Column: The Chicago Bears made major moves Monday, firing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. But how much really will change in their search for a new GM and coach?

At 1:06 p.m. Monday, a little more than four hours after the Chicago Bears officially announced the firings of coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace, Chairman George McCaskey made another major announcement.

Team President and CEO Ted Phillips — with his attention needed on the organization’s upcoming stadium venture — had asked to step away from his responsibilities as the chief overseer of the Bears GM position. But rather than create a new job opening or seek outside assistance to pick up that slack, rather than finding someone with an extensive football background to assist and assess the next general manager, McCaskey will take on those duties himself.

Eighteen minutes later, though, while answering a question regarding his evaluation of Justin Fields, McCaskey offered a forthright admission.

“Well, I’m just a fan,” he said. “I’m not a football evaluator. As a fan, what I see is a dynamic player with a lot of potential, a lot of ability, a lot of heart and a strong work ethic. We are looking for a general manager and a head coach who can develop not just the quarterback position but the talent around him, establishing a strong defense to help the quarterback and to bring the Bears to success.”

Full stop. Back up. Read that again.

I’m just a fan. I’m not a football evaluator.

OK. Definitely appreciate the candor. But then how does that acknowledgement correspond with taking on the duties as the chief decider in hiring the next GM? And how does that disclosure line up with evaluating that GM on a regular basis?

“Again, this is a results-oriented business,” McCaskey said. “So it will be largely (based on) wins and losses, making the playoffs, success in the playoffs, advancing in the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl. That’s how success is measured in this business.”

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Fair enough. And certainly accurate from a surface-level vantage point.

But by those measures, the Bears’ record under McCaskey’s watch is far from impressive. An average record of 7-9 over the last 11 seasons. Two playoff berths. Zero playoff wins. Zero Super Bowls.

Phillips’ track record over 23 seasons in his current role is barely any better. An average record of 8-8. Six playoff trips. Three playoff victories and one trip to the Super Bowl.

Both resumes belong in the “Not Good Enough” file cabinet at Halas Hall.

That’s why Monday seemed to be just another confusing chapter in the Bears’ frustrating existence, leaving an increasingly aggravated fan base with a familiar beatdown feeling.

The Bears don’t get it. They still don’t get it.

With a chance to establish new direction after dismissing Nagy and Pace, with a chance to reinvigorate the masses by expressing a clear and energizing vision, McCaskey instead told the outside world he’s just a fan running one of the most tradition-rich franchises in sports.

So why exactly do the Bears have such unwavering confidence in the structure of their hierarchy? Or asked another way, why is there such resistance from the top to even considering a different model just to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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