Mike Glennon Might Be the Future Rather Than a Bridge to a Better One

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions.  And mine:

Mike Glennon seems to be getting lost in the midst of all of the [Jimmy] Garoppolo love. What are the odds the Bears go in his direction? — @bearingthenews

“Glennon is going to be an unrestricted free agent and there will no doubt be some interest in him. Will the Bears go in his direction? I don’t know about that. But I do know the Bears cannot reach the opening of free agency without having thoroughly evaluated every single quarterback that could potentially be available. There seems to be more love for Glennon now than there ever was when he was starting for the Buccaneers. He last took a meaningful snap in the 2014 season before the Bucs acquired Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick. Glennon has started 18 games in his career so there is a lot more tape to evaluate than there is with Garoppolo. Glennon has completed 374 of 630 passes (59.4 percent) for 4,100 yards, 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The 27-year-old was has been sacked 56 times and at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and he’s not particularly mobile. He’s going to have a chance to play for someone but most of the scouts I talk to are lukewarm on him. He’s a little robotic and I tend to believe the buzz surrounding Glennon is partially a result of skepticism people have for the crop of quarterbacks in this draft class. No one can say with certainty that there is a big-time franchise quarterback on the horizon.”

I wrote this question in early February and it was published on February 9.  It was motivated by the fact that for the two previous offseasons, speculation about whether the Bucs would trade Glennon was an annual rite of spring.  He was behind Winston on the depth chart and, as Biggs said, given the supply and demand for quarterbacks, he was seen as a young, viable prospect that at least some teams evidently felt could still be developed.  Since then, Biggs has reported that the Bears have interest in signing Glennon in free agency and it really came as no surprise to me.  Despite the lukewarm feeling you get from Biggs’s response to the question, there’s a lot there to like about him.

The Bears are reportedly very interested in the intangibles when it comes to determining their future at quarterback.  In this respect, Glennon is hard to judge.  He was known as a calm, collected leader who had the respect of his teammates when he came out of North Carolina.  Not a red flag but not really a strength, either.

Having said that, I went back and looked at some of the tape of Glennon with the Buccaneers in 2013.  He’s a big, tall player at 6’7” and throws the ball on a rope with a really big arm.  Furthermore, he’s accurate and, as the statistics indicate, he takes care of the ball, throwing it with anticipation but usually only where the receiver can catch it.

That last aspect of his game, the ability to protect the football, cannot be understated.  Everyone once in a while, a Bears fan will write in to express his or her love of Matt Barkley.  I can state with surety that you can forget about the Bears ever re-signing him.  Last season, Barkley threw 3 interceptions against the Packers in week 15.  Knowing that he needed to improve that aspect of his game and not let it happen again, he came back the next week and threw 5 against the Redskins.  He followed that with 2 more in just over 3 quarters of play against the Vikings in week 17.  At that point, Barkley’s future with the team was sealed and the Bears had to know that he was a hopeless case.

John Fox is a defensive head coach.  He can live with mediocre quarterback play such as that which Brain Hoyer displayed in relief of Jay Cutler last year.  But he absolutely cannot have a turnover machine at the position.  Whether its Barkley or Cutler, who is all but gone, no one will be playing quarterback for the Bears unless he can protect the football.  Glennon does that.

As Biggs points out, Glennon is a statue in the pocket and that’s probably the biggest reason why the Buccaneers felt that they had to draft Winston.  But I’m not so sure that means that Glennon should simply be classified as a “bridge quarterback” on the way to something better should the Bears sign him.  My gut tells me that there’s a lot to work with there.  The Bears probably have a better offensive line than the Bucs did, particularly up the middle, and they may do a better job of protecting a less mobile quarterback.  Furthermore, the work that Dowell Loggains did with Hoyer and particularly Connor Shaw last year before injuries derailed them seems to have convinced the Bears that he might get more out of a guy like Glennon than the Buccaneers did.

Even if the Bears sign Glennon, they still have to draft a quarterback.  They have to reverse the trend that they’ve established in recent years by starting to take swings at the position and drafting real potential starters in the first three rounds.

But based upon what I’ve seen of Glennon, if they can get him to step up, shuffle his feet and move around just a bit more inside the pocket, the Bears might surprise some media and fans locally by getting more than is generally expected from him.  I’m not at all convinced that Glennon doesn’t still have a future as a very good NFL starter and if the Bears sign him, you can bet that they probably see what I see.  That along with the potential development of Shaw and a good, solid draft pick could quickly put them in a good spot at a position that up until now has been a neglected, barren wasteland for the franchise.

