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Bears Must Acknowledge What They Are: Bad.

e6d50a12c068be89060c5271a6241ef0?s=16&d= Jeff Hughes | September 13th, 2021

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Justin Fields should be the starting quarterback Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Not because of anything Andy Dalton did Sunday night. Dalton was Dalton. He dinked. He dunked. He took no chances. He made several mistakes.

No, Justin Fields should start Sunday because the Bears must look at what transpired in Los Angeles and recognize where they are as a franchise. They’re a bad team. They don’t have top-tier weapons on offense. They don’t have a professional secondary. They don’t have an elite coaching staff. The ceiling for this group is mediocre and the more likely outcome is bottom third of the league.

The focus of this organization must shift from the futile endeavor winning games in 2021 to doing everything possible to get Fields ready for 2022. Every day that shift is delayed is wasted time.

Is this difficult for a franchise to do? Yes. Teams delude themselves to sleep each night with visions of the Lombardi Trophy dancing in their brains. But is it necessary for the Bears to do? Absolutely.

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I think we can use this post and thread to collectively offer our ongoing opinions on how this season should play out but Jeff Hughes is right.  No matter what Pace and Nagy may say they can't hide facts.  This is not a good team and they have to be accountable for that now, not later.

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It's kind of a scatterbrained thing there, from Jeff Hughes...not saying he's totally wrong...but is that a fragment of an article, or a tweet, or what?

Anyway, first of all, @Bowler1215 is absolutely right...there is now way in hell that Nagy should have been allowed to be the offensive playcaller again. That edict should have come down from Pace, and it should have been firm.

But if Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn can't do anything to help this football team...then they need to be on the bench.

Period.

Put in younger players--and the Bears do have those--at those positions who can, maybe, actually make plays. Sure, the secondary wasn't great--but we expected that might be the case, especially early on. 

If there is no pass rush, the defense can't function. If the starters can't generate pass rush, then other possibilities MUST be explored. I'm not giving up, I'm simply saying a short leash must but applied. 

Edited by Heinz D.
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29 minutes ago, Heinz D. said:

It's kind of a scatterbrained thing there, from Jeff Hughes...not saying he's totally wrong...but is that a fragment of an article, or a tweet, or what?

Anyway, first of all, @Bowler1215 is absolutely right...there is now way in hell that Nagy should have been allowed to be the offensive playcaller again. That edict should have come down from Pace, and it should have been firm.

But if Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn can't do anything to help this football team...then they need to be on the bench.

Period.

Put in younger players--and the Bears do have those--at those positions who can, maybe, actually make plays. Sure, the secondary wasn't great--but we expected that might be the case, especially early on. 

If there is no pass rush, the defense can't function. If the starters can't generate pass rush, then other possibilities MUST be explored. I'm not giving up, I'm simply saying a short leash must but applied. 

I don't disagree with any of this, bad play by players needs to be put on notice. It's to much of the same over the last few seasons.

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3 hours ago, Heinz D. said:

It's kind of a scatterbrained thing there, from Jeff Hughes...not saying he's totally wrong...but is that a fragment of an article, or a tweet, or what?

Anyway, first of all, @Bowler1215 is absolutely right...there is now way in hell that Nagy should have been allowed to be the offensive playcaller again. That edict should have come down from Pace, and it should have been firm.

But if Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn can't do anything to help this football team...then they need to be on the bench.

Period.

Put in younger players--and the Bears do have those--at those positions who can, maybe, actually make plays. Sure, the secondary wasn't great--but we expected that might be the case, especially early on. 

If there is no pass rush, the defense can't function. If the starters can't generate pass rush, then other possibilities MUST be explored. I'm not giving up, I'm simply saying a short leash must but applied. 

In defense of Jeff Hughes how much more was there to say?  Right now the Bears are a bad very poorly coached team.

