After 33 seasons of watching the Chicago Bears, I’ve gotten a little cynical, admittedly. In those 33 seasons the Bears have made the playoffs 13 times. Having been through watching the pre-Phil Emery Bears step all over themselves and screw up important decisions repeatedly, I find it hard to believe the organization will handle this properly. But I hope they will.
In fairness, it is not lost on me that Lovie Smith did field consistently competitive teams, and that’s something we have not always seen in Chicago-not by a long shot. But while being consistently competitive is a step up from being a Wannstedt or Jauron-led team, it’s far short of what the Green Bay Packers have done over the last 21 seasons (I believe only missing the playoffs three times).
So, although there is an even chance that the Bears will go downhill in the short term, and an even chance their next coaching hire will never be successful, in my opinion it was the proper decision.
I am hoping the Bears will choose an offensive-minded coach with a strong potential for (and record of) success in that area. But I will state right now that as long as their next coach commits to concentrating on improving the offense, it’s not necessarily the wrong hire to bring in a strong coach that wasn’t necessarily an offensive mind. As long as he finally commits to fixing the problems in that area for the Bears. (I can already hear fans screaming if a defense-centric coach is hired).
My only fear is if the Bears continue with their insistence on hiring an “even-tempered, soft-spoken players coach” as they have their last three times. It has seemed to me that after they rid themselves of Mike Ditka, they committed to never hiring a disciplinarian that speaks his mind ever again.
That, to me is the greatest risk to this critical hire, if they exclude candidates simply because they speak their mind and don’t go to church as much as the McCaskey family would like to see.
But let’s hope those days are finally over.