Letting Go of Cutler Sooner Rather Than Later? I Still Doubt It.

Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune addresses the Jay Cutler situation:

While the Bears have no contractual deadline forcing a move, adding Cutler to the league-wide supply of quarterbacks — either by trade or release — could help their search, hoping another quarterback-needy team fills its vacancy with him instead of dipping into the draft pool.

I have to confess that I didn’t consider this aspect of the situation. It would, indeed, be helpful if another team picked up Cutler before the draft. But I don’t think it will help that much.

Cutler is a veteran that might be in a position to help you win now if you are a quarterback short. But those teams probably don’t want to draft a quarterback in the first three rounds, anyway. They’re going to be focused on filling needs not planning for the future with a project at quarterback.

The Bears are obviously ready to move on from Cutler. But I’m still going to maintain that in the absence of a trade, that the Bears hang on to him until they are absolutely sure that they won’t need him.

Talent Vs. Attitude. The Debate Continues But Not for the Bears.

Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune makes some good points and some not so good points:

This is so [head coach JohnFox: dumping talented players [Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery] because he doesn’t like something about them, no matter how productive they are, but standing fiercely behind Dowell Loggains and his oft-inexplicable play-calling.

While some reasons for letting players leave are understandable, the Bears still have lost four offensive Pro Bowlers  and replaced them with a rookie Pro Bowler in Jordan Howard and, what, Josh Bellamy and a biology graduate from Harvard.

That, see, is the issue here and now: If you’re a coach who can’t coach or won’t coach players with personality or players who aren’t all-football all the time but still produce, then you’d better produce as a coach.

But the only thing Fox has produced is the lame consolation that his players tried hard, the sure sign of someone desperate to hold a job.
The Bears had better be good in free agency, I guess. Or Fox had better be good picking the players he thinks he can coach.

But then, maybe that’s part of Ryan Pace’s plan: Let Fox have his way with these player decisions so the general manager has solid reasons to fire the head coach when the Bears go 3-13 again and then hire a coach he wants instead of someone who appears passive-aggressively forced on him by a consultant and a Bears Senior Disorganizational Figure or two.

I certainly understand the argument about coaching talented but less than ideal players. But it’s worth noting that Fox was trying to institute a culture change in Chicago when he was hired. This was a team that was starting over and to this point, the project has been one of tearing down to the core, then building back up.  Bennett and Marshall just weren’t what he was looking for as a part of that core that was supposed to show young, often less talented players who actually need to maximize what they’ve got how its done.

With Jeffery, it’s probably got more to do with monetary value but I’d still claim that things would have been totally different had he trained in Chicago with the team last offseason.  The Bears were looking for him to show that kind of commitment to the team and you have to believe that they’re pretty sure there’s no PED suspension with them able to keep an eye on Jeffery in town.  As it is, there’s not nearly as much motivation to overpay a guy whose actions indicate that he may not be 100% on board no matter what hot air he blows about believing that the Bear swill win the Super Bowl next year.

In any case, the Bears situation puts Fox and Pace in a different position than the Patriots, who got a great deal out of Bennett because they have a solid locker room and a winning culture established. They didn’t need him to lead young, less talented undrafted free agents by example.  They had plenty of other guys for that and the Patriots could afford to absorb Bennett. The Bears, who have had to rebuild from scratch with a young locker room that still doesn’t know how to win, couldn’t.

I might add that, in my opinion, the odds that Bennett resigns with the Patriots are slim. Taking on his baggage for a year at a reasonable rate is one thing. Doing it now will be something else. It’s says here that the odds are good he ends up with a loser next year and plays his part, overly or covertly, in contributing to it with his attitude, just as Marshall did this year with the Jets.

The last part about Pace letting Fox fail so he can fire him after being forced to hire him in the first place is, of course, utter nonsense  based upon revisionist history. Pace interviewed Fox almost immediately after he separated with the Broncos, even following him to Denver immediately after talking to him in Chicago. Pace couldn’t wait to hire him and I’m still not convinced he wasn’t right to do so.

The Bears will have to show progress this season to convince the fans and the press that they’re doing the right things. But as far as I’m concerned, they’ve had no choice but to do what they’ve done to this point.

The Cutler Camp Is Taking a Big Risk by Floating Retirement Rumors in 2017

Chris Wesseling at nfl.com comments on the rumor floated by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s camp that he may opt to retire in 2017:

“What is Jay Cutler’s football future if the Chicago Bears are unsuccessful in their quest to trade the veteran quarterback leading up to the new league year on March 9?

