Bears mailbag: On coach candidates, Ryan Pace signings, owners & more

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Bears general manager Ryan Pace traded up to draft Mitch Trubisky. (AP)

TheSun-Times’expertscan answer yourBearsquestions all week onTwitter. Here’s a sampling of queries sent to @PatrickFinley, who responds with more than 280 characters:

It isn’t Jeff Fisher, who apparently is trying to get back into coaching. The Bears will look at the top offensive minds in the game with hopes they can develop Mitch Trubisky into a franchise cornerstone. On their list, I presume: the Patriots’ Josh McDaniels; the Eagles’ Frank Reich and John DeFilippo; the Saints’ Pete Carmichael, and others. Also, maybe Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub gets a call.

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The Bears will look at the top offensive minds in the game with hopes they can develop Mitch Trubisky into a franchise cornerstone. On their list, I presume: the Patriots’ Josh McDaniels; the Eagles’ Frank Reich and John DeFillipo; the Saints’ Pete Carmichael, and others. Also, maybe Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub gets a call.

As for Fangio: remember, he turned down a chance to sign a contract extension this offseason, making him a free agent after this year, I doubt he’d return as coordinator if the Bears don’t give him a head coaching interview.

Maybe Sims stays. The rest, though, are more likely to play elsewhere next year.

That free agent class — one of the NFL’s worst this decade — is the main argument for finding a new GM. Pace shouldn’t be forgiven for those moves, but they were meant to be patch jobs. He structured the contracts in a way that the Bears could let those players walk, with minimal financial penalty, at the end of this season.

Still, Pace signed Akiem Hicks and Josh Sitton two years ago, and Prince Amukamara last year. Those were wins. And I maintain that you can’t judge the GM without knowing whether he did the right thing in trading for Mitch Trubisky. We won’t know that answer for at least another year.

A recap: last week I asked Trubisky about his third-down efficiency, reminding him he hadn’t thrown a pick on third down all year. Trubisky, half-playfully, was annoyed I said it out loud.

“Why would you jinx me?” he said. “Come on dude. That’s not cool. Don’t talk about it. Put him on atimeout.”

I was not put on timeout, nor did I go to bed without dinner, for doing my job. But Trubisky was worried I put the hex on him.

“You better hope … Oh my God,” he said.

You know what happened next: Trubisky threw a third-down interception Saturday — in the end zone.

All of them. The McCaskeys sit in an owners box; Ryan Pace and his staff are often in the press box.

Good question. I think Amukamara is the better player today, but I’d keep Fuller, who is two-and-a-half years younger, because he has more room to grow. Contracts, of course, will be a factor this offseason, when both men become free agents. I’d tread cautiously; both have played well enough to return next year on sizable deals, but I’d let someone else overpay them.

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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