Unless Bears' fans patience matches the Cubs, Fox right coach at wrong time

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by hoodey, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. hoodey

    hoodey Veteran
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    "And the New York Knicks lose to the Milwaukee Bucks 95-79 to go to 5-36 on the season..."

    That's what I think about when I think about ignoring father time. When I think about the fact that athletic primes are so short, and that league rules are often built to erode the talent of top teams in an effort to create parody, I can't help but think of the unfortunate incentive built into pro sports.

    There is a high incentive to lose intentionally. You have even seen teams trying to curtail this after the draft that netted the Knicks Patrick Ewing and helped impose a draft lottery. But even with some built-in ways to curtail intentional losing, it still goes on and teams are still trying to "suck for Luck."

    Of course, there is a problem that can occur that has everything to do with bad general managers and nothing to do with the virtues of the occasional tank fest. If you go in the tank for too long, and if you fail with a few high picks, two years can become four and four can go on forever. Look at the Los Angeles Clippers.

    The Knicks are the other extreme to tanking with no end. As Patrick Ewing's career was coming to an end, and even as they were going to the Finals without Ewing, the Knicks entered this mentality of "sure, we may have lottery picks, but we're going to trade for this big name or sign that mega free agent."

    The quick fix!

    And where has it gotten them? They're awful even with Carmelo Anthony (to be fair, Anthony's marketing persona may eclipse his actual ability to help a team win more than anyone since Tracy McGrady) and there is really no end in site.

    Now, the Bears are not the Knicks. No one is that awful at running an organization without direction. That said, there is a problem here.

    The NFL has built in measures that erode your talent. The first obvious measure is the fact that team changing difference makers, usually at left tackle, defensive line, cornerback and quarterback are usually gone by the middle of the first round. Can you find a difference maker? Yes. But the guys with the mega elite measurables are gone, and it's a matter of whether the tackle you choose with pretty good measurables will be boom or bust. This is particularly true at QB. The guys who are sure fire, can't miss prospects are gone by the 3rd pick in most cases. Yes, you can get Aaron Rodgers later in the first round. At a higher rate, Rex Grossman or Brady Quinn will be what you get.

    The benefit of a pick in the top 5-10 is that if the QB you're looking at looks more like Akili Smith or Ryan Leaf than consensus future greats like Manning or Luck, there are usually very appetizing options there at a power position like corner, offensive tackle or defensive line.

    The Bears roster

    The Bears have guys that I expect a saavy veteran coach could put together into chicken salad in an effort to appease fans with a 9-7 season in which the team backs into a wild card and then drafts 18th.

    Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long, Kyle Fuller, Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton are all players who would be accepted as legitimate future entities by any team.

    But Sean Payton or Bill Belichick could probably get something out of Brandon Marshall, Jared Allen, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte, Jeremiah Ratliff, Jermon Bushrod, Stephen Paea, Matt Slauson and even Jay Cutler. Wherever these guys fall on the range of whether or not they put out or have put out for a winning effort, I have no doubt that there is enough "there" there that these guys are the "talent" that fans who were pro the last six years were talking about.

    The problem? On opening day of the 2017 season, only Stephen Paea will be under the age of 30. Many of those players are already 30. Chronologically, there is a big gap in talent between Alshon Jeffery and guys who were coming into the league when Matt Forte was drafted.

    There's a problem when you have six guys that any team would really want to play a role of much consequence who will still be in business for the foreseeable future, barring injury, in 2017. That usually means that if you have really good drafting, you probably need not only this years 7th pick, but two more top ten picks, and then to hit on those picks to have a future of sustained success. And that's in addition to getting outright steals and good picks in later rounds.

    The fear that has to be there if you're being reasonable is that Fox will get this team to 8-8 next season, then you'll be drafting in the mid teens and then higher, and then in two years with this teams roster is screwed even more, when these guys do fall off the ledge, the media will be chiming in with "well, this was always going to happen, we all knew that. Everyone knew that this team was going to have a huge chunk fall off the ledge following the 2016 season or sooner than that."

    The problem I have is that that's not what's being sold now. The Bears can win now. And the reason we're being told they can was given by Wayne Randazo the other night. It's because the owners/management wants to. They can want anything under the sun and there is still reality.

    The Fear

    I'm never going to sit here and tell you that John Fox is Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron or Marc Trestman. He's at least as good as Lovie Smith.. Well, there's the issue of him having only 3 winning seasons in 9 years in Carolina and of his record being barely above .500 there, by even less than Smith's was in Chicago, but don't let facts and reality screw up a good sales job. That said, he's good. He won't have Shea McClellin fiascos happening on his watch and if there's a guy from the group of guys who can keep Cutler from being so so... Cutler, then Fox is in that group.

    He may not be Phil Jackson, but he's probably Doug Collins without the nervous breakdowns that would get Collins fired.

    My fear is that this is Collins or Jackson being brought in to coach the 1985 Bulls, not the teams from the late 80s or the 1990 team Jackson inherited. Fox may be coming into a scenario where back to back losing seasons will have a backlash far greater than it should when you consider where the roster realistically is upon his arrival.

