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Once Burned No Reason to Back Down

Analysis: NFL Network report saying the Bears wouldn't trade up for a quarterback because of the Mitchell Trubisky failure lacks logic.

There are few who would question Scott Pioli's credentials or knowledge of the NFL.

Sports Illustrated named him the No. 1 sports executive of the decade from 2000-2009 when he was with New England. The guy married Bill Parcells' daughter so, yeah, he's all about football.

Then again, it was all a long time ago and he definitely didn't have the same success in Kansas City he had with the Patriots. There is a shelf life on genius tags.

Pioli has fallen into a trap catching many NFL people who turn analysts. He's not doing his due diligence the way he did as an executive preparing for the draft.

In a segment breaking down for NFL Network whether the Bears would trade up for a quarterback from 20 to early Round 1, Pioli suggested they would not. 

He's probably correct about this, but not for the reasons he suggests.

Low-Hanging Fruit Called Trubisky

With his explanation, all Pioli did was reach up for the low-hanging fruit of national narrative. That one goes: Trubisky and the trade for Trubisky are to blame for everything bad plaguing mankind and football.

"I think at this point they have made a very bold move a couple of years ago when they moved up for Mitchell Trubisky," Pioli said. "I don't think at this point in time that that's going to be a big part of their personality because we've seen what they need to do or what a team needs to do in order to get up into the fray and get a quarterback."

The last part of his statement is accurate enough. San Francisco paid far too much to move up to No. 3 and set the bar too high for everyone else.

However, Pioli's statement painting the trade up for Trubisky as a bold move which will rule out future moves up is beyond lazy analysis. 

It's entirely silly.

The Bears don't need to avoid trading up because of what happened with Trubisky. They need to trade up because of what happened with Trubisky.

Maybe it's just that in New England they did things differently — they did have Tom Terrific deodorizing front office mistakes. So, maybe Pioli isn't really aware of what happened with Trubisky.

First, it was more than a couple years ago. It was in 2017. This is 2021. That's forever in this NFL. 

The time element alone should be enough to let the Bears make a move up of this type. Four full seasons have passed since that move. Trubisky has come and gone. It's like a new generation in NFL time.

More importantly, the Bears didn't make a bold move up back then at all. They dealt away two third-round picks and a fourth-round pick. That's not risky or bold.

What Pace actually did was make a completely stupid move — he didn't even need to trade to get Trubisky. Everyone knew it.  Nothing bold about it.

Besides, no team ever went into the tank for giving up a couple third-round picks and a fourth-rounder. Until David Montgomery, Pace didn't even know what to do with a third-round pick, anyway. Hroniss Grasu? Jonathan Bullard? Please.

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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Trading two first-round picks for Khalil Mack was a bold move. 

Missing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson while trading a few middling draft picks to move up for Trubisky was a massive misjudgment of talent, but not bold.

Pioli's other bit of incorrect logic is a simple case of out-of-town stupid. This also stems from laziness. 

If Pioli only read up on the postseason Bears press conference, he'd know what he needed to know.

Pace has to get the quarterback situation solved. No one said a thing on that day in January about the future of the team or getting a tackle or a cornerback. It was all about quarterback and finding one.

News alert: They haven't found one.

They're not finding a franchise guy in Round 2, either.

Bears owner George McCaskey and CEO Ted Phillips made it clear they need progress, and Phillips admitted they hadn't solved the quarterback situation. Progress is finding the quarterback.

It's not mortgaging the future if you have a head coach you have confidence in advising Pace on quarterbacks, and the two decide together to trade up for someone who is a generational talent. 

Phillips and McCaskey made it clear they believe in this tag-team duo getting the job done. They didn't say they think the two will get a real quarterback only by staying put in the draft.

If McCaskey and Phillips didn't have confidence Pace could move up and get the quarterback, then they would have simply fired him in January.

They'd go along with a big trade up if told by Nagy this was a can't-miss passer. Nagy was one who saw the brilliance in Mahomes.

Ultimately, they might not need to trade up as far as it initially appeared, as one or two passers might drop. If they trade up, it might not be so far that they "mortgage the future" to get him.

They'd have difficulty doing this because there are real holes on this roster now. But they have to do it if necessary. Four years is a generation in the NFL and the Bears are on the verge of seeing the defense age out.

It's time to go get a quarterback who can carry a team in the future because the defense won't be able to do it forever.

It's not bold. It's just common sense.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven