Bears

Moon: Bears may want to re-think central piece of coaching sales pitch

bearsphillips.png
AP

Moon: Bears may want to re-think central piece of coaching sales pitch

Bears Chairman George McCaskey this week laid out the broad strokes of the sales approach that he, President Ted Phillips and GM Ryan Pace will use in their interviews of candidates to replace John Fox as head coach. But it may not be the sort of message that matters in the least to candidates.

“First of all, we’re what the league refers to as a 'legacy franchise,'" McCaskey said. “We’ve been [part of the NFL] from the start. We’re approaching our centennial, as well as the league’s. Chicago’s a great city. We have a roster that has a core of talent that needs to be developed. We’ve got a passionate fan base and we will give the coach everything he needs to succeed.”

The better selling point for the Bears interviewing team arguably should be less one of selling “legacy” than selling the opportunity to build a legacy.

Even that will be challenging. If a proven turnaround architect like John Fox couldn’t effect change in three years, winning one less game in his third year than in his first, why would a first-time head coach have reason to believe that he can do what Fox couldn’t?

“Legacy franchise” is open to interpretation, and of questionable value. McCaskey’s use of it is rooted in longevity. It could be loosely based in championships except for the fact that the Bears have only one of those in the past 55 years, longer ago than most of the candidates will have been alive.

That selling point has carried next to no weight with players in the past handful of years. Players typically follow the money, but last offseason, ones such as cornerback Stephon Gilmore chose the Patriots for less money over the Bears. And what sort of recommendation are the Bears likely to get from former Bears/now Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery when Philadelphia quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo asks Jeffery about Chicago in preparation for DeFilippo’s job interview?

Indeed, an informal sampling of opinions among individuals in and around the NFL provided this consensus ranking of franchises now regarded as the current NFL “elites” for places to play:

1 – New England

2 – Pittsburgh

3 – (tie) Green Bay, Dallas (even with Jerry Jones)

DeFilippo, Josh McDaniels, Matt Nagy, Steve Wilks, (insert Bears candidate here) will all be endeavoring to sell themselves as the right guy to become the next head coach of the Bears, Cardinals, Colts, (insert coach-less NFL team here). The sales experience will be about substance as well as character, and not just the candidate’s.

At the same time, like it or not, while there are only a max of 32 of these jobs to be had, the team conducting the interview will be doing a sales job of its own, if only because the reason the particular job is open in the first place is that the quality of the team is at a low point: Only one of the six head-coaching berths (Detroit, 9-7) is with a team coming off a winning season.

McCaskey’s pro-Chicago pitch notwithstanding, the Bears have a tougher sell than the others. They are the only one of the six needing to convince candidates that a team coming off four straight seasons of double-digit losses is really a good place to be.

New odds list Bears as third most likely to land Raiders' Khalil Mack

New odds list Bears as third most likely to land Raiders' Khalil Mack

Time to fire up those unrealistic expectations, Bears fans. 

According to oddsmakers OddsShark, Chicago has the third-best odds (+350) of landing Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack -- if he were to be traded, that is: 

The two-time All-Pro's unhappiness in Oakland is well documented, and rumors of his exit have persisted all preseason. 

Mack has made an immediate impact since being drafted 5th overall in the 2014 NFL draft. Football Outsiders has ranked him as the best linebacker in the NFL each of the last two seasons. 

Mack in Chicago would be an embarassment of riches in the every sense of the word. They were one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, and that was before they took Butkus Award-winner Roquan Smith with the 8th overall pick in the draft. 

Will it happen? Probably not. Is it fun to speculate? Yes, duh, that's like 50% of what makes sports great. 

 

Bears safety Deiondre’ Hall suspended for violating NFL substance abuse policy

Bears safety Deiondre’ Hall suspended for violating NFL substance abuse policy

Deiondre' Hall's status with the Bears looks a little murkier this afternoon. 

Earlier today, the NFL released a statement announcing that Hall has been suspended one game for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. 

"Deiondre' Hall has been suspended without pay for the first game of the 2018 regular season for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse," the statement read. "Hall will be eligble to return to the Bears' active roster on Monday, September 10th following the team's September 9th game against the Green Bay Packers. Hall is eligble to participate in all preseason practices and games." 

The suspension comes at a time when Hall is fighting for a roster spot: 

Hall has played in 10 games (eight in 2016, two in 2017) for the Bears since being drafted by the team in the 4th round of the 2016 draft. Through two years, he's totaled seven tackles, two passes defended and one interception.