One for the Optimists…

Martellus Bennett‘s comments after head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were fired were profound. From Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune:

“On whether there’s any reason to be optimistic about next season:

“‘That should be a rhetorical question. At the end of the day, it’s a whole new year. And anyone who has no optimism about a new year, I feel bad for those people. I believe in optimism and I don’t know about anybody else but I think the fans should know that the only thing that I can control is what I do. And I’m going to work hard and become a better player for them than I was this year. So it’s going to be a bigger and better show. So make sure you’ve got your gummy bears.'”

There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic next year. This isn’t some bottom of the barrel 2-14 team. There’s more talent on the roster than I thought there was at the beginning of the year. It’s a shame that it’s still all about the quarterback, though. What happens there will be everything. Long-time Tribune beat writer and NFL observer Don Pierson at the Chicago Tribune agrees:

“Don’t let anybody convince you a pro quarterback gets more credit and more blame than he deserves. If anything in the pass-first era, the quarterback deserves even more credit and more blame.”

“Someday, it’s got to align. Someday, somebody in charge will look at a Russell Wilson or a Drew Brees or a Joe Montana and say, ‘Not very big, not a great arm, but he’s a quarterback.’ Curious how those three played their college ball only a couple hours drive from Soldier Field. Somebody will go to Eastern Illinois and draft a Tony Romo before he signs somewhere else as a free agent.

“Somebody will look at a Bears’ roster someday and see quarterbacks Chad Hutchinson, Craig Krenzel and Jonathan Quinn, their leading passers in 2004, and decide they better draft Aaron Rodgers instead of Cedric Benson. Or they will look at Brian Griese, their 2007 leading passer, and think maybe Joe Flacco would be a more useful draft pick than Chris Williams. Or they will pay closer attention when a young Arena League player and Green Bay castoff Kurt Warner asks for a tryout.

“Someday the McCaskeys will find somebody who can find somebody.”

A message of hope for us all. I can’t quote it all but this article should be required reading for any Bears fan.

…And One for the Pessimists

I like George McCaskey. I really do. I like his passion. I like his candidness. Like most of the McCaskey family that I’ve been exposed to, I get the impression that he’s a genuinely good, quality person raised by quality parents in a quality home. These are people you’d want as neighbors and friends.

But, like Rick Telander at the Chicago Sun-Times, I’m having a hard time believing he’s going to right the Bears ship. Telander’s reasoning is that the Bears need someone at the top who doesn’t require a consultant to tell him how to run the franchise:

“A good idea is knowing whom you want, and getting him. Pronto.”

He’s got a point. But my problem is more basic. You can hire the right people for your company even if you don’t know all of the details behind what they are going to do for you. All it requires is good judgement of basic human character.

When McCaskey was asked about quarterback Jay Cutler, here’s what he said. Via Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times:

“‘I’m a fan of Jay’s personally and I’m a fan of Jay’s professionally. But all of the personnel decisions are going to be up to the new general manager and the new head coach.'”

Up to the new GM and head coach. Great. That’s as it should be. And I love the fact that the family is willing to eat $38 million that isn’t my money to let him go if the new guys think its necessary.

It’s the first part of that quote that bugs me.

He’s a Jay Cutler fan? The same Jay Cutler to whom he guaranteed $54 million only to see him replace his Bears hat with a Vanderbilt hat in press conferences for the last month of the season? Cutler wasn’t just making a statement about Aaron Kromer or about Marc Trestman. He was making a statement about the team. He was making a statement about George McCaskey, the McCaskey family, their organization and its patrons. And he’s a fan?

It’s now clear that Cutler is a mentally and emotionally deficient loser. A blind man could see it in a minute and its hard to have faith in anyone who can’t immediately recognize it. And I’m really sorry for that for all kinds of reasons.