I first started the optimist vs. pessimist article thing last season. It's a way for me to write out my thoughts both positive and negative that I am feeling toward the Bears. It's been a tough second half of the season for the Bears and we as fans. However, all hope is not yet lost and I want to hear from you with your positive and negative thoughts on this team.
Optimist: The Bears, despite all their offensive shortcomings still have a good base to build with. Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte are all very good players, they just need competent coaching and some other players to get going at a very high level.
Pessimist: The Bears are going to have to blow up the heart of this roster. They need arguably one more starting receiver, an entirely new offensive line, new coordinator and that's not even taking into account the fading defense with older players like Brian Urlacher, this could turn into a three year rebuild.
Optimist: If Phil Emery is the GM and talent evaluator he is supposed to be, he should be able to turn it around sooner. Look at other re-buildings around the league these days; the Atlanta Falcons 4-12 in 2007, since '07 they have been 11-5, 9-7, 13-3, 10-6, 12-2 (with 2 games to go). San Francisco; 6-10 in '10 and went 13-3 last year and are 10-3-1 this year.The Houston Texans; 6-10 in 2010, 10-6 last year and 12-2 this year. Quick turnarounds are possible.
Pessimist: That's assuming you get a good coach and all those teams had the benefit of a number of good, high first round picks in recent years giving the coaches a good base of talent to work with. This Bears team just doesn't have this.
Optimist: All is not lost. Yes, the Bears need a lot of help to make the playoffs, in addition to winning out themselves but it's possible. The two road games are against very bad teams. Arizona is 4-3 at home this season and Detroit is 2-4 at home. Both teams have turnover prone offenses. There is no reason the Bears defense can't go on the road and get it's turnover mojo back and give this team some momentum on its way into January, where anything can happen. Plus, no one is better than Lovie at playing the "Nobody believes in us." card.
Pessimist: That's a good joke. Sure, the Bears might be able to get past the sad-sack Cardinals but week 17 at Detroit is no walk in the park. The Lions defensive line will be out for blood and looking to salvage anything they can from 2012 as they look to next year. Lovie Smith is 3-5 in week 17 games and is 0-2 when the game meant something (2008 vs. Houston when they could have gotten a playoff spot and 2010 when they could have kept the Packers out).
Optimist: If Lovie stays it isn't the worst thing in the world; he's the third best coach in team history and the team is still playing tough for him. The biggest issue is Emery is still trying to wash the Jerry Angelo stink off the roster. Another offseason with drafts, signings and, to note, Emery's first full offseason to make moves, would be beneficial to Lovie and the team. Why not let him coach his lame duck season (when his last two lame duck seasons have been two of his best)?
Pessimist: Lovie can't beat the Packers and his record when trailing at halftime is atrocious (14-46). His ineptitude in finding and/or supporting a decent offensive coordinator is fire-able alone. It'd be better for this team to get a fresh approach, a new staff and someone who actually knows something about offense.
Now I turn it over to you.