81 Comments

2015 Bears Must Inspire Fans to Believe a Title is Possible Beyond This Season

| July 31st, 2015

josies

Last Saturday afternoon I was sitting in Josie Woods, downtown Manhattan, in the same seat, in the same corner I’ll spend a hundred hours this fall.

Above was the same television set, “the Bears TV” which you can at the far end of the image above, now showing a meaningless third-place Gold Cup match between the United States and Panama.

To my left the same ragged, barren wooden shelf which will soon hang the same now-doesn’t-fit-my-thigh Tom Waddle jersey like a championship banner at the Boston Garden.

In my hand was the same pint of Coors Light that has nursed me through Henry Burris and Jim Miller trying to tackle and whatever that was Rex Grossman did in the Super Bowl and The Marion Barber Game and – if I were drinking then – the entire decade of the 1990s.

It’s all felt the same, you see, being a Bears fan. Sure there have been some division titles since January 26th 1986. There have even been seasons almost as exhilarating as a championship run, a la the Mike Brown overtime interception spree of 2001 in the wake of one of our nation’s most trying times.

But it’s all been the same. A quarterback not quite good enough. A coach not quite good enough. A GM not quite good enough. Ownership not quite good enough. When those three elements are consistently subpar in the NFL sustained success, sustained excitement, sustained entertainment is an impossibility.

2014 was not the same. It was worse. Far worse than anything the Bears had previously delivered. They say you have to hit rock bottom as an alcoholic to seek help. Well the 2014 Chicago Bears drank a fifth of whiskey and woke up in the drunk tank after passing out pantless in a schoolyard.

The owner, this new creature called George, seemed to recognize that, firing the football leadership with an “enough is enough” swashbuckle. It was the first courageous move by Bears ownership in my lifetime.

The new GM was not someone who’d spent his younger years in the halls of Halas but a seemingly outside-the-box contender with a visionary approach to building a roster and sustaining an athlete.

And did Ryan Pace do what most young GM’s do when taking over an organization? Did he go with one of his guys and avoid “establishment” coaches? No sir. He went with the most veteran and accomplished man on the market: John Fox. I never believed Wannstedt or Jauron could win a title. I always questioned whether Lovie could win the big one and still don’t believe he can. Trestman…yea. Fox has been there. And the Bears for the first time have hired a head coach who has been a head coach and won as a head coach in a big way.

Off the field, the Bears were not the same. But time will tell if Sundays can be any different. Because same equals boring and boring leads to declining TV ratings, fan interest and stadium attendance. 2015 is about a return to the professional ranks for this Bears organization but it is also about restoring hope in the fanbase; hope that this owner, this GM, this coach and perhaps even this quarterback can bring a title to Chicago.

It doesn’t have to happen in 2015. But in 2015 we have to believe it is possible.

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  • Bobby Douglass

    Everybody needs to believe in something.

    • beninnorcal

      I believe in you, sir.

      • Bobby Douglass

        Thank you, thank you very much.

    • SC Dave

      I believe I’ll have another beer.

  • Trac

    We have not had a decent coaching staff for three years. No way can you even be competitive in this league with sucky coaches.

    Win or lose, we finally have decent coaching. Huge upgrade as a Bears fan imo. If Bears fans need a place to pin their hopes on this year, Fox, Fangio and Gase is a great place to start.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Very much agree with this.

      • Trac

        Football will be fun again, I promise.

    • Shady

      You also cannot be competitive without talent. Last year these new coaches of ours had rosters chock full of talent. This year, they’re taking over a club bereft of it. My guess is the players drag these coaches down a bit, the coaches pull these players up a bit and we end up somewhere in the middle.

      • SC Dave

        I’m confused. Just how did that “chock full of talent” team turn into one “bereft” of it?

        • Shady

          Different teams. Last year these coaches had plenty to work with in DEN and SF, this year in Chicago they are dealing with significant personnel problems.

          • SC Dave

            Doh! Re-reading your post I should have been able to figure that out easily enough.

      • I think the MAIN difference isn’t that our roster sucks. If you scan it, which position truly SUCKS? Who’s the suckiest player projected to start?

        Shea? Rolle? Mills?