As for playcalling I don't believe Pace has the right to even tell Nagy who should call plays.  I believe coaching contracts delineate what comes under the heading of decisions they're entitled to make.  The GMs choice if Nagy can't be persuaded to give it up is to fire him as HC.  We can all feel that maybe this should be done but we also know it's not likely to happen either.  The only way I could see it is if GMcC himself puts the pressure on Pace to do it.

I can't fault Quinn or Mack or anyone on the DL.  If we looking for ultimate accountability that belongs to EJax and Sean Desai.  Jackson is supposed to be the QB of the secondary and not only was it one of his worst games ever but it was one of the worst games I've seen the Bears secondary play since the days of Mel Tucker.  How can two veteran Safeties fail to simply tag a WR down once he's caught the ball.  Jackson was also the guy who whiffed on a tackle on that 3rd and long screen pass where LA converted and kept the drive alive to score their last TD.

It was the most lazy *** attempt at a tackle I've ever seen.  If you're looking to sit someone sit his *** down.  And how in the hell did Kupp get 15 yards behind any coverage at all on his long TD score.  Who the hell was playing FS?  No one that's who.  The offense may have been anemic but that secondary was pathetic.  So Hughes is spot on.  We do not have an NFL level secondary.  They looked like a bunch of clowns last night.

Like I said.  I didn't see the whole game but from what little I did see the pass rush was there they just weren't getting home.  For that we have to give credit to Stafford and the LA OL.  Maybe we could have blitzed more often but with the coverage as poor as it was pulling even more guys away to rush wouldn't have worked either.  The team has some decent talent but no enough to come out playing like that.

In the end I'm gonna keep putting this on Nagy.  No, he's not out on the field playing the game but he's completely responsible for having his team prepared to play and again this year for the fourth year in a row they were not prepared to play or even motivated to play fast and hard.  The defense played as if they felt from the start they had no chance of winning with Dalton playing QB and the end zone pick on the first drive didn't help that any either.  The team may respect Andy Dalton but they all know who gives them the best shot at winning.

53 plus players realize that but someone how Matt Nagy doesn't......go figure.

 

 

 

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I'm not all doom and gloom after yesterday with the exception of 3 spots:

1. Nagy needs to stop being an OC..... I get the strategy of trying to play the consistent, quick pass, checkdown efficient offense to beat the rams yesterday. I even understand the notion of starting Dalton over Fields for that kind of offensive gameplan.... The problem is, it blatantly ignores the reality of what our roster is.... and it's a constant of Nagy's tenure. There's only a handful of VERY elite level qbs with the patience and consistency to win playing the check down game like that all night.... Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Peyton Manning are basically it from QBs in the past 10 years.... They could gash you for 5-6 yards all day if you tried to play 2 high "don't give up big plays" defense all day, and we should know better than most, because all of them did every time they played against Lovie's "Tampa 2".....

We have one of the fastest WR rooms in the entire league now, and we ran sub 10 yard stopping routes the entire night...... We where kicking butt running the ball, and couldn't set up play action once to utilize that WR speed.  Then we're trying to get cute running end arounds directly at one of the best overall players, let alone corners, in the league while sending a 39 yr old washed up lineman to block him, or  a fringe roster player to block him..... both times he was unblocked and crushed the play..... and that gets back to one of Nagy's biggest deficiencies as a playcaller in general.... a complete overreliance on "cute" plays that have and will only ever work on paper.

As I've said before, I'm not even a big fan of Lazor as OC..... but he was markedly better at Nagy doing the job last year, and that's not even counting the fact that half the reason you brought Andy freaking Dalton here in the first place was because he was Dalton's OC on Dalton's best year.

