Ask yourself two questions when evaluating the current state of the Chicago Bears “rebuild”.
Question #1. Are you confident in John Fox’s ability to oversee the development of young talent and take this team deep into the postseason?
Question #2. Who will the Bears quarterback be in September in 2017?
Adrian Amos can play. Eddie Goldman can too. The Bears have two terrific guards, a developing center and reason for hope when it comes to Howard, White and some other scattered young players. But as much as we spend time discussing the importance of protecting and rushing the quarterback, sustained success in this sport still comes down to three principle elements: player acquisition, coach and quarterback.
How can your answer to Questions #1 be yes? John Fox is 6-13 as Bears head coach and has been significantly out-coached by Bill O’Brien, Doug Pederson and Jason Garrett. Sure the Bears are battling injuries but this team lacks fight. It lacks character. And, crazy for a Fox team, it lacks toughness.
How can your answer to Question #2 be rendered with any certainty? Cutler is still clearly the best option for the Bears but he’s never on the field anymore. And with his resume, the Bears won’t be breaking the bank for his services moving forward if another option presents itself on draft weekend.
This is the fundamental issue with discussing the rebuild. The Bears can build a ferocious offensive line but where’s that offensive line gotten the Dallas Cowboys in recent years? The Bears can build the best defensive line on earth but ask the Jets about theirs when Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing the ball to the other team. No, the Bears are currently unsettled at the two spots in their organization they can least afford to be.
Could those questions be answered as the season progresses? Sure. John Fox could rally his wounded army, show some fight and win a bunch of games. Jay Cutler could return to full strength and turn the offense into a juggernaut. But if those two things don’t occur – and the likelihood is they won’t – where does that leave the organization come January?
Coach. Quarterback. Until those questions are answered, the rest of the roster’s development is just noise.