No one around Halas Hall (or anywhere else for that matter, except perhaps in Detroit, Green Bay or Minnesota) is remotely pleased with what has unfolded in the Bears’ 2016 season. The form that dissatisfaction takes, however, could become an issue all its own.
Evaluations in the NFL are typically ongoing in-season and in greater depth post-season. But NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that the organization has undertaken a full evaluation of football operations as the season approaches its midpoint and off week following Monday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings in Soldier Field. That evaluation process has included “what is being described as an outside consultant to help,” according to Rapaport, although no consultant was named.
One source told CSNChicago.com that there was no truth to the consultant information. The team did not comment on the report or its contents as of early Monday morning.
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But neither GM Ryan Pace nor coach John Fox appeared to have any knowledge of such a current evaluation, and for the front office to be conducting an evaluation without the knowledge of the two chief figures in football ops would be a statement in itself and suggest an organization approaching a state of chaos or freefall, and not close to pulling out of a prolonged period of both.
Upheavals over the past five years have shaken the organization, beginning with the abrupt firing of GM Jerry Angelo after the 2011 season; the hiring of Phil Emery as his replacement; the firing of Lovie Smith after the 10-6 2012 season; hiring Marc Trestman in 2013; and the firings of both Emery and Trestman in 2015.
Pace and Fox were then hired using the evaluations of longtime NFL executive Ernie Accorsi as a consultant. Pace was brought in under a five-year contract and Pace hired Fox, who received a four-year deal. Both contracts are guaranteed.