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Ryan Pace to evaluate Jay Cutler's future with Bears

New Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace provided no clues about his quarterback plans in Friday's introductory press conference.

"I have previous things with Drew Brees that I had in my mind that I know why he was successful and those are ingrained in me," Pace explained, "but I want to get to know Jay (Cutler), I want to get to know him further before I come to these conclusions."

Pace added that evaluating the quarterback goes beyond simply watching the previous season's game film.

"I want reliable players," Pace said, "that you know what you're getting from them on game day."

Cutler's rifle arm and above average athleticism will show up on film. Pace will want to delve deeper in evaluating Cutler's leadership style, willingness to embrace the new coaching staff's philosophy and ability to make the correct pre- and post-snap adjustments.

If Cutler is truly afforded a clean slate, it's no longer safe to assume the Bears will move on simply because he was benched by the previous regime.

With no quarterback solution readily apparent via the draft or free agency, Pace may have little choice but to hold onto his lone asset at the position.

Here's what else we learned from Pace's introductory press conference:

  1. His philosophy stands in contrast to that of Marc Trestman, who elevated the passing game at the expense of defense and the ground attack. An Illinois native, Pace espoused a firm belief that the Bears must return to their defense and ball-control roots to win in the harsh elements of Chicago.
  1. Pace will have final say over the 53-man roster. With the assistance of former Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi, he will also choose the next Bears' head coach.
  1. Although Pace appreciates analytics as part of the toolbox that goes into running an NFL team, he emphasized his background in evaluation and building through the draft: "I don't want you guys thinking I'm some 'Moneyball' GM. That's not me."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Divisional Round game and breaks down the Manning-Luck matchup. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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