There is an old football saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the Chicago Bears to find a quarterback.
Bears ownership made that official Wednesday, announcing that they’re bringing back two Bears culprits for another season:
1) General manager Ryan Pace, whose job will be to find another failed quarterback, his fourth.
2) Coach Matt Nagy, who will be tasked with mishandling him.
How could Pace and Nagy possibly be coming back? Nagy spent three years not developing quarterback Mitch Trubisky, and Pace tied himself to drafting Trubisky in the first place, spending six years to build a team that has produced one winning record and zero playoff wins. And no quarterbacks.
How? The short answer is this: The Bears aren’t a serious operation. They just aren’t. They proved it with their 90-minute press conference Wednesday morning.
You should have heard it, starting with team chairman George McCaskey, of the team-founding Halas/McCaskey families, then president Ted Phillips, then with Pace and Nagy.
It was amazingly insulting to every Chicago Bears fan. The Bears didn’t fire themselves. They fired the fans. They talked down to you, Bears fans. They told you that you can’t believe your eyes, or their six-game losing streak.
Certainly not either game against the Packers.
In fact, all of those things were positives, if you listen to Bears management. The six-game losing streak was all the evidence they needed to bring everyone back.
“As I said, the leadership, the collaboration, the adaptability, their ability to handle adversity,’’ McCaskey said. “Listen, we all want things to get better. A lot of times you have to go through tough times before they get better.’’
Well, thanks for patting Bears fans on the head with that, George.
But the fact that Pace and Nagy got along well while the team was falling to pieces should not have inspired confidence because of one simple thing:
They were the reason the team fell to pieces in the first place.
I was surprised how many times they could jam the word “collaboration’’ into one press conference. Why should Bears fans think Pace will get the quarterback situation right this time? Because he and Nagy collaborate well. I’m pretty sure McCaskey, Phillips, Pace and Nagy all answered that question that way, individually, at various times.
Unfortunately, they collaborated last year when they brought in Nick Foles to push Trubisky for the starting job.
Pace’s first big investment years ago was in quarterback Mike Glennon, who bombed out. Then Pace traded up for the chance to take Trubisky with the No. 2 pick in the draft, using his eye to bypass Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
He also hired Nagy three years ago. Nagy was known as an offensive guru. His genius and Trubisky’s franchise-changing skills led the Bears to score 3 points in the big game Sunday, until a garbage-time touchdown.
The Chicago media were uncharacteristically tough Wednesday. Their BS-o-meters were going off.
Last year, the Bears kept Pace and Nagy after an 8-8 season and said they needed to see improvement. This year, they want 8-8 again. Someone asked McCaskey what signs of progress he had seen.
He could think of only one thing: receiver Darnell Mooney, who is a mediocre player that every team gets.
That’s it. Darnell Mooney.
But now McCaskey and Phillips said they would need to see progress and improvement for Nagy and Pace to come back again next year. Someone asked them what would constitute progress, and the answer was that management would know it when they see it.
Accountability. That’s another word they kept jamming into the press conference. Over and over, they said they were holding each other accountable. Yet. . .no one seems to have been held accountable. Why?
“For the past several weeks,’’ McCaskey said, “I’ve been faithfully responding to my hate mail.’’
I’m not sure if that’s accountability or collaboration.
And what has Pace learned from his disastrous quarterback picks over six years?
“I think our process is always the same,’’ he said, “is always being refined as we go forward.’’
I don’t know what that means.
The Bears spent 90 minutes talking in circles. At one point, Phillips said that other than winning and losing, the thing that matters most is the people.
I’m not joking. What in the hell does that mean?
Well, it means that the Bears are going to lose again next year. It means they won’t have a quarterback. But at least Pace and Nagy will collaborate.
I guess they play nice when they’re in the sandbox together.
So there’s that, anyway.