Who can get the bear out of this mess? Alternatives are not promising


Lake Forest, Ill. -Usually when things go bad with the Chicago Bears, it’s late in the season. Till then, the question of playoffs does not arise. Jobs are at stake. We can expect changes at the beginning of the new year.

It’s not even Week 3 and the Bears made more plays on Wednesday than any good team has any season.

When it happens in September, there is still time. There is a season for rescue. It is no longer unimaginable for an 0-2 team to make the postseason. It’s too early to throw everything out and make a list of head-coach candidates and start looking for a 2024 quarterback.

But who will save the 2023 Bears?

Sources around the league wanted to know, “What’s going on?” He found everything strange, from quarterback Justin Fields’ comments to defensive coordinator Allen Williams’ resignation.

The Bears have once again found themselves in an unenviable position in the NFL, and it’s hard to see the light beyond the headlines.

When general manager Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus took over, they inherited a disaster. The 2021 season was terrible in the building and on the field. It was his responsibility to lead the Bears back to relevance.

Eberflus is now the head coach of a team that has lost 12 in a row. Even if it’s within his control, he hasn’t looked the part as someone who can save the Bears — but with the most at stake.

Poles has been tasked with turning the roster around and creating something Chicago hasn’t seen since the ’80s – consistent winners. Even back-to-back playoff seasons would be good, something that hasn’t happened since 2005–06. The free agents they brought in haven’t made game-changing plays. Draft picks aren’t ready to be counted on the way this roster needs to rely on them.

The Poles aren’t going anywhere, but there’s only so much they can do now to save this team.

Fields started things off Wednesday with a bombastic press conference that — though he didn’t intend to, he said afterward — put responsibility for his struggles on the coaching staff. He said he was thinking too much and not playing the way he knew how, trusting his instincts.

There was a time when some people in Chicago thought Fields could save the franchise. Based on his first two games this season, it’s hard to say he’s in any position to save the 2023 Bears.

Chairman George McCaskey has been in charge of the franchise since 2011. To that point, the Bears have not won a single playoff game. He is their fifth head coach and third GM. He is not in a position to save this team right now. A number of decisions by McCaskey and former team president Ted Phillips have led them to the position they have found themselves in.

go deeper

Why Bears QB Justin Fields’ coaching comments surprised our experts

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has faced harsh criticism for the game plan in the first two weeks of the season, and Fields added to that on Wednesday — again, whether that was his goal or not. Maybe Gatesy could create a new, innovative, successful crime that could change things, but who provided the confidence that this could happen?

Now former defensive coordinator Williams resigned Wednesday “to take care of my health and my family,” according to his own statement, rather than the team’s statement, which simply said he submitted his resignation. Eberflus as the play caller may be able to prevent any lasting effects of a coordinator resigning after Week 2, but the mystery surrounding it will remain.

DJ Moore? Tremaine Edmonds? Kol Kemet? Jaylon Johnson? Good players, but not the all-professionals who can carry a scattered team on their backs.

It’s not being left to tackle Braxton Jones, who was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday amid all the chaos.

Who has earned the trust of Bears fans, let alone players and other staff members, to fix this thing inside Halas Hall?

It could be the new Chairman/CEO, Kevin Warren.

It’s probably too late for him to save this year’s team, but his stellar appointment is the main source of hope that the organization can finally find a positive direction when it finds itself in shambles. Maybe this hope is just because he’s new, and he’s here for this mess, but he started in April. This is not his team yet.

go deeper

Justin Fields is unhappy, Allen Williams has resigned and the Bears are in disarray

Bears often find themselves in the same cycle. We’re seeing it again with quarterbacks. They have a head coach who is probably struggling to keep this thing together. This is nothing new at Halas Hall.

Warren is the difference. Now he oversees the poles and the football team while work is underway to build a new stadium for the Bears. He is the one who is evaluating everyone in the building and how everything operates.

The most important decisions that shaped this Bears team were not made by Warren. He has the resume and a fresh eye for how to get the team out of this mess and keep the Bears from repeatedly stepping on the proverbial rake.

That doesn’t mean Warren will make the right decision. In the NFL, it comes down to the head coach and quarterback. Warren will be involved in any future decisions on those positions.

Will he save the bears? Maybe, maybe not, but right now, that’s their best chance.

(Photo of DJ Moore: Mike Ehrman/Getty Images)


The definitive ranking of the NFL’s 100 best players of all time, the “Football 100,” will go on sale this fall. Preorder it here.


Leave a Comment

“The Untold Story: Yung Miami’s Response to Jimmy Butler’s Advances During an NBA Playoff Game” “Unveiling the Secrets: 15 Astonishing Facts About the PGA Championship”