Bears

Since Mike Ditka, Bears coaching hires both good and bad – sometimes very good, sometimes very bad

Since Mike Ditka, Bears coaching hires both good and bad – sometimes very good, sometimes very bad

As the Bears begin their search for the coaching successor to John Fox, names will be swirling. Which the Bears decide upon will likely be the most notable Chicago sports event of the year, even though that year still has 364 more days to run.

It will be a move that comes with some interesting history.

The organization has been made sport of for any number or missteps, some amply justified, others maybe not so much. Hiring Bears coaches, while marked by erratic swings, has not been by any means a complete drumbeat litany of calamity.

After Mike Ditka was dispatched in 1992, Dallas defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was arguably the most sought-after candidate for top sideline jobs. The Cowboys were coming off Super Bowl obliteration of the Buffalo Bills to cap off a resurgence in which Wannstedt was the No. 1 sidekick of coach Jimmy Johnson and had only once suffered through two straight losing seasons in a career ranging from college assistant to NFL head coach.

Then-Bears President Michael McCaskey pursued and edged out the New York Giants to land Wannstedt, who achieved some early success before his job-ending collapse from 1996-98.

McCaskey enacted a collapse of his own in the mishandled attempt to hire Dave McGinnis, a botched moment that effectively cost McCaskey his job. The Bears ultimately hired Dick Jauron, who managed as many playoff appearances as Wannstedt (one) but little else.

The move to Lovie Smith produced a division championship in year two (2005) and a Super Bowl appearance in year three, and ultimately produced a win total (81) trailing only George Halas and Ditka.

Missed playoffs then brought an end to Smith’s tenure despite a 10-6 record in 2012, whereupon Smith was fired by Phil Emery, who brought in Marc Trestman to start a two-year stint of dysfunction that got both Emery and Trestman fired.

The organization then turned to Fox, like Wannstedt once upon a time, perhaps the top candidate on the open market. His record of success included taking Carolina and Denver to (losing) Super Bowls, but had never experienced consecutive losing seasons through 27 years of NFL coaching at any level.

Fox’s time ended, as Wannstedt’s did, with three straight losing seasons for the first time in his career.

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

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USA Today

Bears Week 7 Inactives: Mitch Trubisky and Bilal Nichols are both playing against the Saints

The Bears just announced their inactive list, and as expected, Mitch Trubisky is ready to go: 

Trubisky and defensive lineman Bilal Nichols will both return after missing time with a dislocated shoulder and broken hand, respectively. Trubisky has been out since Week 4's game against the Vikings and Nichols hasn't played since breaking his hand against the Broncos. 

Reserve offensive lineman Ted Larsen will also return, his first game since hurting his knee against the Vikings as well. It'll up to Larsen and Rashaad Coward to fill in at guard, especially with Alex Bars being a healthy scratch. Long was put on IR earlier in the week, and while Coward took most of the first-team reps in practice, head coach Matt Nagy didn't rule out the possibility of rotating the two early in the game. 

WATCH: Bears offense outduels defense in unique practice competition

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USA TODAY

WATCH: Bears offense outduels defense in unique practice competition

The Bears offense will welcome the healthy return of quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Sunday's Week 7 game against the New Orleans Saints and must build momentum entering a critical stretch of their 2019 schedule.

At 3-2 and with several playoff-caliber opponents on the horizon, the Bears can't afford more of the same from Trubisky and the passing game, one that ranks 30th in the NFL. They'll need more from rookie running back David Montgomery, too, who's averaging just 3.3 yards per carry through his first five games as a pro.

Confidence is key in Chicago's quest for more production. And, look, if it takes winning an egg toss competition in practice in order for the offense to get a morale boost? So be it.

It's unclear in the video who tossed the winning egg. Ironically, or maybe fittingly, it wasn't one of the Bears' quarterbacks.

Trubisky has to take advantage of any touchdown opportunities he gets Sunday against the 10th-ranked Saints defense. Unlike the team's egg-tossing contest, Week 7's outcome may come down to his ability to make the clutch throw. Now's the time for him to prove he can get it done.

Otherwise, the Bears' season will become an omelette of doom, despair and disappointment.

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