        With the exception of perhaps Shea (who we have no clue about, really, and that the new informed DCs are high on), most of our projected starters are avg to above avg.

        The biggest problem I see with the Bears is that they do not seem to have any “play-makers” that can take over games.

        McPhee is supposed to be one of those ballers, but this will be his first full-time gig.
        Allen? WTF knows if he’ll transition successfully or ward off time.
        McDonald’s going to prison.

        on O

        Alshon, will he wilt now without Bmarsh?
        Forte, good, but not dominant.
        Bennett’s game is as mercurial as his personality.

        Long – seems like the real deal, but he’s only an OG.

        The rest (Fuller, White, Young…) are a bunch of ???

        I think that’s the biggest difference between us and the “elite” teams.

        With SEA you can practically name the whole D as playmakers: Wagner, Kam, Sherman, Earl Thomas, or even some on O like Beast, Graham…that’s what we’re SORELY missing.

        Dude’s who can dominate at their respective position, and that’ll take a few great drafts/FA acquisitions to remedy.

        • Joecashflow

          My first atta boy of the year was when the new coaches did not endorse Jay boy. My first red flag was when they did, Shea.

          • And it wasn’t just the usual camp fluff. They’re giving play calling duties to Shea!
            Gotta admit, I’m intrigued.
            Then again, Tice was supposed to be an Oline guru, so we gave him the benefit of the doubt with JwebNation,,,

        • Irish Sweetness

          IMO we are fucked from day one if Jordan Mills is on the field. And it will certainly be interesting to see Alshon without Brandon drawing coverage.

  • Am I the only one more excited about the new coordinators than I am for the new HC? Especially Fangio. But of course, it’s Fox that brought them here in the first place.

    • DaBearsBlog

      One of Fox’s strengths historically is building a top coaching staff. He’s a chairman of the board. He delegates.

    • beninnorcal

      I’m mostly fired up about Fangio.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Hard to get fired up about the OC when it’s the same guy under center. Although I did draft Jay in the last round of a draft tonight ….
        ….. Elway’s tenth season !

        • EnderWiggin

          That was an early draft…

          • A stud is going down during preseason. Happens every year – McCoy, Dez, Rodgers…some poor FF soul is going to be fucked before the season even begins.

          • EnderWiggin

            Hell yeah, probably Irish.

          • And he’ll blame it on the Fed.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Dude, I’ve got like ten teams already. Big Ben in the fifth. Secret weapons Torrey Smith, Maclin and Martavis Bryant. Joseph Randle gets picked up late. We’re ready to roll. Don’t do auctions though …

        • You better make room for my auction league, Irish! Shady dog is the current champ.

          That must not be!

    • Joecashflow

      Agree. Fangio may be the road ahead to a Championship in 2-3 years. If they can’t score againt you, they can’t beat you. Looking forward to some good old smash mouth.

    • Trac

      Nothing would translate into “success” better than Foxy to turn the Bears around and hand over the reins over to Fangio in 2 or 3 years. That is my dream scenario.

  • Shady

    Ahh that’s the stuff, classic Jefe right here. Thank you! It had been too long.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Can’t do it for 12 months a year. I’m rested and ready for the next six months.

      • SC Dave

        Glad to hear it, Jeff.

      • AlbertInTucson

        No one should expect you to to it for 12 months, either, despite what the NFL would like.

      • Joecashflow

        Nobody could do it after having our faces rubbed in it last year. I need Bears 42, Pack 0 at half time. Rest of year, rebuild for future.

  • Irish Sweetness
    • Waffle

      Cutty’s a guy that doesn’t play the rah rah game. He cares deeply about the game itself and winning and performance no matter what bloggers decide to ascribe to him in regards to his commitment level, his attitude, his drive, etc.
      He has said time and time again that he wants to be around guys that WANT to be there and that CARE about being there.
      Without throwing anyone under the bus he made it very clear that there were and are guys on his Bears teams that didn’t have the passion, the attitude and the will to be out there putting it all on the line.
      It will be a better year. D will be the issue again unfortunately. It will be better than 13/14 but it will be average none the less. The offense is what will do much better but football as you know is not played in a vacuum so the D getting pounded will unfortunately rub off on the offense a bit.

