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Friday Foofaraw: Our Bears Season Preview Roundtable

Look at out, kids. We did it. But we can’t make you any more football-stupid than you already are.

Is there any chance this team is going to be good?

Cieslak: No. There’s a chance they win 7 games making it the worst possible outcome for a rebuilding team outside of making the playoffs and getting the absolute piss kicked out of them in the wild card game. I still ride with Jay, mostly because everyone hates him which makes me like him more and more because I’m human poison. But the injuries to McPhee and Kevin White always being hurt and Alshon Jeffery almost a lock to *get* hurt, this team is in deep trouble this year. Worse yet it doesn’t seem like this year’s draft was that good. They should try and continue to stockpile good picks and winning more than 4 games is a bad way to do that. I wish they were going to be that bad – the coaching staff is too good for them to be the worst team in the NFL.

Fels: If I squint, and I mean really hard, I could trust Fangio to come up with different schemes to keep them in a lot of games they probably shouldn’t be in. They do have actual linebackers this season, instead of the Streetwise salesmen they had last season. The secondary still blows, but I understand trying to build a front seven before as secondary as that can partially cover for that. Not enough against any real QB of course, but the Bears also have a pretty cushy schedule in that regard. We have no idea what Osweiler is. The Eagles don’t have one, The Cowboys one is hurt. Who knows what you’ll get out of Stafford with no Megatron. Looking over the whole schedule, there’s really only three or four games you’d say they have absolutely no chance in, because this is football and it’s dumb and really most teams are just this goo no one can make anything of. 

When I stop squinting, Cutler will do the best he can but once again has no weapons. The line should be barely ok with Sitton but absolutely no one can get hurt. There’s going to be a lot of games where they needed touchdowns and get field goals and lose by one score. 

It all adds up to 7 wins, maybe 8, the same thing we’ve been watching basically for the past 20 years. 

Feather: Sure. This is the NFL and there’s a reason why hillbilly red-ass Jerry Glanville said it stood for “Not For Long.” Aside from basically one team (New England), every year is dependent on who doesn’t lose 30 players to catastrophic injury. We’re at the point of the NFL timeline where I was just simulating seasons on Madden ’08 and basically every roster is filled with make believe players. 

So can the Bears be good? Why the hell not. Sam Bradford is running the ship in Minnesota. Detroit is Detroit. Sweep those 4 games and split with Green Bay and the Bears are halfway to 10. That doesn’t seem nearly as implausible as when Teddy Bridgewater had 2 healthy knees. Factor in a softer out of division schedule than normal and suddenly, we’re expecting meaningful football in BEAR WEATHER again. 

See? I’ve got you believing. Of course, they’ll probably lose three key players in Houston and everything will go right down the toilet. Football is the worst. 

McClure:The NFL is stupid and a bloodbath, so maybe, but who gives a shit? It’s a sport that does not allow for incremental growth, so there are no years to build on as we’ve seen the likes of the Cubs and Hawks go through. Every year is a crapshoot because players limbs fall off literally ever 10 seconds. Plus, it’s far more amusing when the Bears are bad. This entire city is completely emasculated when they lose, and it’s hilarious. The average football fan is even stupider than the average hockey fan, and the arms race that is the marketing of the sport has now turned everything into a life or death reflection of self worth, and this city takes that to the extreme with its ill-conceived notions of what football is supposed to be about. Just look at the last week with how weepy and maudlin even the most critical Bears observers got with the release of Robbie Gould, an overpaid and bad kicker and locker room lawyer. But because he’s white and nice to the media and keeps perpetuating the Bearsiest of Bears ideals, there are still garments being rendered a week later. 

Is there anything or any player you’re actually looking forward to watching?

Cieslak: I would love to see Kevin White break out but he’s already hurt. I’m interested to see what’s wrong with Josh Sitton because you *know* the Packers sent a Trojan Horse –  which the Bears didn’t even need to ensure two beat downs at the hands of Aaron Rodgers’ boys. It’s needlessly cruel and the Bears probably fell into a trap which is not shocking at all. In truth I should just become a Packers fan.

Fels:I always love Cutler playing his ass off and getting no credit for it because this town just doesn’t get it and never will. I really want to see if Kevin White is just confused or actually stupid, though he might not even get on the field enough to show us. I actually think the running backs are going to be entertaining as hell, though sometimes in the very wrong way. 

Feather: I agree with everyone else and Cutler is my favorite individual to watch. Sometimes, he’s electric. Sometimes, he’s bad. Always, he’s polarizing. It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on 8 years of his tenure here. It seems like yesterday that everyone was waiting to shit all over him and he didn’t disappoint in his debut. And Kevin White too, of course. It’ll be fun to watch him get picked apart by HARDCORE Bear fans on a play by play basis. 

Besides that, I really enjoy watching the Bears when they’re good. Assuming they are. If they’re not, then I try to fill my Sundays with activities that don’t involve them.

McClure: Jay Cutler just because he’s such a prick and doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of him, and no one is ever going to change their minds.

Do we think Pace and Fox really have any clue?

Cieslak: Yeah I think they have a clue. I also think they’ve got a microwaved bowl of dog shit that they’re trying to season into something edible. It would take more time to fix this franchise than any NFL front office is going to be allowed to have. So chances are they’ll fail and the next bozo braintrust will come in and fumble around with an un-openable bra strap in the dark for a couple years and so on and so on.

Bear down.

Fels: I think they have a clue, I’m just not sure they have the same clue. There seems to be another Q-Stan dynamic here, where the GM would like to play the long game but has to cater to his coach a little too much. Fox feels more and more dinosaur the more we go on. His clock management sucks, and while I don’t miss Brandon Marshall much I’m not sure what the real trouble with Martellus was and then not even bothering to replace him. There seems to be a total fear of any personality here, which isn’t exactly conducive to winning.  

Then again, the players always play for Fox, which is basically half a coach’s job in the NFL, This was Lovie’s strength. He also keeps them fairly disciplined, another Lovie strength. Basically, if your coach keeps the players interested and not taking penalties, that’s five or six wins alone. Throw in the ability to get turnovers… well, the Bears aren’t going to get many turnovers with this secondary. 

It’s worrying that Pace has had two first round picks, one is hurt and possibly stupid and the other one is hurt and probably fat. That’s not totally fair, though. Last year Langford, Amos, and Goldman contributed something. They seem to like Whitehair from this draft. We’ll see on the rest. But if you whiff on the big ones… then it doesn’t matter much, does it?

Keep me entertained on Sundays, look like you’re moving forward in some way. That’s all I ask of the Bears this year. 

Feather: Football management is just two guys doing stuff. I think they’re both smart FOOTBALL men. Pace seems to have a knack for exhausting pretty much every avenue to find guys that sort of know what the hell they’re doing. Even if that means making an insane amount of lateral moves.  John Fox is good at surrounding himself with very smart people. On paper, it sounds like it should be a lethal combination.

Realistically, I don’t know what to make of them. Last year was a hodge podge of roster moves followed by Fox alienating any veteran he didn’t like. This year should be very telling as to how their relationship will play out over the course of their contracts.

McClure: It’s going to end up being a toxic mixture sooner or later because Fox is as retrograde as they get, and Pace clearly fancies himself as being the smartest guy in the room by reaching on players. Not as bad as Emery and Trestman, but still right there. Fox clearly has a baseline of boring competence and surrounds himself with good assistants and always has, but if the personnel blows there’s not a lot they can do.