Should the Bears Have Drafted Jalen Carter?

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic answers your questions:

“Is it fair to call the draft decision to take Darnell Wright over Jalen Carter a bad one? — J S.

“A popular question this week, and one that will linger throughout the season, and possibly the next few for the No. 9 and 10 picks of the 2023 draft.”

“As each Bears game ends in misery, fans are seeing highlights of Carter dominating opposing O-linemen. The same can’t be said about Wright’s pass blocking.

“There are two challenges with answering this question. One, it’s way too early in their careers. Two, I’m still of the belief the Bears were never going to draft Carter. Their trade solidified that. That makes it a difficult hypothetical for me to consider.

“Carter gets to start alongside Fletcher Cox, Jordan Davis, Haason Reddick and Josh Sweat. That veteran locker room was the perfect one for Carter, and he doesn’t have to be “the guy” up front for the Eagles. I don’t think he would’ve been having similar success in Chicago with this team.

“It may go down as a bad decision three, five, seven years from now, but it was likely never going to happen anyway.:”

I think we all strongly suspected that Carter was going to be a hit for the Eagles. Like Fishbain, I have my doubts about whether he would have been the same for the Bears. But my reason is different from the one that he is willing to state in print.

Carter was street racing in Georgia when the teammate that he was racing crashed. That’s bad but what followed is probably what made Bears GM Ryan Poles‘ hair stand on end. Carter went to the NFL combine but left after an arrest warrant was issued. He showed up to Georgia’s pro day in mid-March nine pounds heavier than he was at the combine and did not finish position drills due to apparent cramping and breathing issues.

It’s one thing to make a bad mistake off the field. Its another thing altogether to allow it to affect your performance on the field with your future on the line.

As Fishbain points out, Carter is now surrounded by veteran talent. But I think that this was a good move for the Eagle more because of the pressure those veterans can bring and the example that they set than the talent that they surround him with. With those kinds of surroundings, Carter could be set on the path of long-term success. Its unlikely that we could say the same thing about the current Bears team.

How well Coached Are the Bears? Watch the Defensive Backs

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic talks about the deficiencies in the Bears defense along the defensive front.

“Part of the ‘it’s only three games, but it’s been really bad’ dissection of the Bears has to include the defensive line and linebackers, one of the few groups on the team that is actually healthy but doesn’t have the game-changing plays to show for it.

“Linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards and defensive ends DeMarcus Walker and Yannick Ngakoue are some of the highest-paid players on the team. Add Day 2 draft picks Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens, and there was no question what the point of emphasis was on defense.”

There’s a lot of truth in this. But we knew all off-season that the pass rush was going to be a major problem for the Bears this year. The Bears didn’t do a lot to improve it beyond the late signing of Ngakoue and he wasn’t going to make them competent alone.

The key was and still is the development of second round pick Dexter and third round pick Pickens. Right now they are the foundation upon which the Bears defensive hopes are being laid. As fans, when you are watching a bad team week after week the only thing that can keep you sane is to look for improvement over the course of the season.

But how can you tell if these players are getting the right coaching? Indeed, how can you tell if players are getting the right coaching in general? Progress tends to be incremental. The stats aren’t likely to show up game-to-game and trends won’t really be noticeable until later in the season.

One easy thing that I look at to evaluate the general state of the team is to watch the break downs in coverage on the back end. This doesn’t tell us a lot about the other units directly but it is obvious to the average observer and it is an indication of what kind of coaching the players are getting.

Don’t get me wrong. Its still on the players when break downs like this happen. But mental errors when they are wide spread and not isolated to one individual are usually an indication of whether coaches have the players ready to perform.

In this respect the Bears have been miserable. The breakdowns in coverage were countless in week one, making Jordan Love look like Joe Montana. But much, much worse is the fact that these breakdowns have continued and were almost as bad in week 3, resulting in at least one easy, wide open touchdown. Even Fishbain was easily able to identify a a breakdown that Patrick Mahomes didn’t even have to take advantage of to make a big play.

