I've lived in Chicago for 22 years now, and as part of the Chicago Bears organization for a little over nine years we had some tough circumstances we had to work through. As a team and an organization, we found a way to work through it and still put a winning product on the field.
This week has been another tough week in Bears history, starting with the Bears losing at Tampa Bay, then the Justin Fields controversy, and finally, Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams resigning. The combination of all three "events" is enough to destroy any team and ruin their season. There is a lot of adversity to overcome, and it can be difficult to navigate through it. It can be done, and the optimist in me feels it will get done.
Adversity can break a team up, but it can also bring a team together, and in the Bears' case, that's what I feel will happen.
Let's talk about some of the events of the week. I'm not touching Alan Williams' resignation because, frankly, it's none of our business. There have been a lot of rumors, much of which have already proven to be false. The situation is what it is, and it's now history.
The Justin Fields controversy that began with his Wednesday press conference was strictly the product of a negative reporter on the Bears beat posting on X a false situation. I listened to every second of the Justin Fields presser as it was taking place. Not for a second did I feel that Fields was blaming coaching for anything! The reporter though, who has a history of being negative and trying to create controversy, purposely took Fields words out of context to create the storm. He knew exactly what he was doing! And of course, it took on a life of its own and became a national story, not just a local one.
Following Wednesday's practice, Fields found out what was happening on social media and quickly tried to calm the situation by clarifying what he had said in the presser. Much of the Chicago media, though being as they are, started saying that Fields was forced into making his clarification. Nonsense! Fields took it upon himself to clear the air and in doing so, showed the leadership that he has. If you listened to him, his words were strong, and he was pissed! I applaud him.
Yesterday, the story continued. During practice, at the time the media could view practice, Fields went over to Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy and gave him a hug while at the same time waving to the media. That was not a "see, we're good hug"; it was a "screw you" hug. While it might seem like something small, it was huge. It was the quarterback of the Chicago Bears saying, "we're together, and we are going to work through this and come out on top".
This season has not gone as hoped, and there has been much overreaction by both fans and media. There are reasons for this. There have been multiple injuries and off-field circumstances that prevented both sides of the ball from practicing as a unit. Many starters got their first real contact in the opening game versus Green Bay. No team wants to be put into a situation like that, but it happened, and it was the fault of no one. Injuries happen, and then the team deals with them in the best way they know how.
Not only did the Bears have to work through all the controversy of the week, but they also lost Braxton Jones, their starting left tackle, for at least a month due to a neck injury. That's a huge loss, as he was coming into his own as a player. He will not easily be replaced, but the Bears will find a way. Third-year tackle and former starter Larry Borom will most likely take Jones' place, and he has to step up and play to the best of his ability.
Sunday, the Bears play one of the best teams in all of football. The Kansas City Chiefs are just about as close to a dynasty as we can get in the NFL. They have won two recent Super Bowls and are led by the best quarterback in the game, Patrick Mahomes. Everyone in football feels this game will be a total blowout. Everyone but me. No, I do not feel the Bears will win the game, but I strongly feel that they will play the best game of this young season and give the Chiefs all they can handle.
Why do I feel this way? After everything that has happened this week, this team can cave in or fight. Knowing athletes the way I do, I feel they take on this "us against them" attitude and play much harder than we have seen. My gut feeling is the events of this week will not tear the team apart but bring them together. Not only do I feel the Bears will give Kansas City a good game, but starting next week at home versus Denver, they will start to win. Could I be wrong? Of course, but I don't feel I am. Sunday is an important day for this team, and it will be the first day of this team turning things around with a strong performance.