There will be a lot of discussion today about the #Bears‘ use of Cordarrelle Patterson at running back. Got a lot of reps there today.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 17, 2020
The 2018 Chicago Bears were fun. They were so much fun that Noah Brier (dot com), the technology-minded former DJ responsible for this little website’s existence, reemerged in the underground dwelling known as Josie Woods, now with a young daughter reciting those famous words, “Bear down, Chicago Bears”. They were so much fun that I sat awake in a tiny Parisian hotel room, in the middle of the night, putting back 1664 tall boys and enthusiastically (but silently) cheering a primetime victory over the Vikings. (The experience all-but ruined the next day’s travel.) They were so much fun that Noah and I never even considered not going to Chicago for their home playoff game against the Eagles, cost be damned.
The 2018 Bears had defensive linemen in the backfield. A kid quarterback showing promise. Tarik Cohen looking borderline uncoverable by linebackers, safeties, anyone. Fake photoshoots in the end zone. Dance parties in the locker room. The team that had just suffered through the Greek tragedy of Marc Trestman and monotonously slow blood draining of John Fox’s tenure were giving joy to a fan base that had begun to view watching Bears games as a predictably joyless experience.
Then 2019 came. And the joylessness returned.
That’s why as the news began to surface the Bears planned to use Cordarrelle Pattersson in the back field, it was a breath of fresh air. Matt Nagy: “We want to be able to get the most of out of him…when you have weapons like that, you want to find ways to get them the ball.” This is a strikingly 2018 mentality. In 2018, Nagy knew what he didn’t have (yet, he thought) at the quarterback position and compensated with creativity. Folks considered these gimmicks but they clever devices designed to ask less of Mitch Trubisky. In 2019, he thought he had more at the position, thought Trubisky could effectively run his offense, and was caught flat-footed as a play caller because of that season-defining error.