New Year, New Chairman, New Direction

New Year, New Chairman, New Direction

George McCaskey quietly took over the franchise by succeeding his older Michael this past spring. For the past eight months, the new boss has watched his team rise to the top of the Super Bowl contenders list by the midway point of the season only to collapse into mediocrity. As the former director of ticket sales, George knows what it will take to keep Soldier Field's seats filled and their most loyal fans happy.

Needless to say, fans aren't happy. Sure, the Bears will never have a problem filling the stadium but perception is everything. Fair or unfair, for years, the Bears have been perceived to be cheap under Michael's watch.

George has the opportunity to put his stamp on this team. He should do so by opening up the checkbook, as the team has over the past few years, to build the team around the offense and Jay Cutler.

According to Sean Jansen of the Chicago Sun Times, the Bears will be in excellent shape and will have plenty of room under the salary cap. With the free agent market that's heavy in the wide receiver position, the writing is on the wall for the Bears to finally focus on building this team around Cutler.

This is not a running league and it hasn't been in about 25 years. The Bears will have to stop reliving the glory days of the T-Formation and the 85 Bears and build their roster for the modern day.

This is league is a passing, quarterback-centric league and the Bears finally found a quarterback to stay competitive. Look at some of the NFC playoffs teams -- Packers, Saints, Falcons, Lions, Giants. Not only do these teams have franchise quarterbacks, they have weapons around them to help outscore the other team.

Fans want points. They want 400 yard passing games. 60 yard bombs.

The 4th Phase wants wins and to win, the Bears need an offense that will cause other team's defensive coordinators to lose sleep.

His grandfather and his namesake, George, was a visionary for the team and league and the Bears now wear his initials on the sleeves of their jerseys. His shoes are big shoes to fill.

Change has to happen and it has to start at the very top. It has to start with George, the grandson, to set forth the team's vision moving forward and he has the quarterback to do so.

It can happen. This team is built to win now and it has to start next season.

Filed under: 4th Phase

Tags: george mccaskey

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  • The 4th Phase is sure confused today.

    First--opening up the checkbook. They did two years ago. Peppers was worth it. Taylor and Manimanuseless weren't. In any event, my understanding is that they have to spend at least a minimum, which is why you got such things as the late extension of Bennett.

    So long as the fans fill the stadium and are somewhat stuck due to their PSLs or whatever the downpayment was for the reconstruction, and especially, so long as FOX, NBC, CBS, and ESPN pay up, the beer companies pay them, and there is revenue sharing, George knows that how the team plays makes very little economic difference. Maybe in NFL licensed merchandise.

    Finally, unless George does what his relatives wouldn't, that is--REPLACE THE WHOLE FRONT OFFICE--nothing is going to change. George is not going to draft receivers and an offensive line--unless he gets rid of Jerry, Jerry will.

    We'll see if George does anything, or we'll have a press conference like the 3 fools conference of two years ago, replayed the other day on the radio. Lovie already thinks that he is 1-0 in 2012, ignoring that he lost 4 times to the Pack in 2011, and the NFL season isn't structured that way.

    So, drink the Kool Aid.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks for the comment... and no I'm not confused and we will agree to disagree.

    The Bears also opened the checkbook by trading for Cutler. Although it was through draft picks, the team still opened the checkbook by getting Cutler through future salary and (still waiting) finding offensive talent to compliment him.

    Let's be honest with ourselves, the Bears were one injury (Cutler) away from the playoffs. Any finger pointing and blaming is going too far and over analyzing the situation. Wholesale changes like replacing the front office don't need to be made.

    Phillips does a good job of managing the operations and Angelo, IMO, has tried to assemble a winning team. Angelo has rolled the dice during free agency. When Angelo has made his signings, most everyone thought they were good signings.

    How the team plays makes very little economic difference? Seriously? A winning Bears team is good for the city, local businesses and the league.

    I'm not saying George will draft receivers and offensive line man but it also starts with the vision he will set forth. The Bears brand has always been about the defense and a strong running game. The team's identity has to change and focused more around the modern day league and building around Cutler.

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    It may have an effect on peripheral businesses, like downtown parking lot shuttle operators, and purveyors of tailgate food and grills, but there is no evidence that it has any effect on the McCaskeys' pocketbooks, at least compared to the revenue sharing part of the revenue.

    And, as far as setting forth any vision, he sure hasn't set forth one yet. With the Lovie press conference being basically "I'm not saying anything now, because we haven't done the evaluation process," that indicates that no one has yet given the head coach a vision.

    And, so long as Angelo is there, no vision is going to be implemented other than what he has brought us the past 10 years.

    So, why don't you cite a verifiable source to what George's vision is, instead of what is floating in your head?

  • In reply to jack:

    This was an opinion piece based on what the Bears need and who they currently are. I don't need a verifiable source.

    I said he has the opportunity to change the perception of who the Bears are AND based on how much the team is under the salary cap and a look at who's available in free agency, the Bears are poised to spend money, as they have in the past, and build an offense around Cutler.

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    Well, let's see if he exercises that opportunity. No evidence of that yet.

    One even has to see if there are enough free agents available to build an offense, regardless of what they cost.

    This year, the Bears proved that they couldn't compete with the Packers or Saints, even with Cutler. Let them prove different for next year.