      Fangio being the DC will help tremendously though and you never know what could happen. I’m excited in general because it’s the Bears and it’s football.

      • Trac

        Jay in causciously optimistic mode. He’s marvelously handsome wouldn’t you say?

  • Cheer up, Jeff. In your very city, a more “bleh” franchise exists.

    “The Giants have won more than 12 games once in the last 30 years. They are the most accomplished mediocre franchise in sports history.”

    “The Giants are literally three historically lucky plays from being just another team.”

    “New York is a self-imposed prison where people convince themselves to live in rat-infested shoeboxes that each cost more than a mansion in the Poconos. Then they spend every summer getting on overheated, nonfunctional trains to vacation where every other New Yorker is vacationing”

    http://deadspin.com/why-your-team-sucks-2015-new-york-giants-1721065535

    • Trac

      I give Tom Coughlin total credit for their 2 recent SB’s.

  • Let the games, commence!

    “This is a combative game played by combative people,” #Bears coach John Fox said of Long/Jenkins flare-up. “It won’t be the last one.” Zaidman tweet

    “#Bears OLB Pernell McPhee on the defensive mindset in 2015: “We need to be the attackers, not the ones being attacked.”

  • RIP, Rowdy Rowdy Piper!

    • Irish Sweetness

      See Rhonda Rowdy go through that dog – I mean Pitbull ?

  • Sactowns#1

    That bar needs to get better beer on tap.

  • BearDown100393

    If the Bears win more games this season than Jared Allen builds new homes, I’ll be impressed.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Meanwhile, the White Sox mop the floor with 2 (other) also-rans on the road then come home and open a key series at the cell against a team with a winning record and promptly get waxed. For the 2nd consecutive appearance against a contender, Rodon pitches like his name should be spelled Road-on.

    • SC Dave

      Or perhaps Rode-on?

      • AlbertInTucson

        But then, of ALL people (and ust when folks, including me) are ready to write him off, John Danks shows up and shows the rookie how it’s done tonight.

  • Joecashflow

    Share your sentiment 100%, Jeff. Now it’s just a matter that after 4 games, which jersey do I wear? My #6 or my # 51 Butkus.

    • Trac

      So you’re saying Cuttys gonna throw 47 touchdowns?

      • Joecashflow

        I think Foxy would prefer that he hand off for 45 touchdowns. Don’t really care how he wins, just don’t turn it over.

        • Trac

          Yessir!!!

          I’m all for the ground and pound so long as we can get away with it.

          • Scharfinator

            That’s what she said.

          • Joecashflow

            Well I think a good ground game is as much good coaching and sticking to it, as it is RB talent. Do their blocking assignments, follow the blocks, don’t pre-jump for another first and 15. That’s coaching. Had none of that last year. Let’s move forward.

          • Joecashflow

            Seems like we had so many 1st and 15 last year, maybe we lead the league in that. I began to wonder if JC had a cadence problem, we had a coaching problem or just dumb asses on the line. Yeah I know, a bit of all three probably. I really really want to see that eradicated this year. Maybe the music in practice helps.

        • SC Dave

          That would work

          • Joecashflow

            Yeah really! I mean come on, just hang on to the ball, hand it off or throw it the hell outta bounds.

  • Trac

    This fans manifesto:

    There’s nothing sweeter than having to suffer through one of the most depressing seasons in recent memory only to be rewarded by an unexpected season of success. A girl can dream can’t she?

  • antityco

    Do you mean “Trestman…yeah”? “Trestman…yea” sounds like you are cheering him.

    • AlbertInTucson

      You actually inferred that the Blogfather was “…cheering him (Trestman).” on from that?

      Hope you didn’t throw your back out stretching for that.

  • Trac

    Hahaha. Waffle should get a kick outta this. This is what happens when a ceo smokes too much dope and watches msnbc. Hahahaha

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/08/01/seattle-ceo-who-set-firm-minimum-wage-to-70g-rents-house-to-make-ends-meet/

    • SC Dave

      Looks about right, Trac.

      • Trac

        Shoulda remembered to put your name up there as well Dave. My bad.