    Let's pause. There are very logical reasons to dislike the McCaskey's and Ted Phillips. For example. What are the potential benefits of Pace or the new GM reporting to Phillips. Zero. You literally can't name one. The potential harm can be measured in the next couple of offseasons. Nobody in the league was calling Pace a coveted genius. If there are guys like that who are hired next year and what you hear is, "well, this guy didn't come out last year because the jobs that were open didn't bring this caliber of guys out of the incubator," then you will be seeing a huge drawback of Phillips presence.

    But, there are also reasons not to hate the McCaskeys and Phillips. And, if they are bringing Fox in saying, "yes, we'd like to win now, but if you do what's better to get us closer to a Super Bowl in 2017 and beyond, we have your back," and then you have meatheads who hated Theo's losing chiming in with "this is the meathead reason I hate these people, why are we 6-10," then that's your reason not to hate them. This team should go 6-10 for a couple years.

    Let's pause again. There are ways to do that. You can cut Marshall and ship Cutler for nothing and even if everyone tries hard, you probably still lose. You can lose and make it look good. And that's exactly why SF made the choice they did in a location and organization that is more desirable than the Bears. They know that the party is over and it's time to either have a miracle happen with the new guy, or if they lose, everyone will say, "who was that coach anyway."

    So, my preference would have been to lose, draft well, and then two years from today make a hire like Fox. If you have to wait three for a guy like that, great. If you get into this loser mentality that, "well, the Chicago Bears will never be able to get a coach like that again," you have a bigger problem.

    So the gauntlet laid down is this. If Ryan Pace is Carmen Policy all over again and Fox wins Super Bowls because the Richard Sherman and Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman quality draft picks just rain from the heavens, awesome. This commentator will love it. However, if reality is what happens and they don't take the shortsighted approach of sacrificing the future for a fools gold 9-7 or even 10-6 season... if there are two losing seasons under a coach like Fox, so long as it looks like they finally are ready to bust out in 2017, can you be patient? Can you handle two losing seasons under John Fox?

    If so, great. They'll get Shane Ray or Dante Fowler, another corner or maybe a linebacker that looks like a difference maker with a top ten pick and if Gunner Kiel is looking as legit as it looks like he might look coming out in the 2016 or 2017 draft, you probably get him too. Then this team could be ready to make some noise.

    If not, I fear it may be more of this half hearted starting over while also trying to win now out of the other side of your mouth crap that we've been dealing with since Jim Finks left.
     
  2. B-ell-y-iot

    B-ell-y-iot Veteran
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    I don't buy this argument, it's way too simplistic. Drafting Maxims
    With every success story in the top ten there are an equal number of fails. There are always good players later in the round.
    Trading draft picks for players OR draft picks to move up rarely yields success.
    Draftees typically need to be surrounded by a strong supporting cast of players to feel success and build confidence.

    Teams that try to bottom out and build solely through the draft rarely succeed because of those efforts - there is another quality in place. Consider perennial fails like the Raiders or the Titans who always have top picks but rarely are able to win and then consider teams like New England and Pittsburgh and Baltimore who rarely have top ten picks but always seem to win.

    Drafting can help - but it's not just about having top ten picks - it's about drafting well and not sacrificing your picks and making other stupid decisions and it's about having an environment of success that young players can learn in and fail in without feeling like failures.

    So you think we should hire a poor head coach so we can lose now which gives us more potential to win later?

    Dude, that's a terrible idea. There's no promise of winning later. There's no promise that our top ten picks are going to be studs and there's no promise that two or three years from now we're going to get a head coach who's worth a damn especially if the organization is stuck in shit.

    Look around the league, HC candidates are turning down interviews with organizations who they know they'll fail at. Why would a talented HC take on a perennial loser of an organization?

    No, you take the best coach available who can help you pick the best talent in the draft and who has a clear vision for success and you build around him. If he fails in three years, you try again. Hopefully, in that next effort you have better players who have more confidence in their organization.
     
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  3. hoodey

    hoodey Veteran
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    You'll never convince me that better players are available later in the first round than in the top. Are there flops at the top? Of course. Usually it's because they're getting away with something in college that won't work in the NFL.

    Of course you have to draft well overall, but lower picks means you must now be even better.

    So if Detroit succeeds beyond this year, then what? Look if you draft great top to bottom of course you can sustain success. If you get Tom Brady late, you can be awesome.

    Thing is, the bears have been trying to win now forever and still haven't done crap. If this attempt goes how I say it will and I telegraph it for you, will you listen then?

    I'm fine with the fox hire, I just hope the bears won't get farther from a Super Bowl for a few more wins
     
  4. Billy Murray

    Billy Murray Veteran
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    This past season the Bear's as an entire team seemed to quit, but that is merely perception. I think you are discounting some very talented players that any NFL team would love to have. It doesn't take a Sean Payton (who's stock fell after the past season) or a Bill Belichick to "probably get something out of" the players you listed above. B.Marsh, M.Forte, J.Raitliff, M.Slauson and J.Bushrod are consummate professionals that have performed at a high level throughout their career. M.Bennett and S.Paea are just coming into their own. Not sure what to think about J.Allen (my hope is he was miscast & will bounce back) and Jay Cutler is an enigma. I have no doubt all (but maybe 3 I'm unsure of) would perform at a very high level under any coach on any team.....I mean they did so playing for the 7th worst team in the NFL last year.
     
