Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Smoke and Mirrors

After the 2009 season, I wanted Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith to be fired. The Bears missed the playoffs in three consecutive seasons after losing in the Super Bowl, and it looked like their window of being a championship team had closed. I felt it was time to go in a new direction. The McCaskey family did not see it that way.

Then, the 2010 season happened. With an unbelievable string of good luck, health, and an incredibly soft schedule, they ended up hosting the NFC Championship game. As much as I enjoyed last season, I never believed the Bears were an upper-echelon team or even a team on the rise. They were simply opportunistic with an aging defense that played with an enormous chip on its shoulder. Fool me once, shame on you.

After the lockout, I expected the Bears to be aggressive in free agency to bolster a bad offensive line, a bad receiving corp, and a bad secondary. Instead, Angelo made a slew of curious signings (Roy Williams, Marion Barber, Sam Hurd, Chris Spencer, Brandon Meriweather), and he chose to not re-sign Olin Kreutz. It looked like Angelo was signing guys to fill tiny cracks on a team that, in fact, had enormous craters. This speaks to the group-think that is taking place in Halas Hall. Outside those hallowed corridors, the Bears had gaping holes at numerous positions. Within Halas Hall, the Bears brass felt like some marginal depth is all that was needed for this team to take the next step. Sometimes I get the feeling that Angelo and Lovie make decisions just to spite the media and fan criticism.

The signing of Roy Williams was particularly curious. Not so much that they signed him, but that they immediately declared him a starter. Martz went so far as to predict "70-80" catches for him this year. He has six catches through five games. That is the delusion I'm talking about. Every fan who watches the NFL each weekend knew that Roy Williams was not capable of catching that many balls or of being a true #1 receiver, but the Bears management didn't know this. This a pattern for Angelo and Smith (Tommie Harris, Mark Anderson, Todd Collins, Orlando Pace, Frank Omiyale, to name a few). All of these players were given ample playing time long after they demonstrated their ineffectiveness. You can call it stubbornness, ignorance, or arrogance, but you can't deny it. The decision-makers for the Chicago Bears live an alternate universe.

After the debacle that took place Monday night in front of a national audience, I'm wondering if George McCaskey has seen what is so obvious to most Bears fans. The Chicago Bears have an offense in shambles, a defense past its prime, a head coach that can't game plan at all, and a general manager who can't evaluate talent. If George really wants to establish himself as the head of the Chicago Bears, he needs to start putting a plan in place to blow up this organization in the off season and start over.

This Bears team cannot compete with best teams in its conference or even its own division. Any reports coming out of Halas Hall to the contrary will fall on deaf ears. Fool me twice, shame on me.

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