There was a time when Chicago Bears ownership was a patient bunch. During the era of former team chairman Michael McCaskey, it took a lot of effort to earn a pink slip.
Consider this, in three of his first four seasons as head coach of the Chicago Bears, Dick Jauron fielded teams that went 6-10, 5-11 and 4-12. Yet when the season opened in 2003, there was Jauron on the sidelines, coaching the team in the fifth and final year of his reign.
In addition, former GM Jerry Angelo was in place for 11 years (2001-2011) and former head coach Lovie Smith worked for nine years in the Windy City.
Yet today, after an embarrassing 5-11 season, new chairman George McCaskey fired head coach Marc Trestman after his second year and GM Phil Emery after three seasons with the club.
When George took over as chairman in 2011, he said the team would be run differently. He indicated his strong desire to win championships and that middling results would no longer be tolerated.
It appears he was telling the truth. By axing the two heads of the organization, McCaskey has made an unprecedented move. Never in the 95-year history of the Bears has the general manager and head coach been fired at the same time.
It’s a clear message to everyone in the building at Halas Hall that the days of wallowing in sub-par play are over. It’s also a message that insubordination and poor decision-making are grounds for termination.
George has taken the right step. On the field, the players quit this season. It was as clear as day. Only a new regime can change the pervading “oh well” mantra that has taken hold of the roster.
And if the new head coach and general manager can’t get the job done, their tenures with the team will also be short-lived.
George’s message is clear: win now or find a new job.
I think I can confidently speak for Bears Nation when saying: it’s about time.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.