Earlier today, we looked at one group of NFL analysts guessing that the Bears would wind up with the first overall pick in the 2019 Draft … or, in other words, they’re saying they’ll be the worst team in football next season.
We didn’t quite buy those projections, for various reasons, but, hey, these things are subjective and everyone’s got an opinion. But while it’s entirely possible that the 2018 season will be yet another disappointment filled year … it might just go the other way, too.
And the Philadelphia Eagles could be a source of inspiration.
After bottoming out with a head coach whose scheme wasn’t working, the Eagles re-branded themselves with an Andy Reid disciple calling the shots with a franchise quarterback, and a strong defense. Two seasons into his coaching career, Doug Pederson was hoisting the Lombardi trophy and Philadelphia was hosting a championship parade celebrating the franchise’s first Super Bowl win.
So who’s got next?
Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz of USA Today offers up four teams that can follow an Eagles-like blueprint, leaving the loser label behind for a taste of postseason football. And guess what, the Chicago Bears are one of those teams.
Despite coming of four consecutive seasons in which the team reached double digits in defeats, the Bears have some things going for them. A new coach in Matt Nagy, who, like Pederson, is a former Andy Reid assistant, who is teaming with an experienced defensive mind with Vic Fangio playing the role of Jim Schwartz. As for the players on the field, have a young, developing quarterback in Mitch Trubisky, some solid running back options in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
The cupboard isn’t completely bare, but to say this team has many vertical options in the passing game would be an overstatement. Even if the Bears add some offensive firepower, Nagy is still mostly unproven as a play-caller and Trubisky doesn’t even have a full season as a starter under his belt. There could still be some bumpy roads ahead for the Bears offense early in the Nagy/Trubisky era.
OK, so maybe this all looks a little more like the Rams plan with the firing of an old-school defensive-minded head coach to be replaced by a young, relatively inexperienced head coach tasked with modernizing an NFL offense while developing a top quarterback prospect in his second year.
In any case, there’s a framework to follow for the Bears in 2018 and they’re in a much better position to attack it now than they were a year ago at this time.