Somehow, some way, the Bears find a way to look worse on offense with each passing week. Sure, you can point to injuries on the O-Line, or turnovers at bad times, but sooner or later something is going to need to change. On the Football Aftershow, host David Kaplan expressed how every Bears fan is feeling after watching another inept offensive performance.
“That’s pathetic man,” Kaplan said. “That’s embarrassing to go, ‘That’s my offense. GM’s been here six freaking seasons, and that’s the garbage we’re running out there?’”
While it may feel like Sunday’s loss to the Titans is really a boiling point, it really has been a long-term issue that started with the construction of the team.
“The offense has been playing like this for two years,” Olin Kreutz said on Football Aftershow. “It’s basically the same offense we’ve been watching no matter who they put on the field, no matter if all their starters are there or not. If you put every starter on this offense on the field, they’re averaging only 20 points a game.
“Someone asked Ryan Pace, ‘What about the offensive line? Do you think you’ve done enough? You’ve signed Spriggs and you’ve signed Ifedi.’ We knew this offensive line could be a problem with an injury, and they were a problem last year. He said, ‘I think you’re underestimating the hiring of Juan Castillo (the Bears new offensive line coach.)’ Juan Castillo’s not a bad football coach. He’s been doing it for 30 years. But the NFL, it’s players and coaches. You need them all.”
Several times on Sunday it didn’t matter what scheme the Bears ran, because a Titans defender busted a play moments after the ball had been snapped. The Bears combined for a pitiful 2.8 yards/carry on the day. Foles was sacked three times and committed an intentional grounding as he was under duress on nearly every single dropback.
Kreutz reiterated that those problems all start up front.
“You go into the game with your fourth-string center, a seventh-rounder at left guard, undrafted guy at tackle,” Kreutz said. “We can go through a lot of this, but it’s the way you built the team. The resources you spent on the offensive line and the offense. Then you get injuries there, your offensive line is going to look like that. Then your offense isn’t going to move the ball because your quarterback is getting hit, you can’t convert fourth-and-ones, you can’t convert short yardage.”
The Bears haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since 2013 when they picked Kyle Long. In the 2020 draft, they selected two o-linemen in the seventh round. The two years before that, they only drafted one offensive lineman: James Daniels.
But Alex Brown doesn’t think that alone excuses the Bears’ struggles on offense. The Bears got out to a great start this season with a shaky offensive line, but he argues the entire coaching staff hasn’t done enough to cover up that weakness lately.
“It wasn’t long ago, in fact it was three weeks ago, you were 5-1, and now you’re 5-4,” Brown said. “In a couple of weeks, you’re going to be 5-6. I’m telling you, you’ve got two more weeks… I hate to say it because I love the Bears and I want them to win, but nothing’s getting better. I’m telling you guys, look at that offense. It’s going to be the same.
“Yeah, if Whitehair comes back it’s going to make them a little better, but it doesn’t fix the problem. The problem is the system isn’t adjusting to what it has. The system has to adjust. If you don’t adjust, you’re in trouble.”
With problems that run this deep and little investment in the offensive line up to this point, it’s going to require a major overhaul before the Bears can expect major improvements.
“What are we going to do?” said Brown. “If you’re going to change it, so we’re going to rebuild it. That takes time. You’re not going to do it in one draft. It’s going to take time. Are you going to give (Pace) the time to do that, to change it? Do you want to do that? I mean he’s picked three quarterbacks now, Ryan Pace that is. He’s brought in three quarterbacks. Do you want him to bring in a fourth? Those are the questions that are happening right now, and a lot of those answers are, ‘No.’
“All of them are going to be out if they don’t be careful.”