“If he is left without an attractive home once the offseason’s game of quarterback musical chairs comes to a close, it’s not inconceivable that Cutler will opt for early retirement.

“’He’s one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play, whether they want to not play, retire, walk away,’ NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport explained on Wednesday’s edition of NFL Total Access. ‘A lot of things in play here for Jay Cutler.’”

The thought among most NFL media people is that Cutler’s agent, Bus Cook, is floating the rumor to kill Cutler’s trade value and to force the Bears to release him.  If so, he may be making a serious mistake.

Cutler has slim hope of finding a new team in time to be under serious consideration as a starter unless he’s traded.  Cook obviously believes that the Bears will be unwilling to carry Cutler’s cap number deep into the offseason.  If so, he’s wrong.

The Bears are going to carry Cutler until they find another solution at the quarterback position.  There’s no possible way they do otherwise, leaving themselves with no sure options at the position.

That could mean that the Bears trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or A.J. McCarron early in the offseason.  That would be a win for Cutler and Cook.  The Bears would undoubtedly release Cutler, freeing up his salary so that the new quarterback could be easily signed long-term.  There would be little reason to carry the extra $13 million in cap space that Cutler would cost to keep around and he would, indeed, hit the market in a reasonable amount of time.

But there’s going to be a lot of competition for Garoppolo and most people believe that if the Browns really want him, they’ll get him.  They have the most draft capital to spend in a trade.  No one knows if the Bears (or anyone else) are interested enough in McCarron to make it worth the while for a contender like Cincinnati to trade away a good back up quarterback.

If the Bears miss out on Garoppolo, they may well opt to sign a cheap bridge quarterback like Brian Hoyer or a Mike Glennon.  In that case, there would be no reason to release Cutler until they are absolutely sure that they won’t need him and/or won’t be able to trade him.  That may mean waiting until after the NFL draft where they may or may not be able to find a future starter.  It may mean waiting longer than that, well beyond the time when every team has made its plans at quarterback.

Publicly Cutler’s been a reasonably good soldier the last few years and the Bears could opt to do him “a solid” and release him early.  But Cook is giving them little reason to want to do that by standing in the way of their efforts to maximize Cutler’s potential on the trade market.  All in all, it’s a big gamble, one that may well not pay off for Cutler.

Facts Ooze Out as Jay Cutler Appears to Be Near the End of His Time in Chicago

John Mullin at CSNChicago.com let’s this little tidbit slip out as he addresses the Bears quarterback situation:

“The Bears may find themselves in a situation not entirely dissimilar from where they stood in the 2014 offseason and were faced with a decision on Josh McCown after his career-best stretch in relief of Cutler. Then-GM Phil Emery wanted [Jay] Cutler over the feelings of the coaching staff and signed Cutler to that $126 million contract.”

The coaching staff didn’t want Cutler?  Since when?

Answer:  Since Cutler appears to have one foot out the door and reporters can safely tell the real story.

Cutler in 2014 was coming off of one of his best seasons with the Bears.  Though many still doubted whether he would be worth the money long-term, reports at the time were that everything was rainbows and roses between Cutler and the organization, that head coach Marc Trestman had turned Cutler around and and that the younger and more athletic Cutler had earned the contract extension over McCown.

It’s a funny thing about reports like this.  You never really get the whole story until the players are out of the reporter’s sphere of influence.  In this case, reporters are almost to a man positive that Cutler will not be with the organization next year.  Trestman and Emery are already gone and with all of those involved safely out of town, these are the things that eke out.

I think its safe to say that more will come to light in the near future, especially after Cutler is finally released.  It will, to say the least, be interesting reading.

Positioning the Bears for Success

John Mullin at CSN Chicago brings up a good point about the Bears search for a quarterback:

“How good is [general manager Ryan Pace] at finding a potential franchise quarterback, given that he’s never picked a quarterback in his two Bears drafts?

“Former GM Jerry Angelo admitted that he and his staff had more than their share of difficulties identifying good offensive linemen in the draft. Maybe it was because Angelo himself was a former college linebacker and defensive lineman; who knows?’

‘Pace is a former college defensive end and his personnel moves on that side of the football have generally been solid – Leonard Floyd, Eddie Goldman, Nick Kwiatkowski, plus free agents Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Tracy Porter and Jerrell Freeman.

“But can Pace, who certainly knows things about chasing quarterbacks with malicious intent, draft success at the single most important position in perhaps all of sports?’

