Owners of a pair of first-round picks in April’s NFL Draft after indicating their confidence in third-year quarterback Justin Fields and trading the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft to the Carolina Panthers for a first-rounder this year, the Chicago Bears look well on their way to having the top selection again as they are 0-2 on the way to 0-17.
That is obviously a very cynical projection; however, it appears that the ship in Chicago is rudderless with former first-rounder Fields, who is now 5-22 as a starter for the Bears, searching for answers. Not helping matters is the fact that the Bears’ coaching staff in massive disarray.
There are all sorts of things going wrong for the Bears. But besides being relatively uncompetitive while losing their first two games to the Packers and Bucs, the most glaring problem in Chicago has to be whatever is happening regarding former defensive coordinator Alan Williams.
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Away from the Bears since last week for what the team classified as a personal reason, 53-year-old Williams resigned yesterday citing health reasons. “I am taking a step back to take care of my health and family. I appreciate the opportunity to work with the Chicago Bears, a storied NFL franchise with a rich history,” Williams said in a statement. “I value the NFL shield and all that it stands for and after taking some time to address my health, I plan to come back and coach again.”
Health issues aside (and hopefully they are minor and curable), Williams returning to the NFL and coaching again does not seem like a certainty as there are reports, which the Bears have refuted, that the former DC’s home as well as one of the franchise’s facilities were raided by police for undisclosed reasons.
Whether those reports, which have been supported, are accurate or not, there clearly is something amiss with the coaching in Chicago as Fields tacitly blamed the staff for playing “robotic” and not performing like himself during his team’s Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers.
“You know, could be coaching, I think,” Fields said. “At the end of the day, they are doing their job when they are giving me what to look at, but at the end of the day, I can’t be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week, and then when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more.”
Fields clearly did some further thinking about his comments after they went viral and walked them back very quickly. “I’m not blaming anything on the coaches, I’m never gonna blame anything on the coaches,” Fields said shortly after blaming his coaches for playing like a robot. “I’m never gonna blame anything on my teammates. Whatever happens in the game, I will take all the blame.”
The thing is, Fields, who was 16-of-29 for 211 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against Tampa with a rushing TD, is probably not at fault for whatever is going on in Chicago. He might not be very good, but there’s really no way to know as the staff that head coach Matt Eberflus has installed appears to be a complete mess. That mess has the potential to get even messier after this weekend as the Bears are slated to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 and Chicago is a double-digit underdog to the defending Super Bowl champs.
This morning’s announcement out of the Bears organization isn’t a signal all this well, that’s for sure:
No matter what Poles says, it seems like Bears fans can prepare to go into early hibernation this season — again.