No time for Bears to rebuild

January 02, 2012|By Alex Quigley, For RedEye

Other than gambling and rooting against Green Bay, the NFL playoffs won't be very pleasurable for Bears fans. Watching the Niners' pedestrian offense or the .500 Broncos hosting a playoff game will conjure up serious cases of the "what ifs."

Here's hoping as George McCaskey slumps into his favorite recliner and fires up his 112-inch screen, the new chairman doesn't make moves for the sake of making moves. Don't clean house, George. Not yet.

Wiping the slate clean on Bears management and coaches won't make for a better football team in 2012. In 2011 the Bears got better week to week. That dreadful offensive line that gave up 18 sacks through the first five games only allowed five the next five games. The Bears averaged 32 points per game in that stretch. Heck, Chicago looked like one of two NFC teams that could take down the Pack in the postseason. (Now we must put our faith in Breesus.)

Then, Thumbageddon laid waste to the most precious metacarpal bone in Illinois. If anything, fire the Chicago Park District and get some actually playable turf at Soldier Field. A butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, a hurricane forms in the Caribbean, and a Johnny Knox slip turned a slant-route first down into a season-detonator.

Maybe you think Mike Martz should be let go for subjecting us to the comic stylings of Caleb Hanie. Why? So the Bears can waste another year—or longer—getting used to a new offensive scheme? The Bears' defense has four Pro Bowlers, but all are on the bad side of 30. There isn't time to waste rebuilding the other side of the team. The championship window is narrowing, but it ain't closed yet. No reason to slam it shut out of spite, disappointment or anger.

As long as the Bears draft for O-line depth and sign one (just one, dammit!) difference-maker at wide receiver, there isn't much more Bears coaches and management can—or should—do. When you lose a franchise quarterback for the year, you usually lose that season.

Good-bye and good riddance to the Lost Season of 2011.

Alex Quigley can be heard on 720 WGN Radio.

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