Hidden in all Bears GM Ryan Pace’s descriptors of the skills belonging to No. 1 draft pick Leonard Floyd was one even more revealing about Pace himself.
Four times within the span of about 10 minutes Pace referred to “tape” when discussing Floyd, while specifically referencing that while workouts are important, they factor into evaluations far, far less than what a player shows up doing in games, not drills.
Where former GM Phil Emery spoke constantly about measurables, Pace has brought the conversation back to what he, scouts and coaches saw on film – on more than one occasion.
Re. Floyd’s lack of big sack numbers at Georgia:
“You know when you watch the tape: They move him all over. He’s such a versatile athlete, so he playing inside linebacker one snap and the next snap he’s in nickel running down the field with a slot receiver. And then he’s rushing. You see him at all these different positions.”
Re. Floyd failing to bench press at his Pro Day:
“I think at his Pro Day he had a stomach virus. But I’m telling you: When you see this guy on tape… .”
Re. Floyd not finishing or doing every Combine test:
“For some guys, workouts are important and you can see their speed, change of directions, hips. But some guys, the athleticism is so evident on tape. The workouts matter but you’ve just got to be careful with it.”
Re. Floyd’s apparent lack of bulk and strength:
“You see it on tape: You don’t see guys getting into him. Guys that I think struggle against the run, they let offensive linemen get into their chest and get engulfed by blocks. He doesn’t do that. He plays with such great separation, he keeps that from happening.”
Indeed, the tape and not the measurable or even the stats has served the Bears very well. In the 2004 draft the Bears used the No. 14 pick to select Tommie Harris. The Oklahoma defensive tackle was the 2003 Lombardi Trophy winner as the nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker with a resume of four sacks (Floyd had 4.5 last season) and 34 tackles that season.
Harris became the Bears’ most dominant defensive lineman of the decade and three-time Pro Bowl selection before his career succumbed to knee issues.
Sounding suspiciously like Pace, ''if you watch film, you'll see that I'm disruptive,'' Harris told the Athens Banner-Herald, ''All people care about is statistics. I've never been about stats.''
Evidently, neither is Pace.