The excuse for such poor play has been injuries to the defensive backfield, as pointed out here by Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune. But that’s hog wash. Injuries aren’t an excuse for this. The back ups are professional players, too, and while they might lack talent, they should still be prepared to maximize what they have by playing good, fundamental football.

The poor play of the defensive backs is a disturbing trend on this team. That’s not because of their play as a unit so much as it is because its an indication of poor team play as a whole in ways that are less noticeable to the average observer.

That’s bad news for those of us who are going to watch 14 more games of this slop.

Even Given the Organizational Situation the Bears Should Be Better Than This

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune has 10 thoughts after the Bears loss to the Chiefs Sunday.

“The gap between the Bears and the upper echelon of the NFL remains as great as ever. The offense was dysfunctional Sunday and the defense was noncompetitive.

“The Arizona Cardinals opened the season as the favorite to “win” the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft. Guess what? They blew leads in narrow losses to the Washington Commanders and New York Giants and then stunned the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“The Houston Texans were projected to be terrible. They blew out the Jaguars 37-17 on Sunday in Jacksonville. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has passed for 906 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions through three games.

“The Bears are 0-3 for the first time since 2016 — a 3-13 season — and there’s little to suggest they’re going to come out of this funk anytime soon. How are they viewed nationally? The Denver Broncos were demolished 70-20 by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, dropping Sean Payton’s new team to 0-3. The Broncos opened as 2 1/2-point favorites for the Week 4 game against the Bears at Soldier Field.”

Biggs has done a nice job of encapsulating something I’ve been thinking about for almost a year. The Bears last won a game on October 24 last year. Think about how hard that is to do in the NFL.

My expectations for the Bears going into this season were lower than anyone I know. And yet even I think that the performance of the team is very disappointing.

Even given that the Bears are going through a rebuild, they should be better than this.

The Cardinals front office is literally trying to tank that team. They aren’t even trying to hide it. And yet some how they are playing competitively despite that.

From the outside its hard to pin point the problem. But my guess, along with most of the rest of Chicago, is that there’s something that isn’t right with the coaching staff.

Head coach Matt Eberflus sort of has the right idea of what is needed in this situation. But I’m not buying his explanation for the slow start.

“‘This is a new football team. We’ve got 30-some new guys who are coming together that are playing the game together for the first time for these three games. So there’s a process to that.

“‘It’s certainly not where we want it to be. But to get there, we’re going to have to have focus. We’re going to have to have fight. We’re going to have to be resilient. We’re going to have to block out outside noise. We’re going to have to do all those things and then keep a positive, optimistic attitude about this as we’re working.

“‘If we do that, guess what? We keep doing that, it will crack. It will crack. So that’s the biggest thing. That was my message to them in there. And like I said, the opportunity may come right around the corner.’

A couple thoughts.

  1. I’m not buying the “It’s a new football team” explanation. In the NFL there are a thousand reasons for failure but not a single excuse.

The Green Bay Packers are the youngest team in the NFL. They certainly look ready to play to me.

The fact of the matter is that this team was unprepared to start the season and now they are desperately playing catch up. Its completely justified to ask the reason why.

  1. I’ll give Eberflus credit. If you go back and listen to his entire press conference, his enthusiasm came across loud and clear. Its evident that this is the type of attitude that he is trying to communicate to he team.

And its also evident that he’s telling the players to do the right things. When things are going wrong with a team, as they are now, the players have to revert to thinking about their fundamentals. They have to concentrate upon bettering their play as individuals because that’s what they can control. And no matter who you are and what your task is, if you concentrate on what you can control you’ll always feel better about yourself and your environment. If everyone does it, the things that you can’t control will come along with you.

All that is good. But you have to ask yourself two things:

  1. Are the players are getting the right kind of help when it comes to improving their fundamentals? Are they being told what needs to be done in a way that optimizes their ability to take it in and translate it onto the field. You can talk about concentrating on fundamentals. But you still need people to teach them correctly. I see very little evidence that there has been anything more than incremental progress. Certainly I’ve seen very little evidence that the team was properly prepared during training camp.

