office.

Pace joined Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk’s podcast “PFT PM” to explain exactly how that time in New Orleans helped to shape him as a leader, both in “normal” times and times of crisis.

“There’s no excuses in our league,” Pace said on the podcast. “That happened in New Orleans during Katrina-- really every time a hurricane came towards that city, we adapted.

“What I felt from the leadership from (Saints head coach) Sean (Payton) and (Saints GM) Mickey (Loomis) is there was never an excuse. It was: let’s adapt and let’s adjust, and that’s what we did. From 2005 to 2006, I mean that was a major shift in that team under trying times.”

Pace is referring to the Saints firing Jim Haslett and hiring Sean Payton, and installing Payton’s new systems, all while recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The Saints were incredibly successful working through those hard times too, improving from 3-13 in 2005 to 10-6 and NFC South winners in 2006.

Beyond learning to not let hard times affect his team’s success on the field, Pace says he learned a lot about how to run a team from Payton and Loomis.

“First of all, (Payton’s) very aggressive, he's not afraid to make hard decisions. He’s decisive and Mickey’s the same way: aggressive and decisive, no regrets, never looks back, not afraid to think outside the box, but also very conscious of the culture of that team.

“I think any time you drift away from that-- and it’s easy to do, and enticing to do-- but usually when you do that, once you realize you’ve done that to the locker room, the damage is already done. You try to correct yourself or police a player, the damage is already done in the locker room. So I think it’s being aggressive with the moves you make, not looking back, operating with decisiveness, but then being very conscious of the culture in the locker room.

“It’s a fine line. 12-4 to 8-8, it’s a fine line I think, because the people, the staff, the people in your building are conscious of that.”

Pace has certainly acted decisively when building his roster, trading up to draft Mitchell Trubisky, Leonard Floyd, Anthony Miller and David Montgomery.

But he later says, there’s more nuance than simply acting decisively to become an effective leader.

“When you’re making a hard decision, what’s best for the organization?” Pace said. “Not letting your ego get in the way because ‘Hey, this was your idea,’ ‘You selected this player,’ whatever it is, what’s best for the team? And sometimes those are decisions when you have to remove emotions.”

Pace has shown the ability to set aside his ego to make those hard decisions too. Most recently he opted not to pick up Trubisky’s fifth-year option. He already cut Leonard Floyd. And after he didn’t offer Kyle Fuller a fifth-year option, he paid even more to keep Fuller since the cornerback proved he deserved to stay.

“For me, to be honest, I think that’s come pretty natural and pretty easy, and I think it’s because of my experience in New Orleans.”

RELATED: Why Ryan Pace ultimately decided to trade for Nick Foles

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