    • In one of those Fox stats, “CEO compensation between 1978 and 2013 has risen 937% ”

      Golden parachutes? more like triple platinum parachutes.

      I’d rather cheer for this CEO than some Trump-like CEO.

      If he fails, so be it. Wouldn’t be the first business to fail regardless of philosophy. Ultimately, it’s all about the product and marketing, and at least he’s gotten some free publicity.

      • Trac

        If the shoe fits, wear it proud my man. Hahaha

    • Waffle

      not all businessmen are adept at business. This moron could have instituted a badass bonus structure to get even more out of all of his employees and everyone could have made more while maintaining the dynamic of top producers making more…..

      There’s definitely more to the story here though judging by the legal shit going down and accusations of millions going missing…

  • First Greg Hardy, now Aaron Kromer. Paying off people you beat the shit
    out of seems to be the new loophole to avoid lengthy NFL punishment. – Jeff

    Gotta pay off the peasants! Then again, if someone offered me a house to get punched in the face, I might take it. I’ve gotten punched for much less lol

    • BearDown100393

      Take the house and get a free punch back

  • Irish Sweetness

    So Bobby Wagner gets 43 Mill over 4 years? But I’ll tell you what Brian, we’re going to offer you 2 million for your last year, would you like us to turn up the ‘fuck you’ on that?

    • Waffle

      …………..not one other offer from any other team in the entire league man. Did you even watch what he had turned into?
      Wagner is one of the most impactful players in the league.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        ….. that doesn’t matter some former players are beyond reproach. they can still play, fart rainbows, and shit gold no matter how old and slow they get.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Really. He was done. That’s ancient history. Oh course, so am I.

        • Trac

          I do believe Lach had earned 1 questionable contract from the Bears based on what he’d given the franchise all those years. I think that’s Irish ‘ s point. I agree with him.

    • Don’t let facts get in the way of nostalgia…

  • Joe Martinez

    It’s a tough gig being a Bears’ fan. I have to reminded myself that it’s just a sport, a pass time and entertainment. When people ask me why I’m a Bears’ fan I just say I’ve been a Bears’ fan since I was a child watching football with my family on those Sunday afternoon.

    • SC Dave

      Welcome to the blog. Lots of us here are the same. Being a Bears fan is not really sensible, bubt there we are.

    • Trac

      Yup, the only solace I have is that I was in the prime of my life in 1985. Not sure I’d still be a Bears fan if they hadn’t had that dream season. It went a long way in rooting me as a fan but the well is running really really low now. Lol.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Yanks put up a dozen on the Sox for a second time this weekend.

    Well, CRAP on a cracker.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Andrew Dannehy @ChiBearsAD
    2. Jay’s joking around and having fun, something else I hit on before camp: http://dabearsblog.com/2015/foxs-demeanor-could-bring-out-best-and-fun-in-jay-cutler

    Wishful thinking.

  • NewBearInTown

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/realestate/when-your-teenager-picks-the-architect.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0&module=CloseSlideshow&region=SlideShowTopBar&version=SlideCard-13&action=click&contentCollection=Real%20Estate&pgtype=imageslideshow
    I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to let one of my kids do this, though they’re all bright and creative. Definitely cool experience for the son though, and the end result isn’t half bad.

  • Joecashflow

    Ok, way too much caffeine this morning (yes it’s morning here) but it’s August and I can smell football. So I am looking, no gazing, at all the latest slide show of practice fotos. Except slide show is too fast. So one by one. …
    Rolle has these cool shoes.
    Is it too much to ask after the worst season in history, for Slauson to show up without that gut?
    Nice photos of WRs I have never heard of.
    Cutler has shit on both wrists…maybe prayer bracelets?
    Shane Carden looks like he has an attitude and could kick some ass.
    I could go on. Ready for some football!

  • NewBearInTown

    http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/4082/tony-McDaniel
    Seahawks released solid journeyman DT Tony McDaniel for cap reasons. 6’7″ 305 lbs. Similar build to Jeremiah Raitliff. Looks like a 3-4 DE, which is a position we could get deeper at.
    Thoughts?

    • Trac

      Do it man!

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