I'm not alone in my thinking on this. Last night on t he way home from the game, I was listening to WGN and heard Dan Hampton and Tom Waddle giving their opinions. They said exactly the same thing. Hampton was beating up on the coaching and said at one point that he doesn't think Dick Jauron will make it past the eighth game this year. That sounds about right to me. Don't get me wrong. I like Dick. He's a fine person. However, the job simply isn't getting done. And it isn't just Jauron; it's the other coaches as well.
The offensive line is generally incompetent. Why? Because of coaching. Sure I know that there have been injuries and that there are a number of rookies playing right now. So what? It's the coaching staff's job to get these people ready for the games.
Greg Blache? Same thing. He's really making me scratch my head. Think about those Green Bay receivers last night. Most of them could have been smoking a cigar while they waited for the ball to get thrown to them. Where in the heck were the cornerbacks? These defensive players are getting big salaries. Shouldn't they be earning them? Both R.W. McQuarters and Jerry Azumah have been big disappointments. I think that Charles Tillman has great potential, but he just isn't ready to take a lead role right now.
I question Greg Olson's credentials. Sure he was with the 49ers for a year, but how well did their quarterbacks do under him? And yes, he did well at Purdue but what the Bears need is a seasoned NFL quarterback coach. Steve DeBerg is the first one who comes to my mind.
What is that total now? I think that the Chicago Bears have had 35 different quarterbacks in regular season games since 1951. That's incredible. Of these quarterbacks, I believe that only 4 of them were first round draft choices. When Ditka got Jim McMahon, he had the ear of George Halas. Who with the Bears management really knows football and can make that kind of a decision right now.
Kordell Stewart? A good player in the wrong system. And he never had a chance to control a game in the preseason. I think it was the last preseason game where the Bears played four quarterbacks, one of whom was cut by t he team t he following day. Shouldn't Kordell have been in learning the Bears offense?
In the last game, Favre's rating was 104.7. Stewart's was 49.5. That's pitiful. Kordell is smart and he is athletic but either he just isn't fitting in here as the coaches had hoped he would, or he is not getting the proper guidance to become a vital part of this offense. I never would have signed him because I don't think he is able to bring to the Bears what they need right now.
Grossman is a player with vast potential. In fact, if I were in charge, I'd be bringing him in right now. There's simply no sense in waiting. He has the skills and he needs the chance to develop them. What I saw during the preseason with him is a kid who could come in when the Bears were behind and make some big passing plays. He seems very cool under pressure. That's because, up until now, he has had quarterback coaching from some of the best in the business.
I like Bob Wiley, my heart goes out to him, but he simply doesn't have the support that he needs right now to be able to make good things happen. And again, I really like Dick Jauron. Gary Fencik and I were talking last night. We're both from Yale and we're hoping that Jauron can pull out of this, but all indications are that major changes should be made across the board.
I haven't seen all the NFL stats for the past week yet, but I'm fairly certain that the Bears are at the bottom of the pile in both offense and defense. Think about it. In their first game against the 49ers,they had a total of 127 offensive yards. 127! I think San Francisco had 391. They aren't that good as they haven't won another game since the Bears were out there.
So where do the Bears go from here? Get your players with experience back on the field. Terrence Metcalf has a broken finger and has been out for weeks. Give me a break. When I played, they taped you up and you were right back in the game.
Make a decision about Marc Colombo. Sure he looked ok in the few games that he played, but he's been out since early last fall. Isn't it time to cut the losses and move on? Let's start looking for players with good experience, known quantities who can play. Corbin Lacina might be one of those. He hasn't done too much yet, but he could have some of what we've been looking for.
Make changes in the coaching staff. Your offense and your defense are at the bottom of the league. That should tell you something. There are plenty of people out there who can motivate and who can design good plays. When things go bad, a coaching change can be the beginning of a turnaround. Continuing like this makes absolutely no sense to me.
It's terrible situation and I do feel sorry for the players. I feel sorry for the fans. This could be a good team. This could be a great team. The time to head in that direction is right now.
Pyle played for center for the Bears from 1961-69 and has worked in broadcasting for more than 30 years.
Beth Gorr contributed to this piece.