'Ridiculous' search? Maybe. Maybe not.


'Ridiculous' search? Maybe. Maybe not.

The Bears coach search has now gone to at least 13 names, which is by any standard a lot. But maybe not by all that much.

The search firm entrusted with developing GM candidates in 2001 (culminating with the Jerry Angelo hiring) came up with a portfolio of 10, which Ted Phillips trimmed to three finalists.

After the Bears fired Dave Wannstedt in 1998, Mark Hatley was ordered by Michael McCaskey to begin a search for candidates. Hatley went on the road, talked to more than a dozen (including Bill Belichick, Brian Billick and Jim Haslett hows that for a list of ones that got away?), and eventually developed five candidates to bring to Halas Hall for final interviews: Gunther Cunningham, Dick Jauron, Sherm Lewis, Dave McGinnis and Joe Pendry.

The current search process is directed toward developing 2-3 finalists.

An old friend from my long-ago days in corporate work, a senior executive with vast experience in matters of hiring and interviewing, shared some observations on the Bears process so far looking for a new head coach.

Bottom line, he said, whether the Bears have someone in mind or not, 13 candidates is ridiculous! My former company clients, when retaining a search firm to look for a new executive, would usually look at anywhere between three and six candidates before they found the best candidate; on rare occasion the company would request to see additional candidates.

I also think the new GM doesnt want to make a major size mistake; isnt this his first major hire since he took over running the Bears?

This definitely is Emerys first major hire. He did hire some personnel staff but the most-major moves there were promotions of Chris Ballard and Marty Barrett from area scouts to directors of pro and college scouting, respectively.

This is from outside the organization. And as too many organizations can attest, a wrong hire is worse than a slow hire.

Should the Chicago Bears trade for Melvin Gordon?

Should the Chicago Bears trade for Melvin Gordon?

The Chicago Bears running game has struggled mightily in 2019. In fact, it's been downright atrocious. Non-existent. Invisible. Nowhere to be found.

You get the point.

But a good running game has a lot of moving parts. Literally. Most notably, it requires a competent offensive line that consistently creates running lanes for the ball carrier, no matter who it is.

The Bears have a talented young running back on the roster in rookie David Montgomery. They invested a third-round pick on him and there's no indication the team has soured on his long-term projected despite a rough five-week span that's seen the former Iowa State star averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.

His struggles are more than just his own, however. He needs help from his offensive line. Most of his carries result in contact at or near the line of scrimmage, and for a first-year player who's still adjusting to life in the NFL, that just isn't a recipe for immediate success.

Here's the thing with the NFL, though: it's a 'what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league.' So if an upgrade can be had (at any position), the Bears have to at least consider it.

According to former Browns offensive lineman and current NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas, GM Ryan Pace should take a long and hard look at Chargers star, Melvin Gordon.

"I would love to see my Badger, Melvin Gordon, go to the Chicago Bears," Thomas said this week. "They're a team right now with a quarterback that's struggling a little bit. Matt Nagy would love to have a weapon like Melvin Gordon who's great not only running the football, but he's great catching the football out of the backfield.

"The type of weapon that he could be, the security blanket that he could be for Mitch Trubisky would be outstanding for this team. He would give Mitch Trubisky a lot of opportunities to get some easy completions, some throws out of the backfield to start boosting his confidence."

Not the worst idea in the world, but let's be honest: there's no way Pace is going to pull the trigger on a running back who's already expressed his desire to be paid among the elite players at his position despite production that simply doesn't put him on that level.

Sure, Gordon would be a fun and exciting addition for a Bears offense that needs a spark right now, but it's way too early to suggest Montgomery can't be that guy once the offensive line and overall flow of the offense improves.

Is the Bears' schedule easier than it appears?

Is the Bears' schedule easier than it appears?

It's incredible how quickly storylines can change in the NFL. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Bears had one of the most challenging (if not the most challenging) remaining schedules in the NFL. But is that really the case?

It sure doesn't feel that way.

This Sunday features what should be a challenging test for the Bears against a New Orleans Saints team that's managed to survive four weeks without QB Drew Brees and amass a 5-1 record. Backup QB Teddy Bridgewater has been good enough and the defense has been fantastic. But what would this team look like without RB Alvin Kamara in the lineup? 

We might find out at Soldier Field this weekend. Kamara is trending toward missing the game with an ankle injury, which means the Bears will face the Saints without BOTH Brees and Kamara. That's not nearly as challenging of a mission as it was expected to be.

Then it's Week 8 and the Bears welcome the struggling Los Angeles Chargers, losers of two-straight games, to Soldier Field. As is the case every year, the Chargers have been brutalized by injuries and are playing nowhere near the contender level anticipated from QB Phillip Rivers, WR Keenan Allen and RB Melvin Gordon. They're a bad team right now, and they won't get much better in just two weeks.

In Week 9, the Bears travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles and one of the NFL's worst all-around secondaries. Philly is 3-3 and struggling to find an identity. They've dealt with injuries, too, but man...that secondary is just awful.

Let's jump forward to Week 11 and the Bears' trip to Los Angeles to face the Rams. There weren't many NFC teams favored more than the Rams to represent the conference in the Super Bowl this year, but that shine has worn off. QB Jared Goff looks like a rookie again and the defense, even with the addition of CB Jalen Ramsey, just isn't the same. There's a reason why they're 3-3; Los Angeles is an average team right now.

And remember: The rest of the Bears' schedule includes the lowly Giants, the struggling Cowboys, the potentially Mahomes-less Chiefs and a few  NFC North matchups that are more than winnable.

Maybe this is nothing more than wishful thinking. But the Bears have a great opportunity to get hot down the stretch and build momentum for a second-straight playoff appearance.