2. Fields needs to start. I don't hate Dalton.... Hell I think he actually played better than I expected him to last night, and if he where the guy in 2018, maybe we could have made real run.... But this isn't 2018. The defense isn't elite, bordering on historic anymore. The offense needs to basically double it's output to stand a chance this year, with how the defense looks. And while Dalton is a nice guy (and again, played better than I expected him to, even) he simply lacks the ceiling potential that Fields does and this team needs a QB who's capable of elevating the team, rather than just being a cog in it. Dalton is a cog.... Fields MIGHT BE more than that, and you have to gamble on the upside

3. #2 Corner, Nickel Corner at the very least need people brought in. Possibly also SS and FS (if Jackson keeps inexplicably playing like he had a stroke). You CANNOT WIN IN TODAY'S NFL with a secondary that awful. You just can't. To be clear, this isn't a "during the offseason" thing, or "by the bye" thing, or even a "tommorrow" thing, this is a "wake someone up and fly them out here right now" thing....   I don't know that there's any good answer for this, and finding 1, let alone 2 corners (and that's IF you don't need to also replace a safety) is going to be next to impossible at this point.... but it is the situation we're in.

 

Fix those 3 things....... get some good news on Borom's ankle (at least it's an ankle and not a knee), and pray everyone stays healthy because the depth kind of sucks, and we can actually be a competitive team this year. I don't think our division is going to be that hard to win, honestly.... the only team that was really "better" than us recently had one of the single most embarassing losses I've ever seen a team take, and their QB drama (combined with his play last week) look like it could rip that locker room apart by week 5.

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9 hours ago, Epyon said:

I'm not all doom and gloom after yesterday with the exception of 3 spots:

1. Nagy needs to stop being an OC..... I get the strategy of trying to play the consistent, quick pass, checkdown efficient offense to beat the rams yesterday. I even understand the notion of starting Dalton over Fields for that kind of offensive gameplan.... The problem is, it blatantly ignores the reality of what our roster is.... and it's a constant of Nagy's tenure. There's only a handful of VERY elite level qbs with the patience and consistency to win playing the check down game like that all night.... Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Peyton Manning are basically it from QBs in the past 10 years.... They could gash you for 5-6 yards all day if you tried to play 2 high "don't give up big plays" defense all day, and we should know better than most, because all of them did every time they played against Lovie's "Tampa 2".....

We have one of the fastest WR rooms in the entire league now, and we ran sub 10 yard stopping routes the entire night...... We where kicking butt running the ball, and couldn't set up play action once to utilize that WR speed.  Then we're trying to get cute running end arounds directly at one of the best overall players, let alone corners, in the league while sending a 39 yr old washed up lineman to block him, or  a fringe roster player to block him..... both times he was unblocked and crushed the play..... and that gets back to one of Nagy's biggest deficiencies as a playcaller in general.... a complete overreliance on "cute" plays that have and will only ever work on paper.

As I've said before, I'm not even a big fan of Lazor as OC..... but he was markedly better at Nagy doing the job last year, and that's not even counting the fact that half the reason you brought Andy freaking Dalton here in the first place was because he was Dalton's OC on Dalton's best year.

2. Fields needs to start. I don't hate Dalton.... Hell I think he actually played better than I expected him to last night, and if he where the guy in 2018, maybe we could have made real run.... But this isn't 2018. The defense isn't elite, bordering on historic anymore. The offense needs to basically double it's output to stand a chance this year, with how the defense looks. And while Dalton is a nice guy (and again, played better than I expected him to, even) he simply lacks the ceiling potential that Fields does and this team needs a QB who's capable of elevating the team, rather than just being a cog in it. Dalton is a cog.... Fields MIGHT BE more than that, and you have to gamble on the upside

3. #2 Corner, Nickel Corner at the very least need people brought in. Possibly also SS and FS (if Jackson keeps inexplicably playing like he had a stroke). You CANNOT WIN IN TODAY'S NFL with a secondary that awful. You just can't. To be clear, this isn't a "during the offseason" thing, or "by the bye" thing, or even a "tommorrow" thing, this is a "wake someone up and fly them out here right now" thing....   I don't know that there's any good answer for this, and finding 1, let alone 2 corners (and that's IF you don't need to also replace a safety) is going to be next to impossible at this point.... but it is the situation we're in.

