Chicago Bears: Time to Question the Offseason Moves?


When the Chicago Bears hired Ryan Pace, it was supposed to be a change for the good. The team traded away vocal veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, allowed veteran cornerback Charles Tillman to leave in free agency and sign with the Panthers, and a whole new coaching staff was built, headlined by the hiring of John Fox from Denver.

Through two weeks of the 2015 regular season, it may be time to bring all those moves into question. First and foremost, with Jay Cutler injured, the first question to ask is why did the team hang onto Jimmy Clausen?

Back in June, new offensive coordinator Adam Gase said Clausen fit “perfect” for what the team was trying to do offensively, but on Sunday, Clausen and the offense looked like a perfect disaster.

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Apparently, Clausen impressed Gase on tape during his one start last season that the team thought he was the best fit to backup Cutler, instead of a guy like David Fales who played very well in the preseason.

With Clausen, you’re getting a veteran but one with a very low ceiling. Fales is a young quarterback who has shown some signs of understanding the offense and presents the opportunity for the coaching staff to develop him, unlike Clausen.

At the time, trading Brandon Marshall looked like the right move. He was vocal in the locker room and not always the greatest teammate, but he certainly was productive. Marshall made Alshon Jeffery look better on the field because he attracted more defensive attention, allowing Jeffery to get more looks from Cutler.

So when the team traded him, how did they replace Marshall? They used their first-round draft pick on Kevin White out of West Virginia (we know his story) and signed Eddie Royal  who has 8 receptions for 49 yards in two games.

The team’s defense went through an extreme makeover which was led by the signing of Pernell McPhee who was supposed to be the premier pass rush for this defense.

In the preseason it looked as if there were too many pass rushers on this team, but in two games, the defense hasn’t recorded a single sack. Only three teams: Bears, Raiders, and Colts (who play on Monday night) have yet to record a sack.

New defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was brought in from San Francisco where he had an outstanding defense and was supposed to help rebuild this unit but after two games, what has Fangio, McPhee, or anyone done to help improve? What’s even more eye-opening than the lack of sacks, is the overall lack of production as a whole.

The defense has two tackles for loss through two games and not a single quarterback hit. Turnovers and a bad offense will lose games, but if you allow the opposing quarterbacks all day, the results will continue to be losses.

In the same breath about a lack of pass rush, this team’s secondary has been awful, which brings to question the moves of letting Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings go on to other teams.

Tillman may be easier to understand, he was coming off of a torn triceps injury for two consecutive seasons and is aging, but his presence on the field and in the locker room is certainly missed. More so than anything, Tillman could currently be teaching and mentoring the struggling Kyle Fuller.

The same goes for Tim Jennings, he was a veteran presence in the locker room who had struggled with his play during the preseason, but leaving Kyle Fuller all alone with Alan Ball on the opposite is simply not working. These two veterans are missed and the secondary has been quite the embarrassment through two games.

Not every single move was bad this off-season, just the lack of production has called for the pointing out of many moves that were made. However, if you’re looking for a bright spot, look at Antrel Rolle. He’s got 10 tackles through two games, but it was what he did during Sunday’s game against Arizona, that not many are talking about that stood out. As the team went down big against the Cardinals, Rolle was seen on the sidelines huddling up with the entire defensive unit and giving them a rally speech.

Even more impressive, the newcomer Rolle  hasn’t stepped off the field since the regular season began.

The offense seemed to be flowing with Cutler at quarterback, even without a fully healthy Alshon Jeffery, but now with Cutler out and the offense likely to rely on others, Bears fans have plenty to be worried about.

As the season continues to progress, continue to ask yourself about the aforementioned moves, and which players were really worth getting rid of.

Chicago Bears football is ugly through just two games and change was supposed to do this franchise good. Instead, this team is on the verge of yet again, being another laughing-stock around the league and preparing themselves to be at the top of the 2016 NFL Draft order.

Next: Can The Bears Survive Without Jay Cutler?

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