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Ryan Pace: Report that John Fox was in the dark is “so false”

In a wild first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bears' decision to send a bevy of picks to the 49ers in order to draft QB Mitchell Trubisky stood out.

On Friday afternoon, Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Bears G.M. Ryan Pace kept coach John Fox in the dark about the plan to get quarterback Mitchell Trubisky until only a few hours before the proceedings began. On Friday night, Pace disputed that notion.

“That stuff is so false,” Pace told reporters. “There’s consistency in everything we do, so we all work arm-in-arm and that’s the way it is and that’s the way it should be.”

Pace added that Fox was “100 percent” involved in the evaluation and planning regarding Trubisky.

“John is involved in every decision deeply,” Pace said. “The respect I have for John is enormous, especially his experience and all of the players that he’s been with. I think if you look back -- and we talked about this -- I think a lot of it was kept secret I thought we did a good job keeping this thing pretty under wraps, it’s so sensitive. But if you go back to the private workouts that we had, I mean John and I -- it’s pretty hard to hide him -- but we’re traveling to Chapel Hill and having dinners and workouts with Mitch, so he’s been deeply involved from the very beginning.”

It’s one thing to be involved in every decision, and it’s another to know exactly and precisely what the final decision will be. Is it possible that Fox was involved in the process of evaluating Trubisky but didn’t personally know what Pace would be doing until close in time to the start of the draft? If Pace didn’t make the final decision until then, then yes.

And here’s the value of keeping things secret. If word had gotten out that the Bears were planning to move from No. 3 to No. 2 to get Trubisky, the Browns may have launched a late effort to squeeze Chicago into coming all the way to No. 1 to get him. Moreover, the mere fact that the General Manager of the Bears was showing so much interest in Trubisky may have caused a late shift in Cleveland, with ownership suddenly getting behind the pro-Trubisky wing that seemed to be working all the angles to make him the pick over Garrett.

If, after all, the opinion of a homeless guy was enough to sway Jimmy Haslam to go with Johnny Manziel in 2014, the views of the gainfully employed (and fully housed) Ryan Pace would likely have a much greater impact.