There are plenty of people who share blame for the Bears’ inept offense this season. Neither Mitchell Trubisky nor Nick Foles has performed well under center. Matt Nagy’s scheme hasn’t worked, and Bill Lazor calling plays didn’t help. Meanwhile, Ryan Pace clearly didn’t set up the team for success in the offseason by making only two noteworthy offensive line additions in Germain Ifedi and Jason Spriggs.
But if you really want to get things back on track, David Kaplan said on Football Aftershow that you’ve got to go all the way to the top.
“Okay Ryan fubar’ed the quarterback position, we know that,” Kaplan said. “That’s whatever. That’s gotta get fixed. (My biggest concern is) the people who hire the general manager. The people above Ryan Pace, who are making those decisions. That’s the problem, you either gotta hire 96-year old Ernie Accorsi to help you because you’re not confident enough to hire an executive, or you are completely clueless on what you’re looking for. That’s where it’s got to get fixed.”
Kaplan is referring to Ted Phillips’ and George McCaskey’s decision to bring in Accorsi as a consultant after firing Phil Emery and Marc Trestman. Emery only lasted three years as Bears GM, Trestman only two as the head coach, so the Bears looked for outside help to make the next hire. And to be fair, Accorsi was only 73 years old when the Bears brought him on to consult on the eventual hiring of Ryan Pace.
“Well they put their trust in what they call… football people,” said Olin Kreutz on Football Aftershow. “They hire all these people and they let them make the decisions. And you wonder about a 43-year old general manager and a -year old head coach getting in a room and making decisions across the board on their offense. And it doesn’t work out.
“I know... Ryan Pace built the defense. Well look, a big problem on the offense is Kevin White was his first pick on offense. He didn’t work out. Hroniss Grasu was his first lineman taken. He didn’t work out. So it’s not a mystery why this offense is bad.
“Then you trade two ones and a three for a defensive end (Khalil Mack), and then you sign a $70 million other defensive end (Robert Quinn). Your d-line is worth $400 million, your o-line is worth $100 million, and you’re wondering why your d-line is better.”
Could Pace have spread that investment a little more evenly between offense and defense? Sure, but it’s hard to fault him entirely since the defense has played incredibly well since 2018. It wasn’t long before then that it was a practically talentless unit surrendering points at an embarrassing rate. In 2014-- the year before Pace was hired-- the Bears gave up over 50 points in two-straight games, even with a bye week in the middle! Ryan Mundy led that team in tackles playing safety.
The problem is for every great pick or signing on defense (see: Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith, Eddie Jackson), there’s a corresponding awful move on offense (see: Mike Glennon, Adam Shaheen, Markus Wheaton, Kevin White).
It’s fair to question whether Pace can be trusted to pick another quarterback to lead this team. If the Bears decide not to give Pace the opportunity to rebuild the offense like he did the defense, then Kaplan may have a point and the McCaskeys should consider giving another president a shot at picking the next GM.