  5. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas
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    Sadly, Bears need a bad year or three to get top picks to replace the old, beaten and broken players..... and they need to hit on each of their first three picks at bare minimum. All need to be starters
     
  6. hoodey

    hoodey Veteran
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    Martellus Bennett will be past his 30th birthday at the start of the 2017 season. I think he and Paea will have some good days beyond opening day 2017, but who else will still be an asset going into the future. This was the problem with Tillman and Briggs. When it was time to plan for their descent out of their prime, the Bears and so many fans just seemed to think that they'd play in prime form until they were 45.

    We can go 9-7 maybe 10-6 with who we have here. Think different? Bet me. If I'm wrong, I'll cop to it and listen to you with much greater deference into the future. If I'm right, could you do the same? Or much like the voices that told everyone to shut up about Grossman not being the answer or the Cutler trade being a bad idea, will you be back to tell me why the "we can do it" way is the only way to think?

    I think we can keep Jeffery, Long, Fuller, Ferguson, Sutton, Paea and Bennett as blocks for the 2017 season. And, in the meantime, we can lose more and gain going into 2017.

    Why? Pay attention really closely so you don't think I'm saying something I'm not saying at all.

    You can cut the bad weight.. cut or trade Cutler either after this season or next, waive the cancerous Marshall, and that right there... the instability of brand new answers at those positions... that will be enough for you to lose. So, Fox has these guys try hard and he doesn't get blinded by talent in the draft and draft headcases... you can lose that way and still try hard. Then, after this draft, next draft and the draft after.. you are playing the same way, but with not only DE Fowler from Florida and maybe a linebacker, safety and running back in this draft, but with Gunner Kiel and others.

    Or, we can do things the opposite way and I'll bet you we'll still have a roster that is screwed in two years, still have gotten no closer to a Super Bowl than we were with Lovie POST the acquisition of Jay, and still be wondering where we are going.. and all the while with that good ole "we can do it" delusional homerism that served Cub nation so well from 1908 until Theo's arrival.
     
  7. Billy Murray

    Billy Murray Veteran
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    I see your point. Looking at the players named and their ages will they really be able to offer the Bears much 2-3 years down the road. I could've missed this due to my short attention span and the length of your post, so I'm getting you back with a long post of my own ;-)

    I am hopeful they can turn it around quicker without looking like the Raiders for a couple more years.

    You can call this a delusional Cub fan characteristic but I don't buy the baseball comparison. The NFL has no minor leagues. Outside of the QB position and some O Lineman, nearly every solid player comes into the NFL ready-made and don't need years to languish in a farm system to be difference makers. This is even more true on the defensive side of the ball. Also unlike the MLB, the NFL does nat have the same trading market. It's not as if the Bears are going to put a package of B.Marsh, Forte, Slauson, and Raitliff together to get a bevy of young talent and picks back. It's simply not possible in the NFL.

    There are always teams every season in the NFL that have quick turn arounds. My hope is that the team was so dysfunctional we actually have more talent than it appears. Better coaching smart free-agency pickups and a solid draft can put the Bears in position to contend. A 9-7 or 10-6 season would be a a very acceptable outcome from 4-12 and would mean we had an influx of young players that panned out with which to build upon. Solid drafts are how good teams are built and it doesn't matter as much where you draft but who you draft (see Oakland Raiders).

    I don't see Marshall as a cancer. Obviously, there is no easy answer to Jay Cutler coming off the year he had and his contract - what he would fetch in a trade (if anything)? Trading him when his value is at an all time low - not smart. Cutting him leaves us with what?

    I've never seen a Marino, Favre, Manning, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, even a Rothlesberger on the Bears in my lifetime - I'm not holding my breath. Can't miss QBs aren't ever traded or available FAs except in their twilight (Favre, Montana, Manning) when a team is sold on their replacement. So we cut all our older talent that may be on decline in 2-3 years to be in Tampa Bays position with the top pick so we can pick a QB that may or may not turn out?
     
    #7 Billy Murray, Jan 18, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  8. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas
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    That's because we've only had one, EVER!!
     
  9. hoodey

    hoodey Veteran
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    Ok so the raiders is NOT what mj saying... I'm saying go young cut the fat and don't make a move until you're ready. The raiders way is .... Draft guys with the best combine numbers, even if they're headcases, don't watch their film, don't have a draft plan, trade for players who are big names past their primes and then wonder where the years went
     
  10. Ski-Whiz

    Ski-Whiz George Halas
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    Reading this I instantly remember Rocket Ismail.. lol He WAS fast... And that's where I end talking about talent.. :lolsign:
     

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