  2. Are the players being placed into the right mental state to optimize performance and win a football game?

Eberflus is very enthusiastic. But there has to be more than that.

As Biggs points out, the Broncos defense had 70 points hung on them last week but they are still favored to beat the Bears on the road. Why is that? Its because they have Payton.

You think Payton is out there clapping his hands, patting players on the butt and telling them to work harder and it will all be OK? We don’t know for a fact but given what I’ve seen of him in the past, I’d say there’s almost no chance of it. Some of his assistants might be doing that. But as the head coach, I’m positive that he’s sending a different message.

I guarantee you that there are a lot Broncos players that are in fear for their jobs. For some of the less established players, that will be in the short term. For the better players, it will be for the long term. But all of them are worried right now.

How many Bears players can say the same thing?

The Broncos are coming off of a terrible, debilitating loss. Does anyone doubt that Payton will have them out for blood in an effort to bounce back and show what they can do in what is probably the most promising get right game on their schedule? Do you think the Bears will approach the game with the same attitude? When was the last time that you saw a Bears team respond like that?

That’s why they’re 2.5 points dogs at home this Sunday.

Don’t get me wrong. Generally speaking, I don’t think that the Bears problem is effort. But it is preparation and concentration and there’s a certain frame of mind that all players, that all people, need to be in if optimal performance must be achieved. Your head coach doesn’t need to be a dragon. But it can’t all be being a player’s coach and talking “the sun will come out tomorrow”-type rainbows and sunshine.

The Bears franchise is in the middle of a dark stretch. It might turn out to be the darkest in their history by the time this is done. Because even at the beginning of a young season, this team, specifically this coaching staff, has given Bears fans very little reason to believe that they can pull out of this.

Quick Comments: Bears at Chiefs 9/24/23

I’m not going to spend a lot of time documenting this one. There just isn’t a lot to learn. I’m sure you understand.

1. The Bears played a lot of zone early in the game and Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs tore it to shreds. The Bears eventually started playing more man coverage but the performance wasn’t much better. With Eddie Jackson already out and Jaylon Johnson, Tyreek Stevenson and Jaquan Brisker all out at some point during the game, the Bears woes were compounded. Eddie Jackson is already out with a foot injury.
2. The pass rush wasn’t good. That didn’t help the pass defense.
3. Its fair to say that the Bears lost the line of scrimmage. It wasn’t just Mahomes passing. The run defense was not up to the standard of the first two games.
4. The first target I saw for Darnell Mooney was with 4:30 left in the third quarter. Something isn’t right there.

1. The offensive line struggled so badly that it was hard to pick out individual performances. With a totally revamped interior of the offensive line they Bears had their moments running the ball inside which surprised me a bit. But the pass protection was pretty bad across the board. I remember seeing Ja’Tyre Carter literally getting run over on the inside. Justin Fields was under constant pressure.
2. Greg Olson spent a lot of time slamming the Bears for not allowing Fields to run but to my eye they did allow him to do it more. There were roll outs, there were read option plays, there were some designed runs. He was more apt to pull the ball down and break the pocket. The problem is that you have to have more than that out of your quarterback. Fields has to be able to play from the pocket.
3. Fields got the opportunity to throw some bombs when the Bears got behind. Some of them were good throws but the Bears were having a hard time putting it all together and the connections weren’t being made.

1. Keep an eye on the coaching staff. It almost certainly won’t happen during the year but they’re getting nothing out of what talent exists on this team and hey got nothing out of them last year. I know that they’re talent deficient but they should be better than this. The staff is already in deep trouble with 14 more games of this on the horizon.
2. Honestly I spent some the second half just praying that the Chiefs would pull Mahomes out of the game. It would have been terrible to see him get hurt in a crap game like this. They pulled him just before the end of the third quarter.
3. It’s very early in the season but with the Bears looking this bad, today was already a potential disaster for the Arizona Cardinals. Apparently the players didn’t get the message that they were tanking as they beat the Dallas Cowboys. The Carolina Panthers lost and are now 0-3. The Bears own Carolina’s first round draft pick, which already looks to be a contender to be in the top 5.

