If I didn’t outright say it, in my posts prior to the Lions game, I was alluding to my belief that if the 2011 season goes downhill, I believe the Bears are in full rebuilding mode. Without a vast overhaul of the roster, not only is there no more hope for 2011, but also no more hope until the team is rebuilt, plain and simple.
After the game, in his 670 the Score Blog, Dan Bernstein went right ahead and said that this is the beginning of the end. Also on Monday veteran NFL writer Mike Mulligan recommended the Bears trade Jay Cutler, because it looks like the team will not be in position to utilize him the correct way until his career is over.
I wrote after the game on Monday that I have no faith that Jerry Angelo is going to draft the Bears back to dominance. It has been rumored over the past 18 months was that the reason Angelo brought in former Seahawks executive Tim Ruskell is to set Ruskell up to replace Angelo in a few years. This should not make us feel good Bears fans, as today profootballtalk.com noted how Ruskell decimated the talent base in Seattle. Great stuff.
I continue to lament the fact that Ted Thompson in Green Bay took a 4-12 team in 2005 and has built a potential dynasty, and I have just one brief exercise for Bears fans to consider.
The following are Green Bay’s players under the age of 30 that are core playmakers, not including special teamers. Bold indicates Pro Bowlers and italics indicate the player is signed long term:
Now let’s look at the Chicago Bears’ core playmakers under the age of 30:
So there you have it. The Bears have massive holes to fill and/or veteran players to replace over the next few years at ALL positions other than quarterback and one offensive tackle position.
Anyone out there that thinks Jerry Angelo and Tim Ruskell’s track record indicates they will be able to do it? Didn’t think so.
Angelo and Lovie Smith’s contracts both run through the end of the 2013 season. While we will most likely have a new offensive coordinator and entirely new system for the players to learn in 2012, Smith’s defense will be the same. We know that with the proper players performing highly, Smith’s defense can be dominant (see 2005, 2006, 2010). With poor or underachieving talent, it can be abysmal (2004, 07-09, 2011). So barring Angelo and Ruskell hitting on player after player in the draft, we have two more seasons after 2011 to watch the Bears comically regress before rebuilding will begin in earnest.
And since Cutler is signed through 2013 as well, indeed his time in Chicago will be wasted. If his offensive line and Mike Martz’ incompetent play calling doesn’t get him killed before then.