The Ryan Pace experiment for the Atlanta Falcons will begin in the upcoming 2022 season. The signing of Pace in February raised questions around the fanbase. Pace was general manager of the Chicago Bears for seven seasons. 2018 was a standout year for Pace as Chicago had a record of 12-4. Unfortunately, 2018 was the lone memorable year for Pace. Soon after, Chicago couldn’t withstand success through Pace’s last three seasons. However, Pace brings 21 years of NFL experience to the Atlanta front office. Pace brings his confidence and risk-taking to Atlanta with Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith beside him. Falcons signed Pace as a senior personnel executive with hopes to evaluate parts of the roster. However, the signing of Ryan Pace brings questions as roster holes continue to be filled.
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The Ryan Pace Experiment Underway for Atlanta Falcons
Former Bears Players In Atlanta
In order to help cap space, Atlanta has had to fill out roster holes with good contracts. Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot believe the team can compete and contend. While the roster doesn’t dictate that direction, confidence is high in the organization. This is where Ryan Pace comes in to evaluate the roster and depth chart. Prior to 2018, Chicago struggled post-Jay Cutler with poor play and unfortunate contracts. However, Pace has been able to find mid-late round gems including Tarik Cohen and Eddie Jackson. After signing with Atlanta, Pace contributed to signing 6 former Bears players. The most notable include Eddie Goldman and Damien Williams. Goldman brings an interior presence and veteran leadership to the defensive line. Williams had success with Kansas City in 2019 with an all-around playing style. Williams and Patterson have the potential to be a top-15 running back duo for the upcoming season.
The interesting part of all 6 signings is that opportunities will be there. Besides Goldman and Williams, players such as Germain Ifedi and Teez Tabor have a chance to see snaps throughout the regular season. Kaleb McGary’s time in Atlanta hasn’t been successful with injuries and inconsistent play. On the other hand, Ifedi is looking for a chance to redeem himself and start at right tackle. Teez Tabor is currently backing up Dean Marlowe and Richie Grant at strong safety. However, the position has the potential to vary throughout the regular season.
Reunited With Terry Fontenot
The signing of Ryan Pace in Atlanta was questionable to the Falcons fanbase. Pace has had questionable decision making including reaching for Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. Additionally, the signings of Trey Burton and Mike Glennon to large contracts dampened the development of Chicago. However, in the mind of Terry Fontenot, Pace is the perfect person to be a senior personal executive. Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Eddie Jackson were mid-late round gems for Pace. All three players played a part in the 2018 Bears season. Also, Fontenot and Pace worked together for the New Orleans Saints for 13 years. Pace was in New Orleans with the hiring of Sean Payton and the signing of Drew Brees. Fontenot helped turned the Saints into Super Bowl contenders by building the skill positions and trenches.
Player development will become prominent in Atlanta as players will compete for snaps. Pace, Fontenot, and Smith are aware that talent must be evaluated to seriously contend within a few years. The quick Chicago Bears turnaround plays a factor in the signing of Ryan Pace. Atlanta wants a turnaround that can bring energy to the organization and fanbase.
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