Thoughts on Tyson Bagent As One Reporter Has Me Sitting Up and Paying a Little More Attention

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune has 10 thoughts after Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers:

“In talking with a handful of national and college scouts the last two weeks about quarterback Tyson Bagent, they all gave the Bears props for landing the undrafted rookie from Division II Shepherd University. Last week in 10 thoughts, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy outlined the plan for developing Bagent in practice and as the current No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart.

“I was curious what they saw in Bagent and how their reports read back in the spring when he wasn’t selected in a draft that saw 14 quarterbacks selected, including one in Round 6 (Tanner McKee by the Philadelphia Eagles) and one in Round 7 (Max Duggan by the Los Angeles Chargers).”

There’s a lot of good stuff here including quotes from a few scouts about Bagent’s evaluation and his potential in the NFL. But it wasn’t the content of this section that stuck me. It was the fact that it was there at all.

Bagent was already on my radar (along with that of every other fan in the city of Chicago). I liked what I saw of Bagent in the preseason. I like the way he moves in the pocket, I like his accuracy, I like the way he carries himself. But I like a lot of quarterbacks and I don’t see the practices. So needless to say that the fact that I like the look of a guy doesn’t mean that they’re going to be any good in the NFL.

But it’s notable that Biggs has brought Bagent up in this column two weeks in a row. Rooting for the Bears over a number of years, you develop a sense for which journalists in Chicago who know what they’re talking about and, to be honest, I don’t think there are many that do. Don’t get me wrong. As far as I can tell, they’re almost all good reporters. But when it comes to editorializing about football… well, lets just say that you could often get the same opinions from a typical fan and leave it at that.

In my opinion, Biggs and one of two others are different.

There’s a reason why so many of my blog posts start with a quote from one of one of Biggs’ articles. Based upon what he writes, Biggs seems to be more insightful and intelligent that most and he has been around a long time. He has seen some things. I trust him and when he starts paying attention in season to a third string undrafted rookie quarterback who hasn’t been on the field, it might be time for the rest of us to start paying attention, as well.

Usually when fans and media get over their skis about an undrafted rookie quarterback, my automatic reaction is to think, “Yeah, typical media. Typical fans. The back up is always the most popular quarterback in town. And if this guy is so good, why didn’t someone draft him?” But my antennae are up now. Bagent could be different.

Bears Running Game Is a Work in Progress with Apparent Change in Scheme

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune shares 10 thoughts after the Bears loss on Sunday

“I’m surprised the Bears don’t have better rushing totals through two games. That looked like an emphasis of the off-season to me: Add DJ Moore and other wide receivers, but maintain an identity as a powerful rushing offense. They struggled running the ball against the Packers and we covered that ground — seven of their 14 runs on first-and-10 against Green Bay went for 1 yard, no gain or a loss. There were only 16 carries in this game for 67 yards. Tampa Bay’s a tough front to run against and rookie Roschon Johnson’s 29-yard run was the only time a back got through to the third level.”

One of the things that Adam Hoge mentioned on the Hoge and Jahns podcast was that the Bears aren’t running as much outside zone as they were last year. It was a good point. This was supposed to be the foundation of the running game last year and they ran it a lot. And this year we haven’t seen it.

I’m pretty sure that the Bears decided in the off-season that they wanted to transition away from outside zone to the power running game. They signed Nate Davis whose strength isn’t outside zone blocking, though I’m sure he can do it. But Davis strikes me as more of a downhill, power running game kind of blocker. Tevin Jenkins also fits this profile and Cody Whitehair, though not very big as a guard, is a reasonably large powerful guy at center. This would’ve been the interior of their offensive line on week one according to the Bears plan.