It’s a legitimate question and it’s not just Pace.  He’s working in an organization full of scouts and personnel men who apparently have consistently under-rated and/or failed to understand the position, as demonstrated by the fact that the Bears have so rarely taken one high in the draft and have so rarely been successful if they did.  How qualified are they to identify the qualities of a good rookie quarterback?  Would they know one if they saw one?

For years I pushed hard for the Bears to hire a head coach with a background in coaching quarterbacks.  They eventually did hire one in Marc Trestman and it didn’t work out.  But that doesn’t mean I was wrong.

I have no problem with current head coach John Fox, a defensive head coach, mostly because he’s demonstrated elsewhere that he can hire a good offensive staff.  Neither offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains nor quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone have ever coached a rookie to a successful NFL career.  Now we’re all crossing out fingers and hoping that his judgement that they can, despite the lack of evidence, is sound.

Has Pace earned the same benefit of the doubt?

There’s a lot to like about what’s happening with the Bears right now.  And it’s not like bears fans have a choice.  You have to have faith and wait and see what happens.

But the number of “ifs” that are stacking up becomes more and more mind boggling the more you think about them.  An awful lot of things are going to have to go right with an awful lot of people who have no history of success with the quarterback position if the Bears are going to be able to draft and develop a rookie quarterback along.

Bottom line, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that the Bears as an organization still haven’t set themselves up for success because they continue to under-value the most important position in sports.  And that perhaps can be demonstrated no more clearly than when seeing how they’ve set up their organizational structure all the way from the top down.

Taking a Quarterback Is Not Optional.

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“If the Bears do retain the third pick in the draft they will be able to choose a defensive player who is a difference maker at either the edge, 5-technique or safety depending on the first two picks. The second round should also produce an excellent player at tight end or on defense. And another starter should be found with the best available player in the third round. This is a great draft for certain positions. This is if the Bears ignore quarterback in the first three rounds. With five or six quarterbacks worthy of being drafted in the first round in 2018, why not wait till then? I am ok with Brian Hoyer next season. The Bears are not going to be a playoff or even a .500 team next season so improve the areas that can be most improved in this draft. There may well be a new coaching staff in 2018. Why not let them develop the quarterback of the future? We have waited this long after all. — Thomas H., Parts Unknown”

The idea of waiting to address the quarterback position is precisely the kind of thinking that has gotten the Bears in this predicament in the first place. I agree that there look to be some strong positions in this draft and some of them happen to match up with need areas for the Bears. But this franchise does not have a greater need than at quarterback and the longer the Bears put off the pursuit of finding the next franchise quarterback, the longer it’s going to take to actually land that guy. There’s no guarantee that quarterback is waiting for them in the 2018 draft. None. Zero. There is no guarantee that player is in this draft either. But you’ve got to swing and swing and swing and swing until you find that player. You can’t stop swinging until you get that player. The Bears’ biggest problem? They’ve been unwilling to swing for far too long. I’d also be very careful saying there will be five or six quarterbacks worthy of a first-round pick in the 2018 draft. A lot can change between now and then.”

I’m going to add one comment in my strong support of Biggs’s comment:  Not only should the Bears not wait until 2018 to take a quarterback, they should take one BOTH YEARS.  And EVERY YEAR after that until they find (at least) one.

Quarterback is a hit and miss proposition at the best of times.  You are going to miss on some, even the best in the class.  But statistically the truth is that good quarterbacks are more consistently found high in the draft, particularly in the first round.   And it’s not even close.  That means that you have to live with the occasional bust and keep taking your swings.  Over and over and over again until you get it right.

The Bears need to draft a quarterback at every opportunity every year.  It’s not an either or proposition.

Building from the Top Down

Dan Pompei , writing for The Athletic, addresses the Bears quarterback situation:

Brian Hoyer’s contract is up. He signed a one-year deal last spring. There will be many worse options to bringing him back as the No. 2 guy. Hoyer was criticized for not getting the ball in the end zone and not playing winning football, but he fills the requirements of a backup pretty well.

“Anytime you get the No. 2 in, you want the guy to not to lose the game,” an NFC North pro scout said. “He did that. He’s a better than average backup.”

There might not be another backup in the league who would give the Bears’ better return on salary.”

“Unlike Hoyer, [Connor] Shaw is an electric performer who stresses defenses by extending plays, playing with instinct and getting creative. Shaw deserves to be in the pole position for the developmental quarterback slot on the roster. That isn’t to say he shouldn’t have competition, either from a young player or from a draft pick, but he should be given a chance to stick.”

