The Chicago Bears and the collective consciousness of fans, media and follower-trolls can only hope (well, maybe not the trolls) that Sunday’s 29-7 loss to Tampa Bay is as bad as it gets in 2017.
Well, maybe not. I guess it all depends on your perception of things. For many Bears faithful seeing the Buccaneers nearly blank the so-called Monsters of the Midway, force turnover after turnover (4 in the first half) and completely undress the wanna be starting quarterback Mike Glennon is as good a development as there is — another signal that a top-five building piece is to come in the 2018 NFL draft, one to join the One True Quarterback of the Future, Mitchell Trubisky, who’s much awaited debut is right around the corner now. Right…
Well, that brings me to our first take this week.
John Fox Could Give a F$#k What You Think
I’d rather that not be a general statement — hopefully he’s not a jerk like that — but it applies specifically to the quarterback situation, which looked so elementary during Glennon’s Last Stand. Chicago in its entirety is done with this bridge QB nonsense, but Fox, as secure of a lame-duck coach as there ever been, essentially said that the nonsense has only begun.
A lot can change from now to next Sunday but you have to feel that unless someone pulls a Tonya Harding job on Glennon’s knee then we’re going to see Sir Longneck continue to be No. 1 on the depth chart and No. 6238 or so in our hearts.
Why is this so? Well, coach Fox has even less urgency to turn this Bears team into a winner than the average fan. Whereas us fans are fine with slodging thru another horrible season in order to get another possible transcendent talent out of college, Fox knows he won’t even coach that next draft pick.
Fox is a man who’s been in semi-retirement since being hired in January 2015, at the time the only respectable coach to whom a franchise who throws all its money in the wrong places can put its investment and seem like it’s being forward thinking. Instead the Bears just provided a soft landing spot for Fox to sputter out his somewhat respectable head coaching career.
The Bears took away Fox’s streak of not having two consecutive losing seasons (remember when that was a thing?) and in return he’s given them a 9-25 stewardship after today’s mess. Why would you expect him to be proactive in inserting anything close to positive energy into this, what has to be his last season as Bears coach?
Anything close to encouragement — for Trubisky and for the Bears’ future as a whole — will not be coming with John Fox as head coach. He’s out to lunch and his team is being left with the bill.
So That’s Why They Got Rid of Him
It couldn’t have been more evident Sunday afternoon why Tampa Bay gave less of a damn if Mike Glennon was on their roster for the 2017 season.
It was less evident why the Bears felt it necessary to sign Glennon to a contract that gave him $16 million dollars for this season. It sort of fits the Bears’ way of doing things though.
Glennon is a quarterback who before the season proclaimed this year as “his” in that sort of way that supposed Alpha Males like to proclaim any frame of future time available to them, any opportunity that allows them to prove who they really are. Equipped with a fresh bag and the confidence of the oldest NFL franchise, he had reason to feel that way. Well, not anymore.
Regardless of what his coach says, Glennon is as much of a lame duck as said coach, even more so because it’s nothing for an NFL team to switch QBs mid season as opposed to coaches. And as he’ll become painfully aware this week by just living in Chicago — football fans don’t want much to do with him anymore.
He can go back to being a reserve, let him be the richest reserve in the NFL, cause he for damn sure isn’t an NFL starter. An NFL starter doesn’t flop like he does in front of the team that put him on the scrap heap, an NFL starter has much more pride than that, an NFL starter doesn’t even have to dip into their reservoir of pride in such a situation, they’d have gotten by on their skill, guile and intensity to at least compete. None of those qualities were seen Sunday.
For Glennon, the first time he had to make a tough throw he proved himself to be outmatched, the first time he had the ball stripped from him he was ready to go home, and so were we.
Really? I don’t know. Does it matter? A loss is a loss and this Bears team has to just feel this one.
Nothing should encourage them, they should know that they did their worst and that they indeed survived it. They know they could play better, Week 1 showed them that. Other times they’re just going to be behind the eight ball because their on-field and sideline leadership is woefully inadequate right now.
Effort and execution are the first two things the Bears’ have to become acquainted with it they’re going to compete again. Skill will increase with more reps as will intellect.
Tarik Cohen won’t make a play worse than he did in muffing the first quarter punt return that led to Tampa’s first touchdown and set the tone for the afternoon, he just can’t.
And if he doesn’t make that play, who knows? Maybe the Bears’ somehow drive up the field and tie the game at 3-3 or even take an 7-3 lead that drastically changes the trajectory of the game.
Trajectory means everything in the NFL, each game is just a string of plays being put together by each side with an aim of having the best set of plays within each 60 minutes. The more bad plays you keep out your string, the better your chances of winning.
Good football always has a sense of the divine, mostly because it in part comes accidentally, it’s all in the moment. Bad football exists without you even knowing it and it has to be unlearned before any advances are made.
Look at the Bears and look at who is teaching now and who is inspiring — they’re either old and out of it (Fox), completely unequipped for the job (Glennon) or very much inexperienced (linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, tasked with play calling on that side of the ball). That’s how you get a result like Sunday’s.
Change will come, it just won’t be soon, it will be a very deliberate process. Some headlines this week will have you think it’s one substitution away but don’t believe that hype, don’t believe it anymore than you can believe Glennon could make an 11-yard throw on a 3rd and 10.
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