Wednesday, April 17, 2024

One Vital Reason This Time Will Be Different At QB For The Chicago Bears

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Nobody can argue that the Chicago Bears have the worst history regarding quarterbacks during the Super Bowl era. Across almost 60 years, they’ve seen their signal callers make a Pro Bowl twice. Combined. The rest of the time was spent between mediocre and bad. Much of this stems from the team’s inability to build a proper structure for one to thrive. They also haven’t been good at cultivating wide receivers, have produced inconsistent offensive lines, and always seem behind the time when hiring new coaching staffs.

However, the icy truth most of the time is they haven’t been good at identifying talent at the position itself. Too often, it felt like they had a golden opportunity to land a future star, only to let bad evaluations ruin it. Then again, one thing people don’t talk about is how much luck plays into this. Robert Schmitz of Da Bears Blog explained this perfectly in his latest column. If you go back and look at every 1st round pick the team has made at quarterback in the past 40 years, the majority of them share something in common.

They were all the leftovers.

Let’s re-contextualize the Bears’ five most recent 1st round Quarterback selections, stretching past the last 37 years — maybe you’ll see the same trend I do:

1987 — Jim Harbaugh | Pick #26 | QB4 in his class
1999 — Cade McNown | Pick #12 | QB5
2003 — Rex Grossman | Pick #22 | QB4
2017 — Mitchell Trubisky | Pick #2 (Trade Up) | QB1
2021 — Justin Fields | Pick #11 (Trade Up) | QB4

The picks have yielded poor results, no doubt. But should we be shocked that Chicago’s consistent inability to select a better option than the 4th/5th best QB in a draft class might be just as large a problem as their inability to surround those QBs with talent?

After all, it’s the Bears’ lone QB1 selection that led the Bears’ to their most recent pair of playoff appearances. Trubisky holds the best single-season performance of the names above (2018) and the only Pro Bowl achieved while wearing a Bears uniform. And while I don’t want to gloss over a decade of poor ownership, organizational instability, and a profound unwillingness to prioritize offensive spending, I also don’t think it’s fair to act like the Bears have run Joe Burrow, Phillip Rivers, Daunte Culpepper, Lamar Jackson, and Patrick Mahomes out of town.

The Chicago Bears have always been just out of reach.

Only twice did they actually select the first or second quarterback in a draft. The first was Jim McMahon, who was the second QB off the board in the 1982 class. He went to a Pro Bowl and guided the Bears to their only Super Bowl title. The other was Trubisky. Though he never came close to realizing his potential, he still played far better than most Bears quarterbacks throughout history. GM Ryan Poles understands this situation is different. He isn’t Ryan Pace back in 2021, having to trade up to grab the fourth QB available. He holds the #1 pick and can take anybody he wants.

This improves the Chicago Bears’ odds of landing somebody who can make a genuine difference. Nobody argues Caleb Williams is a superior prospect to Trubisky. In fact, most believe he’s one of the best to come around in the past three decades. Hype aside, the tape speaks for itself. The kid can ball. Also, the Bears have done a commendable job building the offensive structure with talented players like D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, D’Andre Swift, and Cole Kmet.

Subscribe to the BFR podcast and ride shotgun with Dave and Ficky as they break down Bears football like nobody else.

For once, it appears they’ve done everything right. That is why this time feels different.

10 COMMENTS

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nonobaddog
nonobaddog
Apr 2, 2024 4:39 pm

I think the biggest reason this draft of a quarterback feels different is the fact that the Bears are starting to move away from being a dominant defensive team that wins because of the defense to a more offensive minded team. No one can argue about the defense being the reason the Bears won as much as they did over the years, however with the NFL rules committee basically neutering the defense, they have no choice but to become offensive.

barry_mccockiner
Apr 2, 2024 11:15 am

Ummm [taps mic], quick question: Does Schmitz not understand that Chicago passed on the opportunity to draft Mahomes in 2017 and then on Lamar Jackson a year later? Like, Chicago was on the clock when those two QBs were available. That’s quite indisputably factual.

Wes P
Wes P
Apr 2, 2024 8:57 am

Ryan Poles realizes that to enable Caleb Williams to be successful in Chicago he will need talented players around him. The moves being made by the Bears GM will give Caleb Williams a real chance to not only be successful in Chicago but perhaps become great.

Apr 2, 2024 7:13 am

From a work ethic standpoint, how would you like to follow Justin Fields into the building? The bar is very high and the rest of the team is going to be watching. This is probably a good thing as from all the info out there it seems that CW is a hard worker. Talent is one thing but you have to put in the work. Gotta love football and I think he does. Gonna sell some jerseys, that’s for sure.

scott brs
scott brs
Apr 2, 2024 5:43 am

He is going to be the most talented quarterback we’ve ever had by a mile. I just hope the rest of the team is built or it won’t matter much. The great Peyton Manning only went to one Super Bowl with the Colts and he had Harrison and/or Wayne the whole time he was there. But he did throw for about a million yards if that’s your thing.

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