The Chicago Bears were very average for the better part of a decade under GM Jerry Angelo and HC Lovie Smith, both of whom could have been considered as very average at their respective jobs. On an averageness scale of 1-10, Lovie might have registered a 6, and Jerry a 4. Or something like that.
But a decade of average leadership, with a support staff of average-ish coordinators, and a mostly average roster when it was all added together and divided by 53.. Well no one should have been surprised at the lack of next-level success for most of those years. I mean, Ron Turner for crying out loud.
The next group of guys in were a roll of the dice, and everyone knew it. Most people felt pretty good about Phil Emery as General Manager (including yours truly), but he was a scouting guy who'd never run a football team before. And the real roll of the dice was bringing in the alleged Quarterback Whisperer, Marc Trestman, as head coach (a position which he also had never held). It was a bold move, but a much-needed shift in paradigm to a franchise who many would have argued was still stuck in the 1980's.
Trestman's failure ultimately led to Virginia McCaskey being embarrassed, which led to another complete overhaul... This time, with a new expectation: Don't screw it up.
Ryan Pace is a hotshot NFL executive, who everyone in the league has stated is more than ready for his first GM assignment. John Fox, a veteran head coach who has a track record of success, fell into Pace's lap, and Fox quickly flipped through his Rolodex and hired Adam Gase as OC and Vic Fangio as DC, both of whom have also done it before-- and been successful. Also, both of whom will be on the short list of next-in-line head coaches should they come into Chicago and get the job done.
So, now that the pieces seem to finally be in place from a front office perspective, the focus shifts to the roster. We all know that it will take a couple of years to upgrade everything that needs to be upgraded, but also know that the Bears aren't exactly starting from Square 1. If you look at this roster, there's some serious talent on both sides of the ball, some veteran stop-gaps that can give us another season or two, and a few average players who, if they just don't screw up, will be just fine.
With all of that said, is there any reason that the Bears won't be successful in the next two seasons? Is there any glaring reason that exists that will hold them back from making a run at the NFC North crown and deep into the playoffs?
What do you think, if anything, will hold them back? DISCLAIMER:
Difficulty: We know there are a good half-dozen members or so who will say 'Jay Cutler'-- and we know that is the most important position on the field-- but a peppermint to those who can go in a different direction than beating that same flattened horse.