In early September 2010, the Chicago Bears organization invited season ticket holders for the first time to enter the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall for a “state of the team” address, hosted by President Ted Phillips, General Manager Jerry Angelo, and Head Coach Lovie Smith. It was a noble gesture by the organization even if the execution was off; the metal Payton center was acoustically a horrible place to host the event. Fans seated 20 feet away from those speaking couldn’t hear what they were saying due to the reverb.
During the talk many attendees shook their heads and rolled their eyes, listening to the brain trust talk of the impact the major changes made in the offseason would have on the team’s success. Remember, this pep talk came on the heels of only the second winless preseason in 30 years, a preseason in which the team looked offensively and defensively overmatched and out-coached.
Thus the 2010 Chicago Bears began the season surrounded by skepticism felt by their fans, the media, and their peers. Despite having made major changes throughout the organization, the team was roundly predicted to finish with seven wins or less and far below the records of division rivals Green Bay and Minnesota. At the end of the campaign, the club would astonishingly host the NFC Championship game with the chance to beat their arch-rival for a trip to Super Bowl 45. While the Bears’ 2010 season turned out breathtakingly exciting for its followers, in the end the team lost out in the worst way it possibly could, at the hands of their arch rival of 89 years.
The 2009 season had ended on a sour note for Bears fans, despite the team finishing by winning their final two games and spoiling the rival Vikings’ hopes for home field advantage in the playoffs. In December, many fans were calling for the firing of Smith and Angelo, even pooling money to purchase a billboard advertisement pushing for such a move. At the conclusion of the season, the team acted quickly by firing not Smith or Angelo, but virtually the entire offensive coaching staff that had been led by coordinator Ron Turner since 2005. The move came just two days after the season ended on January 3rd.
Just prior to the offensive purge, the team called a press conference addressing the disappointed season, at which Phillips, Angelo and Smith spoke. Their theme was feeling the fans’ frustration and admitting that they all “know they have to do a better job” at winning.
Continue reading the 2010 Chicago Bears season page at www.bearshistory.com.