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    And on your "if Cutler only didn't get hurt point"

    1. With the kind of line and other support Cutler had, he was going to get hurt eventually.

    2. Matt Flynn sure looked good yesterday, which tells you something about GB depth. Who has Angelo drafted or signed like that?

  • In reply to jack:

    Again, you're over analyzing the collapse.

    If Knox doesn't slip, Cutler doesn't throw the pick, and he doesn't have to chase a defender down and break his thumb.

    The o-line, although not great, didn't get Cutler killed. Crap happened and it happened to the Bears. That's all.

    After the Hanie played in the NFC Championship game, he had a chance to test the market. If he did and Angelo let him walk, everyone would have gotten on his case. Everyone thought he was more than capable of being at least halfway decent, probably yourself included... and we were all wrong.

    After the NFC title game, would you have let Hanie walk? Who would you have brought in?

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    As far as who I would have brought in, have Ted Phillips give me a contract as General Manager, and I'll figure that out.

    Man, you are living in the past. The only reason anyone thought that Caleb Hanie was any good was that Lovie and crew put Collins ahead of him in the Giants and championship games, and Hanie looked better than him. Everyone then was asking why wasn't Hanie second in the depth chart then? No answer.

    Now, after 3 years of not evaluating Hanie, he doesn't get the job done in the emergency and McCown looks better than him. Not much better, though. Still got sacked 7 times yesterday.

    I mentioned a couple of days ago that they left Enderle on the bench, and you are apparently satisfied if he stays there for 3 years before he has to prove himself in an emergency.

    Maybe your question should be what I would do to get Green Bay's scout for the Bears. That would make a difference, not arguing over comparative mediocrities.

    BTW, there are reports that Indianapolis is cleaning house, so apparently Irsay isn't buying the "we could have made it if Manning were not injured" line. Google that.

  • I am not living the past because this post was meant to look towards the future.

    I am pointing out that it's easy to place the blame and point fingers at someone when there's really no point. The team is built to win now and you challenged my Cutler point asked you who would've brought in as a back up. You couldn't because there was no one to bring in. Backups and quarterbacks are slim pickins for everyone.

    I actually wanted the Enderle to play. He was probably inactive because he was a Martz guy and he's influenced every quarterback decision the Bears have made since he was hired. For that he not even be back next season.

    As for the situation with the Colts, their gm has been on the job for 15 years. He had a good team but to go winless for almost the entire year is inexcusable. Who knows you could blame the players or coaches or the front office. That's not a situation we're in.

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    So, you tell us what's the difference between Cutler being injured and Manning being injured, except one was in week 10 and the other was at the beginning of the season? If N.O. had taken down Cutler in week 2 like it did Carimi, would the Bears be any better than 2-14?

    It seems like it is the same situation in that neither GM had properly planned for what would happen if their QB went down.

    At least Polian's crew beat the Bears in the 2006 Big Game.

  • In reply to jack:

    i'd say yes. yes the bears would be better than 2-14. why? because they would've seen early on that Hanie was garbage and they would've had more time to find and bring in the right veteran back-up.

    plus, it cutler goes down in week 2, there's a good chance they win their waiver claim on neckbeard.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    Since their main "talent evaluator" is gone, it is hard to tell in retrospect. Would someone else have picked up Mr. Chunky Soup? Jerry could have. However, if the only criterion was whether someone had played the Martz offense, I doubt that Jerry would have done anything different.

    Just based on how the Bears played against their competition, with or without Cutler, the only game I would give them would be Carolina (mostly because Carolina got a lot of penalties in the red zone). Given that they had already beaten the Falcons and did beat Minnesota, that gets them to 3-13.

    Maybe Orton could have beat Denver with the Bears as he did with KC, but with guys like Barber blowing two games, I don't think that would have changed. Also, if it were before the trading deadline, they wouldn't have had to mess with waivers.

    But since Jerry is now gone, and I'll bet that the next g.m. gets rid of Lovie and his staff (might take Ricketts time to do it, but it'll happen), that point is moot. The only point that was validated was that Chicago was not so different from Indy, except as a matter of timing of the injuries and the firings.

  • In reply to jack:

    well, to say "chicago wasn't so different from Indy," you have to also be saying "cutler isn't so different from manning."

    pretty high praise.

  • In reply to evantonio:

    No, only with regard to dumping their general managers, despite what Mr. 4th Phase said. However, it appears that Chicago doesn't want a new general manager.

    Don't put words in my mouth.

  • In reply to jack:

    then speak your words more clearly so misunderstandings don't happen.

  • I didn't get to watch a single Colts game so it wouldn't be fair to comment BUT I am confident that a Lovie Smith coached Bears team would not have gone 2-14.

    Besides, that "Polian" team was a Tony Dungy-Peyton Manning coached and led team. The Bears lost not because the Colts had a franchise quarterback the Bears didn't.

  • In reply to Bears STH:

    From reading the latest post on Da Bears Blog, it looks like you are wrong. Not clear yet if George exhibited any cajones in the past 24 hours, but it seems good that you won't be dwelling any longer on why Jerry should stay.

    Then you can stew over whether the new GM will keep a coach whose main insight yesterday, when asked about making the playoffs once in 5 years, said "I have to correct you, it was once in two years." No, it was 5, Dilbert's boss.

    And apparently the Colts were not as distinguishable from the Bears as you thought.

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