Heading into the bye week, the Bears have a chance to make some improvements. The writers at WCG compared notes and talked about what we want to see happen while the Bears take a break from playing. We asked two questions, beginning with the ambitious and then shifting over to more modest requests.
First, let’s shoot for the moon.
A). What change do you want them to make but you know already they won't do?
There was a certain theme to these answers. One trend involved the head coach…
Jack: Fire John Fox. Make Mike Glennon the head coach for all I care. He's a respected leader. Otherwise roll with Vic Fangio. They're not going to do any of that, though.
Andrew: Firing John Fox and allowing Dowell Loggains to take over the head coaching duties on an interim basis.
Sam: Fire John Fox. Winning streak be damned, I don't think Fox is the long term answer to the Bears' coaching position. He's conservative beyond a fault, note that his teams have three of the fewest pass-attempt performances since 2000 and the team has been improving but is hardly poised for a breakout in year three. Fox has done what he was brought in to do: Create stability
The other trend involved the offensive play-calling and design.
Lester: Take the training wheels off the offense. This is John Fox's team, and John Fox is as conservative as they come, so I know it'll never happen. Now that his defense is playing well, Fox will be content to run the ball, try and methodically eat the clock, while allowing his defense to keep things close. I'm not looking for a Greatest Show on Turf kind of offense, but let them at least stick their toe in the waters of a modern NFL passing game. You can tell when Dowell Loggains and Mitchell Trubisky speak, that they'd both like to open things up a bit more.
Robert: I'd like to see the Bears open up the offense. I fully expect "Fox-ball" to take the reins through the rest of the year meaning Trubisky won't ever throw much more than 20 passes in my mind. This Bears defense is very good. Maybe even great. And with an aggressive offense, this team could be really good right now. But I don't see it happening in 2017. Fox and company have a tight leash here.
Ken: Let Mitchell Trubisky take chances, let him make his mistakes if that's what is to be... let him get the rookie all out of him this year. Open up the offense.
Jacob: It's simple: pass the ball more. Though it's probably best to stick to a run-heavy offensive scheme, the Bears need to pass for the sake of avoiding having a predictable offense. Plus, it will likely do wonders for Mitch Trubisky's confidence. The addition of Dontrelle Inman gives them a big, athletic and fairly proven wide receiver, which is something they don't really have on their current roster. He won't completely turn this offense around, but he gives Trubisky a better weapon to throw to. The Bears should take advantage of that.
Josh: Set up a game plan to have Trubisky in every kind of situation. They should play to win, sure, but they should also vary the looks and put together something like a modern, adaptive offense based on his skills that also forces him to develop as a quarterback. Even though there aren’t amazing receivers, there are tight ends and enough receiving options to do more than what they are doing.
Finally, at least once person got more inventive.
Patti: Get their act together and make the long overdue move to correct the greatest missed opportunity in professional sports and put a bear SOMEWHERE on the helmet or uniform. Bear is the best possible team name/mascot and needs to be incorporated into the Bears ensemble.
However, we are not expecting miracles. We also considered the same question from a different point of view.
B). What change do you want them to make that you think has a plausible (not necessarily likely) shot of happening?
So, about that second-round draft pick? We’d like to see more of him…
Robert: This one is easy: play and throw to Adam Shaheen more. The rookie second-round pick tight end has steadily been improving his blocking week by week. To the point where you think he might even be able to hold it down. But in the passing game, he has one total target on the year (adjust depending on Saints game). One. That's egregiously bad.
Considering Dion Sims has been a complete non-factor, I would expect and hope for Shaheen to be more involved when the Bears return from the bye. It’s never a bad idea to play your young players and get them as much experience as you can early.
Sam: Get Adam Shaheen more involved. It makes little sense to see Shaheen running so few routes, maybe he isn't read but it isn't like Sims or Brown are getting involved a ton either. Give the kid some more shots.
Jack: I was going to answer more passes to Shaheen, but after Miller's horrific injury, that seems like a certainty. So I'll say I would like to see us continue to stretch the field with Tre McBride and Tanner Gentry.
Other roster changes (or at least changes in how the roster is utilized) were also urged.
Lester: I would have no problem if the Bears went as young as possible across the board. Play Grasu at center, move Whitehair to guard and sit Sitton. Play Shaheen over Brown and/or Sims. Get Irving some reps rushing off the edge over McPhee and give him some of Acho's rotational OLB time as well. Play Bullard and Robertson-Harris over Unrein. Also any player not in the plans for 2018, sit them.
Ken: Bring in Cairo Santos and if he's healthy, sign him and cut Connor Barth. Santos has a bigger leg, is more accurate and is a better kicker in every way.
Josh: What Ken said. So much what Ken said...but since he already said it, I’ll go with hoping they bring in someone to replace Barth. Santos would be a good option, I think.
Jacob: Start Jonathan Bullard. Mitch Unrein has been passable at defensive end this season, but he clearly isn't a part of the Bears' long-term plans. Like Lester said, the Bears should give their young players more of an opportunity to shine. Bullard has only started one game so far in his NFL career. Why not give him a chance and see if he can be a long-term starter?
Patti: Keep Kendall Wright on the field and use him on slants. I'll take outs, digs, and comeback routes, but I want him on quick underneath routes where he will get open for Trubisky with the opportunity for yards after catch. It was nice to see him used more last Sunday, but they ran him on a deep double-move route which is not his strength and he wasn't open. Inman can run the deep double moves. I want Wright the be the warmest safety blanket Trubisky has ever known.
Andrew summed up the combined sentiments best of all, probably.
Andrew: Allow Dowell Loggains and by proxy, Mitchell Trubisky, to run the offense that they want to run. Not necessarily throwing 50 times a game, but a mix of 30 runs and 40 passes seems reasonable to me.