But that that plan has been completely disrupted. Jenkins is injured and Davis didn’t play Sunday. Without Jenkins they’ve shifted Whitehair to guard with Lucas Patrick at center. This is not an ideal combination and I think it completely threw the plan for the power running game off kilter.

It will be interesting to see where they go from here. Obviously whey think they can live with the combination that they have but the lack of success on the ground might call for a change.

I will add one thing. Eleven runs isn’t much of a sample size and ordinarily you’d like to keep pounding on the run throughout the game. After a while, eventually success often starts to come. I’m not saying that the Bears gave up on the run because they only had 27 plays. But they’re going to have to string together more attempts to build on if they want to see more success.

Tyreek Stevenson Needs Work But It Wasn’t as Bad as It Looked

Brad Biggs has 10 thoughts after the Bears Loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday:

“[Cornerback Tyreek] Stevenson was worked over pretty good by wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Mayfield completed 5 of 7 passes going against Stevenson for 140 yards and a touchdown. That’s an awful day for the rookie, but I think a strong case can be made the yardage total should be cut in half. Sure looked like officials could have called Evans for offensive pass interference on the 70-yard gainer he had when he pushed Stevenson down to catch Mayfield’s pass. Maybe it’s a lesson in how strong some NFL receivers are for the second-round pick.”

“Evans also cooked Stevenson for a 32-yard touchdown in the third quarter on a third-and-14 play.”

“’Just bad technique,’ Stevenson said when asked what happened. ‘Bad eyes on my end. I’ve got to do a better job of my coverage. They were just able to find, I guess, the open receiver at the moment.’

“Stevenson said he’s going to remain positive, but rest assured upcoming opponents are going to find him — and test him. Evans and Godwin are seasoned veterans and there has to be a long list of young cornerbacks they’ve baptized over the years. We’ll see how Stevenson responds because I like him as a player. He’s strong and physical and can move. He’s got to see if he can avoid making the same mistakes twice.”

I’ve read a lot of criticism of Stevenson and some of it appears to me to be well-deserved. However, I do think that there are some circumstances to note in his defense.

Its hard to tell on television but it looked to me like the Bears were playing heavy cover two zone. And it would be logical to expect that with head coach Matt Eberflus calling plays.

Time after time receivers would take the ball behind the cornerback along the side line. This is a classic cover two beater. It looks bad but fans, especially those who were around for the Lovie Smith days, should remember that the cornerback’s job in that defense is to bump the wide receiver off the line and redirect him to the inside. After that the cornerback sinks into coverage, passing the receiver off to the safety. It can be a bad look if the safety is late coming over and with both Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker off the field, Stevenson didn’t get much help.

That’s not to say that Stevenson doesn’t have things to work on. He does. It just isn’t as bad as it probably looked to some people on Sunday.

Quick Comments: Bears at Buccaneers 9/17/23


  • DJ Moore had a great start to the game. Two catches for 64 yards on the first drive. The Bucs game plan was apparently to treat him like any other receiver. That’s a terrible idea especially when playing the Bears who have so few difference makers outside of Moore. I’m not sure if they got that message but Moore got very few balls after that until the fourth quarter when Fields once again found him for some big plays. He finished with 6 receptions for 104 yards.
  • The Bears rolled out Khari Blasingame in the second quarter in the I formation. I’ve always wondered why the Bears don’t use him more. Good things tend to happen when he’s in there.
  • In a similar vein, the Bears came out of halftime running the ball. IN the end they rushed for 62 yards and a respectable 4.2 yards per carry. Khalil Herbert had a good day and so did Roschon Johnson. D’Onta Foreman was inactive but I still like the look of that guy. He’s probably not the pass catcher that Herbert and Johnson are. Johnson probably also plays on special teams.
  • Chase Claypool had 3 catches for 36 yards and a touchdown in a high effort game which may temporarily silence his critics. Notably Darnell Mooney didn’t make the stat sheet. The Bears need Moore, Claypool and Mooney to all produce if they are to run a competent NFL passing offense. Equinimious St. Brown was inactive.
  • The Bears were a substandard 6 for 13 on third down but it was better than last week when they only converted one. This still needs work. It all needs work.


