For as much as the Chicago Bears have struggled, the team is only five years from its last winning season, seven years removed from an appearance in the NFC title game, and 11 years removed from a Super Bowl appearance.
To be clear, that’s a significant amount of time between being a success. Things could always be worse, I suppose. Take the Cleveland Browns, for example:
An NFL owner at an introductory press conference for a new GM just had to answer questions about a coaching search at a school he financially supports and a company he helped build that is involved in a federal case. That’s gotta be a first
— Anthony Lima (@SportsBoyTony) December 8, 2017
Might as well get your jokes in on the Browns now because Cleveland made a stealth hire on Thursday night when the team named John Dorsey the General Manager. Yep, that happened less than 12 hours after they fired Sashi Brown.
Dorsey spent four years as the Kansas City Chiefs GM before parting ways in June. The Chiefs drafted very well under Dorsey, which bodes well for a Browns team loaded with picks in the top 100 in the 2018 NFL Draft.
- Like the Browns, the Bears have (or at least should have) their eyes on the 2018 NFL Draft. Adam Hoge of WGN Radio locks in on 10 draft prospects to watch during bowl season. Hoge’s list features wide receivers, defensive backs, offensive linemen, pass rushers, and even running backs. Considering the Bears’ 3-9 record, there isn’t a position group (save for quarterback) that won’t be considered for an upgrade.
- Between draft prospect watch and coaching rumors, we’ll have our hands full in the days, weeks, and months to come. Short-term, we’ll continue to keep an eye on Matt Nagy’s play calling in Kansas City with the long-haul in mind. Alex Smith threw four touchdown passes and the Chiefs offense put up 31 points, albeit in a loss to the New York Jets. Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports Nagy will continue in his role as play caller. The second-year offensive coordinator popped up as a candidate the Bears could consider if/when the team moves on from John Fox.
- The reporters of ESPN’s NFL Nation ranked the job security of each of the league’s head coaches … and the Bears’ coach sits atop the list among the hottest of hot seats. Jeff Dickerson writes “there’s a real chance he leaves town with fewer victories than [Marc Trestman].” That would be a rough look if Fox finishes with fewer wins in three seasons than Trestman had in two.
- On the field, the Bears continue to battle injuries. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes the injury riddled Bears are so short-handed, they can’t even use these games to get a feel for what they have in some of their younger players. Last week, safety Chris Prosinski and Lamarr Houston received significant playing time in their season debuts with the Bears. That happened, in part, because outside linebacker Isaiah Irving is on injured reserve and safeties Deon Bush and Deiondre’ Hall were on the mend. Bush was off the injury report by the end of the week, while Hall played a handful of special teams snaps. Both of those players could take playing time from Prosinski on Sunday against the Bengals.
- On the other side of the ball, Bears wide receiver Dontrelle Inman landed on Pro Football Weekly’s list of unlikely fantasy heroes you might want to take a shot with this week. Inman has been Mitch Trubisky’s most targeted wide receiver, has played on at least 83 percent of the team’s offensive snaps since joining the Bears – including 92 percent of the snaps in three of the four games. An injured Bengals secondary could be ripe for the picking for Inman.
- A few years ago, Jeremy Langford was a fantasy savior of sorts during his rookie season. Now, he’s a journeyman. Langford signed with the New York Jets practice squad on Friday.
- The Bears aren’t in a position to not be scanning the waiver wire for help, especially at wide receiver. Kenny Britt was a non-factor for the Cleveland Browns this season, but is not even a calendar year removed from gaining 1,000 receiving yards with the Los Angeles Rams. The Browns placed Britt on waivers, which means a team could claim him and the remainder of his salary. It’s more likely he clears waivers and becomes a free agent. Without going too deep on a player who might (or might not) be on the Bears’ radar, just know this team could do worse at reciver.
- Aaron Rodgers has caught the eye of his head coach with how he has practiced. Mike McCarthy is pleased with how things are going as Rodgers works his way back from a broken collarbone. “[H]e was just doing things a lot quicker than I think all of us would anticipate,” McCarthy said, via PackersNews.com. “The training staff has done a great job, he’s done a great job, and he looks like himself. He’s back there slinging it around and throwing with great velocity. His recovery has been impressive.”
- Perhaps we were onto something when we mulled over the idea of a Josh McCown reunion last offseason:
At 38 years old and playing for his 11th professional team, Josh McCown is having the best season of his career. pic.twitter.com/FpWsZkKkXp
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 8, 2017