I hate to write posts about what needs to happen in the off season while this season is still going on but with the Bears having less than a 5 percent chance of making the playoffs, it's hard resist. The free fall has everyone on edge, including the most optimistic and hopeful.
With rumors swirling around Jerry Angelo retiring after the end of season, you have to wonder if he will. After starting the season 7-3 and on the verge of a playoff berth, the Bears have lost four straight and are virtually out of contention. Because of the free fall, one can only think that this could be Angelo's most disappointing season in his 10 year career.
Before making the biggest trade in franchise history, Angelo made an emphasis on upgrading the quarterback position. This offseason, he will need to emphasize upgrading several positions that have failed to produce and ultimately played a major role in the Bears collapse this season.
With two years on his contract, I don't think Angelo will retire after the season. Instead he will go all out and make another big splash in the off season and make upgrades to the roster and set this team up for another trip to the Super Bowl before he retires.
Angelo passed on Donovan McNabb after being released from the Vikings because the Bears trusted Caleb Hanie to fill in for Jay Cutler but he has been Craig Krenzel-bad... actually worse. Hanie has the worst rating for a Bears quarterback in franchise history. For the second season in a row, although durable, Cutler has missed games. The Bears need a proven insurance policy in a veteran quarterback with winning experience and not just someone that filled in for a starter for a couple quarters.
Find A Playmaker
Before trading for Cutler, just like finding a franchise quarterback, finding a playmaking wide receiver has been an anomaly for the franchise. The Bears signed Earl Bennett to an extension but many think Bennett is, at best, a number two target. He is Cutler's favorite target and the most reliable on the team but Bennett doesn't strike fear in opposing secondaries. Cutler needs someone who can stretch the field, make the big play and force coverage opposite of Bennett.
Add Depth To The Defense
After Cutler went down, the Bears defense had to step up for them to have any chance at surviving the regular season to squeak into the playoffs. While they've been dominant, there were times when opposing offenses made plays to keep drives alive and at the end of games, when they've needed to close teams out, they haven't been able. The defense is winded from being on the field too long and their age is showing. As key players on the defense are on the opposite side of 30 years old, the Bears will need to add depth and get younger.