Couch: Bears Need To End The Charade And Fire Everybody

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This one will stick with the Chicago Bears, and not just because they were pantsed by Green Bay, of all teams, in front of a Sunday Night Football primetime audience. Not just because uber-respected Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said on NBC that the Bears gave up.

No, it’s the whole thing. It’s the historic sense of the NFL’s oldest rivalry and the Bears’ 97-year old owner, Virginia McCaskey, daughter of team founder George Halas, risking her life in a COVID world to make the trip and look down from the suites above, hands clasped, on this mess of a team.

“The easy way is to just start pointing fingers and just say `It’s not my fault,’” Coach Matt Nagy said after the Bears lost 41-25. “That’s what is easy to do. And unfortunately right now, there’s a lot that do that.’’

He’s right. This isn’t the time for the Bears to start pointing fingers. That time was at least three weeks ago, if not two years ago. And forget about fingers, this is the time to start cutting off heads. Time to start firing people.

The most galling moment of a night of galling moments was when NBC put up a split-screen shot of general manager Ryan Pace in his box, quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the bench and coach Matt Nagy on the sideline, all live. It was like a most-wanted list.

The thing I can’t get over is Pace, shaking his head, seemingly in judgment. Maybe he was just shaking his head because someone had asked if he wanted ketchup on his hot dog. But it had the feeling of finger-pointing from a guy in a suit in a heated suite while the players were down on the field getting their butts kicked because the guy in the suit hadn’t given them any teammates for support.

Six years. That’s how long Pace has spent assembling this offensive line. Six years, and Trubisky is the quarterback and this is the modern offense Pace was brought in to revamp?

It’s over now. It has to be. You can’t trust Pace to rebuild again, to pick the right quarterback. He took Trubisky with the second pick in the 2017 draft, and his keen eye chose Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

At one point, NBC had a graphic of who had the highest quarterback rating of all time. They laughed at how Rodgers held it for years, then Watson took it this week for a few days until Mahomes took it. 

Haha! That’s the guy the Bears have never had and the two guys they could have had.

Trubisky should have been thrown over at least a year ago, but no one was willing to point fingers then. To point at Trubisky would be to point at Pace, and Pace couldn’t have that.

Trubisky can’t read defenses and can’t throw straight. Worst of all: He can’t see what’s happening while it’s happening. He threw one interception into double coverage Sunday night and one into triple-coverage. And he fumbled with the pocket collapsing right in front of him. He wasn’t hit from behind or anything.

Whenever Trubisky wasn’t quarterbacking, Rodgers was quarterbacking just fine for Green Bay. Rodgers surpassed 50,000 passing yards for his career Sunday. So the whole night was a reminder that the Packers always have a quarterback like that and the Bears never do, though McCaskey surely remembers Sid Luckman, who retired 70 years ago.

Luckman led the Bears to four championships. Trubisky can’t even get State Farm to give him the Rodgers Rate.

You could just hear Dungy’s coaching instincts during the game. He kept pointing it out every time Trubisky did something right. That included: “That’s positive. . .Good drive. . .Some good throws there.’’  And: “That’s what you want to see. This was the right read, just not on target with the throw.’’

The Bears finally gave up on Trubisky when Nagy benched him during the third game this year in favor of Nick Foles. Pace had gotten Foles this offseason for three years and $21 million guaranteed. But then Foles was so bad that Trubisky is now back.

Another bad quarterback assessment for Pace. 

Why can’t the Bears ever get a quarterback? Why can’t they get a coach like Dungy?

Nagy was brought in as an offensive genius. Yet the Bears haven’t moved the ball for two years. In fairness, Nagy did realign his offensive line, which looked a little better. He did get 100 rushing yards from David Montgomery. And what do we expect Nagy to do with one of the league’s worst quarterbacks, offensive lines, running backs and receiving corps? Of course, he didn’t develop Trubisky, either.

There’s no way Virginia McCaskey is going to accept being humiliated by the Packers yet again. She is reportedly saying she’d like to see one more championship before she dies.

Well, it has been 35 years since the Bears’ last one. She turns 98 in January. It’s going to take more than finger-pointing or head-shaking to grant the legendary woman her dying wish.

Written by Greg Couch

Greg earned the 2007 Peter Lisagor Award as the best sports columnist in the Chicagoland area for his work with the Chicago Sun-Times, where he started as a college football writer in 1997 before becoming a general columnist in 2003. He also won a Lisagor in 2016 for his commentary in and The Guardian.

Couch penned articles and columns for Report, AOL Fanhouse, and The Sporting News and contributed as a writer and on-air analyst for and Fox Sports 1 TV. In his journalistic roles, Couch has covered the grandest stages of tennis from Wimbledon to the Olympics, among numerous national and international sporting spectacles. He also won first place awards from the U.S. Tennis Writers Association for his event coverage and column writing on the sport in 2010.


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  1. I feel your pain on Pace shaking his head from the luxury box, one time our local college team hosted an NCAA mens basketball regional, under the current AD our team had gone from legit power to legit nobody. And yet here was that AD sitting in a private box, courtside at the Regionals, as if he was the King of the City rather than the guy that should have been embarrassed to show his face at that moment in time. AD lasted a few more months and was axed.

  2. At least I didn’t have to hear again about their championship level defense. Considering all the money spent on the defensive side of the ball I blame them just as much. The 4th quarter they showed Rodgers was not sacked or hit the entire night. If the numbers I see are correct, the Bears have a guy who makes $23,500,000 per season or about 1.5 million per game. Call me crazy but for 1.5 per game I expect game changing plays to be made, EVERY game. I keep hearing they can’t stop the run when Akiem Hicks is out, maybe he should be making the 1.5 million per game. Sorry, but when the opposing team doesn’t punt the entire 1st half the defense is just as much to blame as the offense. Gruden/Raiders won that trade.

  3. Yes, everyone needs to be fired. The problem is certain organizations are just not capable of making good decisions. The Bears have had a revolving door at qb going back to at least the Ditka era, and coaches rotate through almost as frequently. The constant is the organization, and the purge needs to start in the executive suite and go through the offices and ending up on the field. Fire everyone and rebuild the organization, then the roster. This is a team where the historic mo is great defense, and really good special teams with an offense designed to bleed the clock. But realistically, that has worked only a handful of times in the last 50 years.

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