As the Bears’ season crawls towards its conclusion, the results of the games matter less and less. Instead, attention is turned to the future. Is Justin Fields the real deal? Who’s going to coach in 2022? What will the organization even look like next year? But in a recent interview with Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, former Bears Super Bowl champion Gary Fencik said the most important question is, how are the most important decisions going to be made?
“If you’re the Bears, there’s no way, with what’s consistently happening on the field, that you can look yourself in the mirror and say you see a successful organization,” Fencik said via the Chicago Tribune.
“If we’re going to go through this again — and I’ll be really disappointed if we aren’t — then the decision makers at the top need some outside coaching and counseling,” Fencik said. “They need direction on how to go about making much better football decisions.”
President of football operations Ted Phillips and chairman George McCaskey have said numerous times they don’t involve themselves in football decisions. When it comes to decisions about the product on the field, the buck stops with general manager Ryan Pace. That’s why they asked Ernie Accorsi to help them select their next GM after firing Phil Emery. That’s also why Fencik reportedly believes McCaskey should be surrounding himself with as many Hall of Fame alums as he can for guidance. With a team as rich in history as the Bears, they have plenty of people to choose from. But at the time the Tribune’s story was published, Fencik said no one from Halas Hall had ever reached out to him.
“People ask me all the time, ‘Do the Bears ever ask you for advice?’” Fencik said. “I go, ‘Nope. Never. Not once.’”
According to the Tribune, Fencik isn’t offended by that per se. It just confuses him why the organization doesn’t use the incredible resources available to it.
“I take it as a reflection that they don’t even know how to go about being a good organization,” he said. “Because if I were the owner of that team, I’d be sitting down with as many trusted football people as I could to educate myself as much as humanly possible about the game and what’s necessary to succeed.”
Beyond that, Fencik also believes the Bears brass need to take a page out of Matt Nagy’s book and try to find out the “why’s” of how they’ve bungled important decisions over their tenures.
“Sure, it’d be valuable to go get the advice of Hall of Famers like Dan Hampton or Mike Singletary,” Fencik said. “But what’s more vital at this point is understanding that you need an honest, transparent review of whether your organizational structure needs to change. And if so, how? And why? … How do you improve in ways that are qualitative? Are there different and better ways of trying to project success and catalyze consistency?
“Hopefully, there’s a giant awakening awaiting all of us at some point. You just need the right people in here. Right now it just isn’t there.”