The Chicago Bears are focused on the Green Bay Packers. It’s the biggest game of the year. A win means they’re in the playoffs. They couldn’t ask for much more than that. At the same time, the gravity of this game is substantial. It is quite possible that a lot of jobs are on the line. Not just a shot at the postseason. Head coach Matt Nagy? GM Ryan Pace? Both could end up out of a job by Monday if the Bears fall flat again as they did back in November.
This is why speculation is rampant about what team chairman George McCaskey might do. Rumors have persisted that he wasn’t happy with the state of the team. How after all the promise of 2018, he’s seen the Bears once again sag into mediocrity. Much of it due to missteps by the men in charge. Pace for drafting Mitch Trubisky and missing on other big moves. Nagy for failing to be the offensive guru he sold himself as three years ago.
McCaskey is tired of playing second fiddle to the great organizations.
This is why for the first time there is a serious belief that team president Ted Phillips could be in trouble. In his 21 years running the team, the Bears have made the playoffs just five times. They’ve misfired on several 1st round picks and failed to find a legitimate franchise quarterback despite numerous big swings on guys like Cade McNown, Rex Grossman, Jay Cutler, and Trubisky.
Phillips is the man who had the biggest hand in hiring most of the people who delivered such an average product. Every GM. Every head coach. None of those big decisions were made without his input. Now it seems the 63-year old faces uncertainty. Where it gets interesting is whether McCaskey might bring in outside help to sort this mess out. Something Bears insider Adam Jahns seemed to hint at in his latest article.
“In Phillips’ world, it makes sense to campaign for one more year for Nagy and Pace, potentially with Trubisky as their quarterback. They’re the Bears’ best pairing since Smith and Angelo. Nagy’s winning record should still carry some weight.
But does McCaskey want someone else to evaluate them and Phillips? That’s another story — a different evaluation that lands on the desk of McCaskey. Sunday sets up to be very revealing. How close are the Bears? Or how far away are they still?”
Chicago Bears could alter their power structure
The strong sense coming out of Halas Hall is a lot is riding on this game on Sunday. Beating Green Bay to make the playoffs would all but likely save everybody’s jobs for another year. Nagy and Pace would be back in 2021. That of course would also decrease the heat on Phillips as well. Another loss? The Bears won’t be able to hide from the reality they squandered a 5-1 start to the season to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs.
People have been fired for much less than that. One thing that is possible is McCaskey could look to shake up the Chicago Bears power structure. How? Perhaps following a common trend these days by installing a President of Football Operations. A football person who has direct access to himself and the rest of ownership rather than having to go through the team president who is not a football person.
It’s not a bad idea. Something fans have called for going back years.
Having Phillips in his ear for so long, a man with zero background in football, always felt like a huge miscalculation by this organization. Maybe McCaskey is finally realizing that. A President of Football Operations would mark the first time the Bears have had a football guy with direct access to ownership since Jim Finks back in the 1970s and early 1980s. That seemed to work out well for them.