  • Second play of the game and Jaquan Brisker drops an interception. The Bears read it, had them dead to rights and couldn’t finish. Brisker has got to catch that ball.
  • Ordinarily getting pressure is more essential than usual when playing Baker Mayfield. Usually the only way he can be successful is if he’s given time and gets comfortable. The Bears got to him occasionally but he made some plays today. There were a couple throws that Mayfield made right before he got hit. I can’t even count the number of times that the Bears had Mayfield dead to rights and he got away. You start to wonder if Mayfield isn’t on his way to a good season. We will see.
  • The Bears were in a dire state with both Brisker (illness) and Eddie Jackson (foot) out in the second quarter. Elijah Hicks and someone names Quindell Johnson replaced them. The Bucs had the Bears pegged with cover two beaters where Mayfield was hitting receivers along the sideline behind the cornerback before the safety could get over to cover. That was probably much easier with inexperienced safeties who might be late off the mark. Brisker eventually came back on in the third quarter.


  • Daryl Johnston did a good job on color today. He’s got a bad habit of saying things right as I’m writing them down. It’s irritating because it makes me sound like a parrot.
  • Nice play by Rasheem Green on his blocked field goal attempt near the beginning of the second quarter to keep the score 7-3 Bears. First blocked field goal since week 5 last season. It didn’t look like anything fancy. He just beat his guy and got his hand up.
  • Braxton Jones had another false start and looked extremely bad on at least one block right after that. I wonder if we’re getting close to the point where we can stop excusing this with the old “he’s still learning” mantra.
  • The Bears defense was left on the field for more than 35 minutes on a day where the temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was will above 90%. That’s a long time for the defense to be on the field. I was impressed with the way that they held up.
  • On a related note, the Bears were wearing orange uniforms today. Dark blue at 90 degrees and humid isn’t ideal that so sounded like a good decision. I’m sure that’s why the Bucs chose to wear white at home.
  • Justin Fields was sacked 5 times today but not all of those sacks were the fault of a subpar offensive line.

I won’t say that Fields didn’t have his moments. The touchdown pass to Claypool was a great example of what a well run NFL play should look like. He failed again one score down with about 2 minutes left but I thought that was hardly his fault. He was swamped by a pass rush that was on him immediately and Shaquil Barrett apparently read it well to make the interception.

Nevertheless, when Fields got protection today he still sat back and held the ball and held the ball and held the ball… Too often he looks completely discombobulated. He has no feel for the pocket and he has no idea where to go with the ball. His uncertainty began to affect his accuracy, just as Mitch Trubisky’s uncertainty affected his in the last turn of this cycle.

Some will say that the Bears need to fall back on the plan from last year when they simply turned Fields loose to run. But he did little damage with his feet today against a Bucs defense that was well prepared to keep him in the pocket. This will be the first of many of those days against better teams.

The day that the Bears tell Fields to just make one read and start running again will be the day that they can start looking for a new quarterback. That day may not be far off anyway.

What Should We Make of Roshon Johnson’s Performance Against the Packers

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic answers your questions:

“Did Roschon Johnson put himself in the picture for a larger role? — Guy K.

“The only thing to brighten [head coach Matt] Eberflus’ Monday was an opportunity to discuss Johnson, the rookie running back who led his position in snaps.

“I think he did a good job,” Eberflus said. “He was in there at the very end and he was catching checkdowns and had a couple nice runs, but I certainly like his style. His style was really good, and that’s what he is. He’s a downhill, north guy, and he showed that (Sunday). And he showed his physicality. He did that several times.”

“I was surprised to see that Johnson had already asserted himself as the team’s two-minute back, which he earned in large part because of his abilities in pass protection. That’s often one of the more challenging elements of the college-to-pro transition for backs, but not Johnson.

“On Sunday, the Bears face a Buccaneers team that wants to blitz, and that could lead to Johnson being the lead back. If he excels in those reps, he could certainly continue having a larger role.