 

Fix those 3 things....... get some good news on Borom's ankle (at least it's an ankle and not a knee), and pray everyone stays healthy because the depth kind of sucks, and we can actually be a competitive team this year. I don't think our division is going to be that hard to win, honestly.... the only team that was really "better" than us recently had one of the single most embarassing losses I've ever seen a team take, and their QB drama (combined with his play last week) look like it could rip that locker room apart by week 5.

Nice post.

I would add to #3 that why bench Shelley completely after he was your starter all offseason.  That seems weird.  I would also add that I think Desai may need to simplify the game plan.  We didn't get flat beat as much (I realize we got beat as well) as we simply blew the coverage which can never happen at any level of football.  When you do that you just hand the team 6 points. 

I can excuse the problems at OT a bit because you weren't expecting a whole training camp with no healthy starting OTs and further being able to keep any healthy.  That is bad luck.  The CB problem was a little bit more predictable as you had a stable of late round picks and journeyman.  

The larger problem is you haven't properly invested in either key position in draft before last year and this year because you spend draft picks like candy which is fine if you replace them with blue chip talent.  But that hasn't happened much.    

What about the argument that playing Fields early will hamper his development?  

 

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FWIW the scribes and media types are really coming down hard on Nagy over his play calling again and his non-excuses.  'Bout time.

For instance.  He said his decision to go for it on 4th and 15th came from a gut feel!!!!!

Now, what kind of gut do you need to have to ask your QB who attempted only one pass of more than 16 yards downfield (and it was picked) to handle a 4th and 15 conversion.  Why not have Hicks and EJax switch positions and see if your gut tells you the secondary might improve.

Jeezus, please spare us from more of this insanity.

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If Nagy were to be fired mid season, who takes over as interim head coach? Pretty much has to be Lazor right?  Can't be Desai.  Would be hilarious if Defillippo ended up taking over and being good, but I wouldn't bet on it.  Remember when we were all debating him and Nagy? Starting to look like we were all wrong.

What do you all think of Castillo? I could see him and maybe Furrey sticking around.  I know the OL isn't great but the results he got out of a suspect group last year mid season were kinda impressive.

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1 hour ago, soulman said:

FWIW the scribes and media types are really coming down hard on Nagy over his play calling again and his non-excuses.  'Bout time.

For instance.  He said his decision to go for it on 4th and 15th came from a gut feel!!!!!

Now, what kind of gut do you need to have to ask your QB who attempted only one pass of more than 16 yards downfield (and it was picked) to handle a 4th and 15 conversion.  Why not have Hicks and EJax switch positions and see if your gut tells you the secondary might improve.

Jeezus, please spare us from more of this insanity.

I think there are a lot of plus and negatives to Nagy that can be debated all day long but it all comes back to one question at the end of the day...

Do I trust Matt Nagy to develop and use Justin Fields to the best of his abilities?

For me the answer is a resounding no at this point and that alone is enough to make a change at the end of the season IMO.

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3 minutes ago, Madmike90 said:

I think there are a lot of plus and negatives to Nagy that can be debated all day long but it all comes back to one question at the end of the day...

Do I trust Matt Nagy to develop and use Justin Fields to the best of his abilities?

For me the answer is a resounding no at this point and that alone is enough to make a change at the end of the season IMO.

Maybe we should take a break from debating whether starting or sitting is better for a rookie QB, and argue about changing schemes after a rookie year?  Lots of people think having 2 schemes did Trubisky no favors, and obviously it's best to have a good offense that the QB can stay in for years, but how much does it hurt to switch it up?  If Fields is good I don't think it's going to matter much, just might take more time into year 2.  Could definitely see a worst case scenario in which Nagy is fired after 2022 and then we finally get a new offense working right as we have to give Fields an extension.

 

Also if we're making bets I think Fields starts against the Lions.

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