For the 3 people who have been following my webpage and the season long previews and game reviews, I like to call autopsies, you may be wondering why I have been supportive of John Fox when every scribe in town is calling for his head. Let me just say that, they are not wrong in wanting Fox’s head on a platter, especially after his post game comments after the Bears lost to San Francisco 15 -14.
I have been supportive I guess, because I don’t want to be as quick as everyone else to assign blame to one person, for the failures of many. Especially when that particular person has the best resume, track history, and most trophies to support his case. That person is John Fox, and he most likely will lose his job simply because the fans and beat writers want him to. He is the face of a franchise that has endured historic losing on his watch, even though it’s not officially over yet, and he is not alone to blame.
The big debate this week on sports radio and in the papers has been whether or not general manager Ryan Pace should be the guy to hire the next coach. We do not know if it was Pace who hired Fox, or did team President George McCaskey trump Pace’s new authority and hire Fox himself, when he became available after the Denver Broncos lost the AFC Championship game in 2015. The lack of clarity on this issue points to the Bears larger problems, and the media’s, since they are the ones constantly speculating and questioning the line of responsibility in the Bears hierarchy.
To me it doesn’t matter. What does matter to me, is looking at the whole picture, examining the problems and putting in place the right people to do the right job. You also have to anticipate, to see potential problems before they happen, and whether or not a better solution exists. Sometimes not making moves is the best move you can make. Sometimes it’s best to step back, take emotion out of it and reevaluate the situation. Sometimes just making adjustments to the current plan and shuffling pieces around is the best move you can make.
My next article will be titled, “If I were GM of the Bears.”
Well, this current general manager has done a basically average job to lower than average. To me, he hired Fox, he had the title when Fox was hired, end of story. The problem that the team and fans have right now, is finding the right offensive mind to mold and coach Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears history is that they will hire an offensive coordinator, with no head coaching experience, from one of the hotter teams in the league right now.
That person hopefully is Frank Reich, the coordinator in Philadelphia who had helped Carson Wentz become and MVP candidate in less than two seasons. There will be a lot of bidding for Reich’s services. And who ever does come here will be forced into developing young Mitchell. They are going to have to like him, and see the things that Pace does, or they won’t get, or take the job.
It’s possible that job candidates don’t like Trubisky, and won’t come here because of him, and the arranged marriage that will take place. The Bears may not get a top offensive mind because of this. It’s definitely something to think about. A coach may want a fresh start and want to pick his own guy, instead of coaching someone they don’t believe in, or I, don’t believe in.
In New York, the Giants have an opening for head coach, a good veteran quarterback in Eli Manning and an open slot behind him to develop someone of their own choosing, without pressure, a fresh start and probably a three year window to show results.
The Bears situation on the other hand is all pressure, a quarterback in place that you have to develop into a franchise leading talent, a general manager who’s drafting and free agent acquisitions are inconsistent at best, and shows with a roster and defense that’s supposed to win now, but with gaps in talent due to injuries and poor drafting.
Which job sounds more attractive, not the Bears job right?
The fact is, is that the Bears are basically incomplete. No one associated with the team has completed their task. Not the general manager, not the head coach, and certainly not the coordinators, even though each of them are on their 3rd coordinators job in the NFL. That’s 3 levels of incompleteness. Oh, and do you really want George McCaskey to pick a 3rd general manager? Neither does he.
You have two coordinators, one old, a grizzled defensive veteran with a good resume, who’s players like him, even though he makes no adjustments and doesn’t blitz. He also turned down a contract extension in the off season and is as good as gone when the season ends.
The other a young, touted… by who, I do not know, offensive mind, who is at his THIRD offensive coordinators position in 6 years, but without any real accomplishments or success. The Bears are last in almost every offensive category, especially 3rd down conversions and three and out’s. That’s where you run three plays and don’t convert a first down and have to punt the ball back to the other team, who more than likely will turn it into 3 points, like Robbie Gould and the 49’ers.
Not getting first downs will kill you in the NFL. You have to get first downs to sustain scoring drives and give the defense a chance to rest. Failure to convert 3rd downs tends to end coaching careers. The Bears have had 3 games this year where they did not get 10 first downs.
Loggains though, was not Fox’s first choice to lead the offense. His first choice was Adam Gase, who was hired by the Miami Dolphins to be their head coach. Loggains, the quarterbacks coach, was promoted from within the organization, and unfortunately for Bears nation, has Fox’s loyalty, why? I do not know.
So Fox HAS recent history with the Bears of hiring the right people on the offensive side of the ball. That fact that Dowell Loggains is a swing and a miss as a coach, shouldn’t preclude Fox from getting a 3rd bite at the apple.
A previous offensive mind for Fox named Mike McCoy, from Fox’s time in Denver, is currently available. After losing his head coaching gig in San Diego and the coordinators position again in Denver this season, where Broncos President John Elway scapegoated him for their terrible season. Because he is technically still under contract, the Broncos have turned down requests for teams to speak to McCoy. Are the Bears one of these teams, I believe so.
It going to pain Bears fans to hear this, but based on his stubborn refusal to replace Loggains during the season, as he stated after the 49’er’s loss. But I think Fox, with a new offensive coordinator, is their best chance for success next year. I think another year of moves for the general manager will be the tell of whether or not he is competent for the job. If he is, let him hire a new coach, if not, then clean house and not have to saddle the next coaching regime with a quarterback, who has given you nothing but questions so far. By the end of the season next year, you should have answered all 3 of the questions that we currently have
Is general manager Ryan Pace the right man to lead this franchise?
Is Fox capable of finishing this rebuild?
Is Mitchell Trubisky a potential franchise quarterback?
If George decides to answer no to all three questions and clean house, that would be fine, but I don’t expect him to fire Pace. That would mean George is under the microscope again and would have to do actual work. Answering no to only one of these questions probably delays answering the other two.
I would rather waste one more year than waste another 3 with the hiring of another bad coaching staff, led by another coordinator with no head coaching experience like; Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron, Lovie Smith and Mark Trestman.
By the way, in Wednesday’s Sun-Times, writer Mark Potash looked up to see where the previous regime in charge of the Bears was.
General Manager Phil Emery went to the NFC Championship with the Atlanta Falcons as their head scout.
Head Coach Mark Trestman won the Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonaut’s.
Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker, is the coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs and won the SEC Championship.
Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer is the offensive line coach of the Los Angeles Rams, who are leading the West division at 9-3 and tied for the league lead in highest scoring offense.
Looks like their careers are just fine post-Bears. I still wouldn’t count on another coordinator’s job though Dowell. 3 and out!!