Breaking down the Bears’ big week

The Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley breaks down the Bears’ firings — and hiring search — toward the end of one of the most significant weeks in recent franchise history:

George McCaskey’s press conference was:

Doomed. McCaskey said as much, acknowledging fans could be skeptical about the franchise’s trajectory even after it picks a coach and GM. Someone inside Halas Hall has decided that the less McCaskey talks, the better. That’s the wrong tack: the Bears put a bid in on the Arlington Heights site in June and it was chosen in September, and McCaskey couldn’t explain it to fans until Monday?

What lesson should the Bears learn from the Ryan Pace/Matt Nagy pairing?

Nice guys sometimes finish last — or at least 6-11. The McCaskeys are affable people that were attracted to similar personalities in Pace and Nagy. That makes Halas Hall feel all warm-and-fuzzy, but it’s got to stop being a prerequisite for employment. After Marc Trestman, John Fox and Nagy, the Bears could use a coach with an attitude.

Rank the Bears’ coaching job against other NFL openings:

If you believe in quarterback Justin Fields, the Bears’ job trails only the Broncos — and the Raiders if it opens up. The Giants, Jaguars and Texans are three of the franchises more troubled than the Bears. The Vikings’ Kirk Cousins is just good enough to get everyone fired.

Should the Bears prioritize an offensive coach?

Absolutely. Fields is the most talented quarterback the Bears have ever drafted, and they need someone to mold him into the best signal-caller the franchise has had in 72 years. Otherwise, any offensive coordinator who gets Fields to the next level can be plucked by a team in the coach-hiring cycle next year. The problem, though: unless Doug Pederson does it for ya — and he doesn’t do it for me — there might not be a candidate out there with both the quarterback chops and leadership experience the Bears crave.

The head coach candidate that intrigues me is:

Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles shut down Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. Could he make the Bears Aaron Rodgers-proof? His head coaching stint with the Jets was forgettable, but at least he’s done it before.

The general manager candidate that intrigues me is:

Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown helped land guard Quenton Nelson, inside linebacker Darius Leonard and tackle Braden Smith with the team’s first three picks in 2018. Pro Football Focus considers it one of the great draft classes in the site’s existence. Brown knows the idiosyncrasies of Halas Hall — he was the Bears’ assistant pro personnel director from 2001-07.

How long will it take for the Bears to be good enough to win a playoff game?

The Bears don’t need a hard reboot. Making the postseason is easier than ever. Winning one game is a worthy goal for Fields at the end of the 2023 season.

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