The Chicago Bears are 0-2 to start the season. It’s certainly not the first time the “Monsters of the Midway” have started the season 0-2. After all, we lived through the John Fox era, but somehow, after several seasons of big expectations, and devastating results, this season’s start feels worse than most.
Okay, so we’re only two games in. Plenty of time to turn it around, right? Wrong. Bears fans have seen this movie before. Straight to streaming.
The most frustrating thing, by far, about the Chicago Bears is that they always, always seem to make the wrong decision. No matter the choice, no matter the position. If the McCaskey family is somehow involved, rest assured that they will somehow manage to pick the absolute worst person for the job.
Did you know Bill Belichick interviewed to be head coach of the team back in 1999? The Bears picked Dick Jauron (35-45) instead. They also had a shot at Bruce Arians and Andy Reid ahead of the 2013 season, but instead chose…Marc Trestman. As far as I can tell, Trestman is now an adjunct professor at the University of Miami Law School. No, I don’t know why.
After Trestman, who was supposed to be the Bears’ progressive “Moneyball” pick, the team (for some reason) hired Ernie Accorsi to help them land his buddy, John Fox (14-34), which was the pendulum swinging all the way back if I’ve ever seen it. Trestman was terrible, so screw analytics! Back to a good ol’ smash-mouth football coach. That might have been great if Fox was a decent smash-mouth football coach. He was not.
When Fox inevitably flopped, the team bypassed hotshot Rams’ QB coach Matt LaFleur in favor of Matt Nagy (34-31), a guy who came to Chicago and decided his team didn’t need to run the football. The 2018 season was fun, but Nagy always seemed to think about offensive schemes the way Brian Wilson thought about harmonies — they never quite worked out in real life the way they did in his head. I’ve blocked out most of Nagy’s final year in Chicago, and my brain has condensed it all down into an imaginary GIF of Nagy yelling “The system works! THE SYSTEM WORKS!” while slowly melting into the ground. He also definitely said “penis” instead of “peanuts” while singing the Cubs’ seventh-inning stretch, but that’s neither here nor there. Nagy is now back calling plays in KC under Andy Reid. Who, if you’ll remember, the Bears could have hired in 2012.
I’m not even sure where to begin with QBs. Outside of Jay Cutler, the Bears have had a decent passing quarterback in my lifetime. You know the infamous graphic that shows up every time the Bears play the Packers? The one showing all the failed QBs the Bears have had during the reigns of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers? That really tells you everything you need to know.
Should we start with Cade McNown? He was the Bears’ first-round pick in 1999 (at 12). All I’ll say about Cade is that he finished his NFL career (which lasted a whole three years) with a passer rating of 67.7. There was Jay Cutler, the best Bears QB in recent memory. The Chicago O-line once allowed him to be sacked nine times in a half. He left that game concussed and the team exasperated in 2015.
This brings us to Mitch Trubisky, and this one is a doozy. The Bears selected Trubisky with the second overall pick in the 2017 draft. Hilariously, the Bears’ official draft party was hosted by Mike “They told me this is my team!” Glennon, who had to watch the Bears draft his replacement without any sort of heads up from the team, shortly after he’d won a 3-year, $45 million contract from GM Ryan Pace (and the history of Bears’ GMs is a whole ‘nother article and one that I am too sad and tired to tell).
2017, as you may recall, was the same year Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were both available. The Bears met with Mahomes but didn’t even bother to meet with Watson which, in hindsight, was a great decision for a whole host of other reasons that were unknown at the time. Chicago gets zero credit for this one.
Why wouldn’t the Bears be interested in Watson, you ask? Well, I would love to tell you. It’s because former GM Ryan Pace was so laser-focused on one Mitch Trubisky that he may have watched some of Trubisky’s college games (where he wasn’t even the starting QB) in disguise, so concerned was he that he would tip someone off to the hidden gem that was Mitch Trubisky. And Trubisky’s UNC team didn’t even win the game! Pace, who came from the New Orleans Saints, spoke often about wanting a QB “like Drew Brees.” Fans just didn’t realize he meant someone who actually looked like Drew Brees.
To bring this long, sad tale to an end, the Bears wound up trading away three draft picks — moving up one single, solitary spot — to take Trubisky with the second overall pick. Out of fear he wouldn‘t be there at three, I guess? Mahomes went at 10 and Watson at 12. Trubisky might have been a decent starting QB. At least, we saw flashes of what looked like a decent QB under whatever Nagy was trying to do with him, which seemed to be making a quarterback prized (by Ryan Pace) for his mobility stand in the pocket and throw. But Trubisky now sees ghosts, thanks to an offensive line that could do very little to keep giant men from landing on top of their young quarterback. He’ll never be the same.
But this is what Chicago does. It’s where QBs go to die.
So sure, Matt Eberflus (3-16). He’ll be here for a few years, the Bears will be miserable to mediocre, and I still won’t be able to pick him out of a lineup. Justin Fields, another top draft pick who came in with a lot of hype, and promise, will be a shell of his former self once Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy is done with him. The names and faces change, but the song remains the same. None of this matters. Nothing matters.
As long as the McCaskeys own the team, the Bears are condemned to NFL purgatory — bad enough to happen upon a big draft pick once in a while, only to make the absolute wrong choice, and inevitably get bounced during Wild Card Weekend.
Chicago. Same as it ever was.