I like both Hoyer and Shaw.  But I really wonder if signing them is the right thing to do.

NFL personnel men talk about adding to the roster from the top down.  In other words, when you add a player, you add someone with the potential to start.  He and the other men at the position compete and the losers become backups.  But they become very good backups because the whole reason you signed them in the first place was because you thought they could start.  That’s how you build quality depth.

That’s particularly true of the Bears quarterback situation where they have essentially no one right now (assuming Jay Cutler is released or traded).  And the position is a particularly difficult one because, more than any other spot on the field, you are often taking a stab in the dark and hoping you get lucky.

That’s why the Bears can’t waste time signing “a better than average backup” or a guy who has been in the NFL for three years and is still considered to be “developmental”. You have to at least four guys that you think can be quality starters and let the second and third best be your back ups.

Having one of those be a solid veteran with a high floor and a ceiling high enough to make a very good starter in the right situation wouldn’t be a bad idea.  That way you have a worst case scenario if all of the younger players don’t pan out.  But if the Bears are debating whether to resign Hoyer, it should be whether he fits that profile, not if he is a guy who, at his best, is a good back up.  The same goes for Shaw.  Either he can compete to start or he can’t.

The Bears  need to be looking for players with the potential to play at the highest level.  Anything else is a waste of a roster spot at this point.

Quick Game Comments: Bears at Vikings 1/1/17

Defense

      1. Minnesota came out mixing it up and did a lot of damage with big plays on the Bears young defensive backs.  Cre’Von LeBlanc gave up a big catch to Cordarrelle Patterson as he let him get too far behind him while training him – which seems to be a habit with him.  Adrian Amos missed a tackle on Jerick McKinnon which allowed him to score the touchdown.

        The sequence highlights one problem with the Bears.  Yes, they’re playing lots of young players.  But are they really any good?  You wouldn’t know it by this series.

        In any case, despite some better play from both of these guys in the second half, I have very serious doubts about the future of both with the Bears.

      2. I’m really tired of seeing missed tackles play after play from these guys.  Something needs to be done about this.
      3. The Bears struggled to get pressure on Sam Bradford through a totally miserable Vikings offensive line.  That exposed a young and evidently less talented than people think Bears defensive backfield.  Very disappointing.
      4. The Vikings evidently decided that they could attack the Bears linebackers and safeties.  Bradford fed the ball effectively to the running backs and the tight ends, especially Kyle Rudolph who it seems the Bears simply couldn’t cover.

Offense

      1. Dowell Loggains apparently decided to quiet critics by running the ball more.  The first 3 plays and 10 of the first 12 plays were runs.  They ran the ball 22 of 31 total plays in the first half and were very successful at over 6 yards per rush.It was really nice to watch Howard run today as he broke the Bears rookie rushing record.  He broke tackles everywhere and ran with great vision.
      2. The Vikings evidently decided to let Xavier Rhoades cover Jeffery man-to-man.  The Bears tried to take advantage but Barkley and Jeffery had trouble getting on the same page.
      3. Had a great time watching the pass from former college quarterback turned receiver Cam Meredith to current quarterback Matt Barkley.  Some how I don’t see them risking that with Jay Cutler.  In any case, it’s the kind of fun play you run to keep everyone interested in the end of a crappy season.
      4. The Bears frequently looked to me like they weren’t concentrating and offensively they just weren’t always on the same page.  But there  were a couple of plays where Vikings ran right past Bears blockers to disrupt plays in the backfield that were especially bothersome.One was a miss of Eric Kendricks, where he ran right past tight end Daniel Brown in the red zone to disrupt a play.  Everson Giffen disrupted a Howard fourth down run that ultimately didn’t make it after running right by Charles Leno.  This supposedly was a missed block by Cameron Meredith but in any case Griffen was barely touched.

        These plays were either poorly designed, poorly executed or both.  They were very costly and very annoying.

Miscellaneous

      1. Dick Stockton, David Diehl, and Kristina Pink were your announcers.  I didn’t think they added anything special to the broadcast.  But I won’t say that they injured it, either.  Sometimes I guess you have to just be happy with that.
      2. Not a good day for Bears special teams.  Marcus Sherels had a 36 yard punt return to the Chicago 42.  Braylon Addison fumbled a punt late in the first half in Bears territory.  That set up a Viking touchdown.Deonte Thompson did have a very nice 60 yard kick return with 9 seconds left in the first half.  That set up a field goal.
      3. Drops weren’t a major issue.
      4. Six penalties for 49 yards isn’t a terrible game but it wasn’t good, given that the Vikings only had 2.Willie Young was off sides near the goal line early in the second quarter.  The Bears held but it could have been pretty damaging.

