So far, it's safe to say the Robert Quinn experiment in Chicago has failed.
Since giving Quinn one of the largest contracts of the offseason, expectations for the veteran pass-rusher haven't come close to matching reality. Through the first nine games of his five-year, $70 million contract, Quinn has one sack, 0 tackles for loss and three QB hits. It's a steep departure from his production last season (11.5 sacks), and one that had Bears coaches brutally honest when talking with media on Wednesday.
"You’d like to think, and I know Robert would like to think, that anytime he’s singled is an opportunity," Bears outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino said. "He’s had plenty and hasn’t been able to finish on some of the snaps that he could have. I will tell you this, the opponents that we play understand that we have two guys who are elite. They do everything they can to protect their quarterback. We, as a staff, got to figure out ways to beat those protections. As a player, and as a position coach, we’ve got to figure out ways to beat that individual protector. I think Robert has a real good idea and real good plan going into every week. He has missed some opportunities.
"He has to make a play. There’s no 28-point plays in football. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. He needs to start taking bites."
Monachino mentioned "sometimes we try to make it too difficult" and that right now, he and Quinn are working on small technique adjustments that the two feel will pay dividends through the last two months of the year. After ramping up his snap count through the first quarter of the season, both Quinn and the Bears are happy with where it's currently at – though Monachino did hint that he "hopes to see a little bit of a jump between now and next Sunday night."
"I think with a player like Robert, we got to evaluate him based on the numbers," he added. "And right now, his numbers aren't where he wants them, I want them or any of us in the city wants them."