By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) If MLB’s All-Star break is your annual time to consider the fortunes of the Bears, this year you’re better off going fishing or doing yard work.
Don’t glance at the outside opinions without a strong sense of resolve. This is already looking like the season that allows general manager Ryan Pace to fire John Fox in favor of the offensive-minded head coach he has long preferred, all the better to groom the quarterback to whom he has hitched his career.
Bovada will give you 10/1 odds against the Bears making the playoffs, your chance to bet on the same kind of unforeseen dead-cat bounce that staved off the ouster of Dick Jauron years ago. Pro Football Weekly’s annual preview issue has them 5-11, finishing last again in the NFC North and ranked 28th of the 32 NFL teams, with the comment “lots of small moves don’t spell big improvement.”
Pro Football Talk just placed them 30th overall, noting, “The Bears were 3-13 last year, and it’s hard to see where they’ve improved significantly.” The only real cause for optimism they provide is the recognition that the 2016 Bears were the single most injured team since Football Outsiders began logging objective data on Adjusted Games Lost in 2000.
“Probably not quite as hurt” isn’t exactly an inspiring rallying cry, but that’s all the Bears seem to have. Fox always talks about under-promising and over-delivering, and the former seems to be shaping up quite nicely.