        The Bears sustained a long drive at the end of the first half for a touchdown despite a couple of holding calls on Bobby Massie and Josh Sitton.  Part of me was disgusted and part of me was glad to see them over come the problems to score.

      5. Very disappointing to see Matt Barkley throw an interception at the goal line on only his second pass of the game.   The pass was under thrown and behind Alshon Jeffery.  He followed that with another one in the red zone on the first drive of the second half. Both were his fault and both took points off the board.  Finally, he had a fumble in the fourth quarter that was returned for a touchdown.It was critical for Barkley to adjust after miserable showings the two previous games to demonstrate that he could protect the football.  If there’s one thing John Fox won’t put up with, its turnovers from his quarterback.  Barkley may not be back in any capacity next year.  Frankly, I don’t think he should.

        Jeremy Langford did his future no good by fumbling early in the second quarter in Bears territory.  The Vikings turned it into a touchdown.

        The Bears did (finally) get one back as Cre’Von LeBlanc did pick one off in the end zone.

      6. It isn’t very hard to figure this one out, boys and girls.  You can’t turn the ball over like this and win football games.The Bears keep saying that effort isn’t a problem.  Great.  But does it matter if you can’t play smart?

        Sorry.  It’s not brilliant analysis.  It’s just the truth.

 

In Defense of John Fox

The easiest thing to do as the Bears wrap up what is currently a three win season is to call for a new head coach.  Steve Rosenbloom at the Chicago Tribune has basically been making his living doing it for weeks.  Here’s the most recent example:

[John] Fox always says this is a production-based business, but his production is worse than Rex Ryan and Jeff Fisher, two coaches who have already been fired and still have more wins than Fox.”

It’s not Rosenbloom’s job to be a balanced observer and so its not a surprise that he would constantly write such things (over and over again).

Fox is dealing with a complete tear down of the Bears roster that lacked cohesion and was full of front runners when he arrived, something that could be said of neither Ryan nor Fisher.

To a segment of the population, I’m sure this is entertaining and, after all, that’s really what Rosenbloom is there for.

But when Mike Mulligan, also at the Tribune, starts to imply that maybe replacing Fox wouldn’t be a bad thing, you sit up and take more notice.

“Belief is not a permanent state. Without it, a program is lost. So you have to establish it, nurture it and nourish it. If anyone in town still believes in Fox, well, let’s just say they’re waiting for a thunderbolt to strike.

“If the emperor isn’t entirely unclothed, he’s certainly nearing an inappropriate state of undress.”

Perhaps this makes me a fool but I still believe.

It would be totally unfair to let him Fox before he had the chance to prove that he can help build the talent back up from scratch.  But life isn’t fair and I’m not suggesting that Fox should be retained simply because he’s should be allowed to be in a better position before the decision is made.  I’m suggesting that he should be retained because he’s simply a better head coach than anyone else the Bears would possibly hope to hire.

For years this franchise labored under head coach Lovie Smith.  Smith was a good head coach and he had a knack for getting the most out of his players.  But he lacked one thing and it was a fatal flaw – he wasn’t connected enough around the league to attract a top notch coaching staff.

In fact, there were times when you wondered if Smith passed up better candidates for those who wouldn’t threaten his job if they did well.  But more likely, he was like everyone else.  He wanted friendly people that he knew and trusted like Bob Babich rather then more talented coordinators like, for instance, Ron Rivera, who he let walk away rather than re-hire after the Bears last Super Bowl run.

This is the mark of a good head coach.  He manages players but, perhaps even more important, he coaches the coaches.  Fox is much better connected around the league and, as a result, has attracted a top notch coaching staff.

Adam Gase could have gone anywhere after he failed to get a head coaching position in 2015.  He stayed with Fox.  Fox attracated the best defensive coordinator on the market in Vic Fangio along with a wonderfully talented group of assistants.

Neither Smith nor a number of other current head coaches including Gase could have put together such a staff.

Fox evidently has to make a decision on offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.  Rather than look outside after Gase left, he chose to promote a young, promising coordinator from within in the same way that he hired Gase and Mike McCoy before him.  Whether Fox keeps Loggains or lets him go, I’m history tells me he’ll make the right decision.  And if he lets him go, history tells that he’ll be able to attract a good candidate to replace him.

How many other franchises can say that about their head coach?