“It’s not too big for him,” Getsy said. “He’s a physical guy. You’ve seen the way he runs the ball, too. So he does a nice job.'”

There’s definitely potential there. Johnson was a respectable 5 carries for 20 yards on the ground and 6 receptions for 35 yards in the air. Not great but he did what was expected.

Having said that, all of his touches came in the second half with the Bears 11 or more points down. At that point, the Packers were perfectly happy to see Johnson running the ball and taking short passes. I’m tempted to say that Khalil Herbert could have performed similarly under those circumstances. And I still like what I’ve seen of D’Onta Foreman and his ability is not to be underestimated.

Is there reason to be optimistic about Johnson? You bet. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him as the Bears primary back well before the season ends. Yes, maybe even this weekend.

But the bottom line message for me coming out of Week 1 was that the Bears have three pretty good running backs. ON a team with so many issue, that doesn’t look to me like its one of them.

Are Bears Fans Over-Reacting to the Loss to the Packers?

Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic answers your questions:

“Is this season, after just one game, the most reactionary by fans that you can remember? I’m finding it hard to believe the number of people calling for coaches and the GM to be replaced after just one and a half years on the job when they’ve been very transparent about a long-term rebuild. [-Bob A.]

“Sunday’s loss looked like so much of the same. The quarterback wasn’t good. The play calling wasn’t good. The pass rush wasn’t good. I get why some think there’s no coming back from this, that this won’t be one of those Week 1 fluke games. Instead, it’ll be a harbinger for another long season, and the latest addition in the Bears’ ugly cycle.

“The 2019 opener had significantly higher expectations, and the offense was a disaster in the 10-3 loss. But the defense was outstanding. In 2021, the defense was a mess in a rout against the Los Angeles Rams, but fans at that point were simply counting down the days until [QB Justin] Fields took over.

“This game had two bright spots: running back Roschon Johnson and kicker Cairo Santos.

“But to answer your question, Bob, this is the most reactionary I’ve seen fans after a season opener — and while the calls for in-season firings are over the top, this franchise hasn’t done enough to earn the benefit of the doubt that it was “just one game” after a performance like that.

“The Bears have an opportunity to bounce back against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has low expectations but is 1-0 after upsetting the Minnesota Vikings. Maybe Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy figure things out, the defense creates turnovers and the mailbag tenor is different next week.”

Fishbain is spot on with his response but he didn’t really answer the underlying question. “Are Bears fans over-reacting to the loss?” The answer is “No, they’re not.”

There’s a rumor going round that Bears Chairman George McCaskey and CEO Kevin Warren met with head coach Matt Eberflus and GM Ryan Poles after the disastrous performance against the Packers. I hope its rue because it means that:

  1. The message sent probably wasn’t a pleasant one for Poles or Eberflus
  2. Given that McCaskey isn’t the kind of confrontational personality that would have initated such a meeting, Warren almost certainly did.

As Bob points out, the Bears have been very transparent about the fact that they are in the middle of a rebuild. But that doesn’t mean that the coaching staff gets a free pass. Fans have a right to expect to see improvement. And last week looked a great deal like most weeks last year. Yes, there were some improvements – they did stop the run and indications are that they finally have a screen game. But the eseentials – especially the performance of Fields from the pocket – were the same. The Bears came out and, despite an influx of at least some talent, whoed little improvement over what we saw in 2022. They also flat out didn’t look ready to play and that’s an indictment of the couching staff.

Whether this possible effort to hold Eberflus accountable will bear any fruit is an open queston. Even last year when the Bears had so little talent, you could argue – and I would argue – that the coaching staff should have been able to do more with what they had. I saw very little last year to indicate that nay players on the roster punched above their weight to exceed even the low expectations that observers had.

Assuming that the rumors are ture, Bears fans can all hope that the new leadership in the front office is going to make a difference and that a new dawn may be about to break for this frachise. But I wouldn’t hold mey breath thinking that its going to be apparent this season.