Bernstein: What Are The Bears Doing?
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By Dan Bernstein-
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) Nobody snaps into inaction like the Bears.
With last week’s rambling, incoherent press conference at Halas Hall providing the perfect symbolic catalyst for his efforts, team president Ted Phillips apparently decided to race back to his office and play Angry Birds.
The Raiders have already hired away Packers football-operations director Reggie McKenzie to be their general manager and empowered him. McKenzie fired the coach. The Colts fired GM Bill Polian, and are reportedly set to hire Eagles player-personnel director Ryan Grigson. The league is abuzz with chatter as executives and coaches are flying in all directions.
And the Bears have interviewed nobody.
Amazingly, word out of Halas Hall is that Phillips and his bosses are surprised at the early lack of interest in Jerry Angelo’s old job. Had they listened to themselves, they would have heard them scaring qualified candidates away by describing their desire to hire an emasculated administrator to come in and work for the coach.
Smart, aggressive teams target the people they want, get on a plane, and go hire them. They don’t embarrass themselves publicly by failing to even adequately explain what the job is, let alone having any real idea of whom they want to pursue to fill this position that they haven’t quite defined.
That’s why you’re hearing the leaks about Angelo’s old buddy Tim Ruskell quietly falling upward into the job. Ruskell is with his fourth NFL team, and three of them were not unhappy to see him go. But he has an advantage over other possibilities, in that he’s actually here.
Phillips may figure that he’s already down to two types in his “search” — old and desperate, or young and hungry – and Ruskell is the former. It may be the perfect match of a recycled, unaccomplished guy for a phony-baloney position.
Meanwhile, leave it to them to do what they’re doing with the offense. Mike Tice made for a convenient, stress-free hire as the new coordinator, after he won rave reviews for turning a suspect offensive line into a mostly bad offensive line. The problem is, Tice knows little or nothing about the forward pass, so the Bears are looking to hire a “Passing Coordinator.”
This, considering the way the modern game is played, is like hiring an accountant who requires an assistant for all things tax-related. It’s a doctor who’s still a little fuzzy on the whole “anatomy” thing. A short-order cook who’s really good, except he just can’t fry stuff. A plumber who doesn’t do sinks.
Their first try on that front was a request to interview the Titans’ Dowell Loggains. Yes, THAT Dowell Loggains. The request was denied. It was denied because requests to interview someone for something other than a clear promotion are denied routinely.
Here’s the state of the Bears: somebody you never heard of was denied permission to discuss a made-up coaching position. And it has been a week since they ousted Angelo, with no progress made on where to go next.
It’s possible Phillips will shock us all with this eventual hire, either luring some mysterious, famous bigfoot or getting lucky with a no-name who turns out to be a visionary.
I’m not betting on that. Relying on dumb luck is way less satisfying than trusting a clear, cogent, well-executed plan.
You can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat you don’t have.
Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of ‚ÄúBoers and Bernstein‚Äù since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.