Tough start. Easy landing. Bye in the perfect spot. At least in April.
Throughout the offseason, I’ll be doing a monthly piece here at DaBearsBlog, helping fill the content void of the long offseason. Each one will be a numbers-crunching look at something Bears related in which I attempt to earn the “Data” moniker so kindly bestowed on me by the comments section regulars and, more importantly, answer a Bears question that I’ve been wondering about. If you have anything you’d like me to look into, let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see what I can do.
As all Bears fans are well aware, this is the offseason of QB change in Chicago. Jay Cutler is gone, Mike Glennon is here on three 1-year deals, and a fresh face is likely coming in the draft.
I have already looked a couple times at quarterbacks from a historical perspective, trying to identify where the best place to draft one is and what to look for in their college background. Today, I want to look at this decision from the perspective of what it means for general manager Ryan Pace.
Getting a good QB is absolutely essential in the NFL. Teams that don’t have one can’t compete for a title, and GMs who fail to acquire one generally don’t last long. Since very few GMs get a 2nd chance after being fired, Ryan Pace is staking his career on at least one of Mike Glennon or “draft pick to be named” panning out.
Or at least that’s the theory. I put it to the test to see if the numbers backed that claim up.
A few weeks back I texted a friend, who also happens to be pretty damn high up with an NFL franchise that doesn’t play their home games in Chicago. I asked him a simple question, “Is Mike Glennon a thing?”
His response: “Pace sure thinks so. Tried to get him last offseason.”
I followed up, making sure he wasn’t fucking with me, then put that information on Twitter. It died there. I thought, “Eh, maybe nobody cares.” Turns out the fans did care but they waited until more reputable newsmen put the information out there to express it. (And yes, I’m kidding. No, I’m not a newsman.)
Ryan Pace likes Mike Glennon. He thinks Mike Glennon can be a successful starting quarterback in the NFL. And while Glennon’s arrival won’t deter the Bears from targeting the QB position at various points of the next two NFL drafts, it’s pretty clear that if you asked the front office to layout their best case scenario moving forward it involves Glennon winning a lot of games and STAYING under center.
Listen, I know I’ve been schizophrenic when it comes to this Glennon stuff.
I sat on what’s probably my favorite bar stool in the world, back to the wall of Wise Guy’s Corner in the World-Famous Billy Goat Tavern. In this hallowed drinking alcove were my friends Brian, long-time member of the Josie Woods mafia, and Rick, the Trib’s chief political reporter. We talked about stuff – Illinois state budget insanity, Trump, self-driving cars and their impact on the American workforce…etc. – and then the conversation switched over to the Bears.
And then it ended.
There’s nothing to talk about.
Not living in Chicago, I can really only take the pulse of the town when I’m here for short bursts. And in December, the number of “Bears tourists” can mask the city’s prevailing winds. These are people who don’t live in the city but travel here, maybe from downstate, maybe from Indiana, maybe from Queens New York, to see the Bears because they love the Bears despite their record. They wear Bears hats and jackets. They go to the bars and want to talk about the Bears and very little else.
And they’re not here in March. My Bears hat is one of about eleven I’ve seen since last Wednesday. People are asking me for directions on the street because, hey, if I’m still wearing a Bears hat I have to be from here.
Jerry had a mane of white hair and nursed a mug of Schlitz at the Goat for the better part of 20 minutes before finally speaking to me.
“What do you think of the Bears?”
What did he do next?
He laughed. Didn’t even wait for me to respond. Just laughed.
This town is not bracing for the worst. They believe the Bears have already begun their descent into the toilet. They didn’t see anything to be optimistic about in 2016 and don’t see any reason for optimism with the current make-up of the roster. Especially when it comes to the guy throwing passes.
“What if they take a quarterback early in the draft?” I asked Jerry.
“Their draft choices never work out.”
Who was I to argue? It was going to take more than one great draft class to convince Jerry of anything. And if the Bears want to keep Jerry watching on Sundays, they better start winning football games.
Hell, forget about getting Jerry to watch. That seems like a Pizano’s deep dish pie in the sky. Just get him to stop laughing.
When a play is in development, going through the endless reading and workshop process that now defines the modern not-profit theatre landscape, it means the play is “not ready” to be seen by a paying audience. Whether or not the human file folders now running America’s once great theatres are artistically-equipped to make that decision is a topic for another column but their idea, an idea borne in the titanic mind of Joseph Papp, is you don’t have to fork over your $77 until they get it right.
If the 2017 Chicago Bears want to be anything more than in development, if they want to give their win-starved fans anything more than the roster is improving, there’s hope for the future, if they want this coming football season to be entertaining and exciting and inspiring and all those other words, they have to take a quarterback in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
Mike Glennon isn’t the guy. His numbers will be fine next year because Dowell Loggains’ offense managed to pull fine numbers out of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, both massively limited. But Glennon is nothing but a placeholder. And the Bears – even with their general manager’s “fired up” commentary at the introductory press conference – know it. Despite misguided columns from people like Chris Burke at Sports Illustrated, the Bears are paying Glennon to be a middle of the road starter in 2017 and a backup in 2018. They’re commitment to him as a player is minimal, at best.
“The worst thing about some men is
that when they are not drunk they are sober.”
Three weekend thoughts:
Enjoy a pint of the muck and have a lovely weekend.