What’s left for the Bears to evaluate? Change is inevitable now

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Bears coach John Fox and quarterback Mitch Trubisky against the 49ers. (Getty)

Robbie Gould kicked the Bears when they were down.

And then he kicked them again, again, again and again.

“He made a bunch of kicks,” Bears coach John Fox said.

Five to be exact, John. And now Gould’s butt-kicking of his former team — a 15-14 victory for the 49ers on Sunday at Soldier Field — is part of your evaluation.


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Or maybe it should simply conclude it. Changes are inevitable now. Really, when it comes to Fox and his Bears, what is left for general manager Ryan Pace, chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips to consider and evaluate?

Saying the Bears hit rock bottom by losing to the 49ers actually does a disservice to rocks. The Bears still have to play the Browns on Christmas Eve.

The 49ers’ victory was their second this season, and they earned it behind Gould and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who started his first game after being acquired from the Patriots just over a month ago.

“I look at it like this: Every one of these games is an important evaluation,” Pace said during his weekly pregame appearance on WBBM-AM (780). “We look at these next five weeks as an opportunity to respond to adversity and an opportunity to finish our season strong and finish the season the right way.”

For the brass, evaluating the loss to the 49ers extends beyond Garoppolo’s performance (26-for-37, 293 yards) or Gould’s triumphant return (field goals of 33, 28, 35, 34 and 24 yards). It involves the awful loss to the Brett Hundley-led Packers, but also what’s afoot in the locker room.

The vibe at Halas Hall before Sunday was a mixture of angst and odd revelry. Too many players on a 3-9 team continue to share videos of dancing and goofing around in the locker room on social media. It’s a bad look, just as Josh Bellamy’s blowup with fellow receiver Tre McBride was last Monday.

What does it say about Fox’s Bears when Bellamy starts a game and plays plenty less than a week after his fiery exchange with McBride resulted in McBride’s release? Bellamy made one catch for four yards in the fourth quarter against the 49ers.

What does it say about Fox’s Bears when Bellamy expressed little remorse for his role in McBride’s release? And what does it say about Fox’s Bears that Bellamy did as much during an interview that included veteran cornerback Prince Amukamara and rookie running back Tarik Cohen looming over Bellamy from atop locker-room seats and listening in?

Amukamara recorded it and shared Bellamy’s interaction with the media on Instagram before the videos expired (which is standard for an Instagram “story.”)

That Bellamy’s dustup with McBride became what it did — a disconcerting fiasco that involved two nondescript players and featured sparring on social media with former Bears safety Harold Jones-Quartey — speaks to how foul things have become.

“It was hard to even talk to the team after this loss,” Fox said. “We had a great week of preparation. The guys’ mindsets [are] good; they’re working at it.”

Fox’s great week of preparation and his team’s good mindset resulted in 147 yards of offense against a defense that was allowing more than 374 yards per game coming into Sunday. The 49ers had 23 first downs; the Bears had eight.

Rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky (12-for-15, 102 yards, one touchdown, two sacks) improved from his awful outing last week against the Eagles, but that should have been expected.

The most impressive aspect about Trubisky is how well he continued to represent his team after another ugly loss.

“Keep pulling together,” Trubisky told reporters, as if he was speaking to his own teammates. “There’s no finger-pointing, just keep pulling together, sticking together.”

Still, what does it say about Fox’s Bears that the rookie quarterback who wasn’t supposed to play is your best spokesman?

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Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

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