Do the Bears have anything or anyone to feel good about right now?

SHARE Do the Bears have anything or anyone to feel good about right now?
bears_eagles_football.jpg

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky walks off the field against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 26, 2017. | Chris Szagola/AP

PODCAST IN PRINT: The Chicago Sun-Times’ Adam L. Jahns and WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge have co-hosted a Bears podcast since the 2015 season. The “Hoge & Jahns Podcast” can be found on chicago.suntimes.com and wgnradio.com. It’s also available on the WGN Radio app, iTunes and the TuneIn app.

Adam L. Jahns: Bears coach John Fox might believe his team is close to good things — he seemingly says so every week — but his team is 3-9. They’re among the worst teams in terms of record and various statistics. We can go on and on with reasons why the Bears have lost five consecutive games. But typically there are one or two positives to point out. Those are scarce now, too.

Adam Hoge: The problem is, the positives all have caveats. Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd looked better this year, but he can’t stay healthy. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky has talent, but steady growth is difficult to identify. Running back Tarik Cohen is a playmaker, but he is undersized and the Bears don’t know how to use him. Safety Eddie Jackson is a promising rookie, but his big plays were limited to just one game. When you’re 12-32 as a regime, it is hard to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.

RELATED STORIES

Bears put Kyle Long on injured reserve, ending his season

Bears mailbag: On coaching candidates, blame game, lame ducks and more

Jahns: The players that you highlighted should all be considered building blocks. But yes, there are negatives to consider for all of them. Guard Kyle Long is an example, too. He is the only building block from the Phil Emery era, and he has been ravaged by injuries. Trubisky should embody hope; he is the second overall pick. His growing pains, though, have seemingly become too painful under Fox.

Hoge: Could a new coach come in here and sell the idea that the Bears are just a few weapons on offense away from competing? Maybe, but that all depends on the growth of Trubisky. In that regard, general manager Ryan Pace probably should get one more talent acquisition cycle. But the pessimism from the fan base is growing, especially given the way in which the Bears lost to the 49ers Sunday.

Jahns: It is a bad look that Trubisky’s play isn’t a legitimate positive after eight starts. There have been promising moments. He has made some big-time plays that should make you feel optimistic. You can feel good but only to a certain point. The Bears’ offense is the worst in the NFL. It lacks production and continuity. It is not just the calls and formations, either. The personnel continues to change around Trubisky — and that’s by choice. Fox’s conservative approach also limits Trubisky’s ability to build on the good things he actually does on the field.

Hoge: That is why it is surprising Fox is still here. Pace’s job security is linked to Trubisky and his first eight starts seem like a wash when it comes to evaluating the quarterback. There are still four games left. That’s a lot of valuable snaps remaining for Trubisky in 2017. It is obvious Fox’s primary focus is still winning games and saving his job — and who can blame him for that? — but these last four games should be about player development.

Jahns: It should be, but it is not. Not when rookie tight end Adam Shaheen plays only nine snaps against the 49ers or when second-year linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski is in a rotation. Trubisky should be throwing for more than 102 yards, too. Let the kids play. It might be fun. Will that change? It seems unlikely with Fox. Again, the positives have become scarce.

Hoge: It goes back to a key discussion from the offseason: How would Fox’s need to win games mesh with Pace’s need to develop young talent? Well, the answer is now obvious: it has been a disaster.

Follow Jahns and Hoge on Twitter @adamjahns and @adamhoge.

hogejahns.jpg

The Latest
The grass was so patchy bad that super-agent David Canter Tweeted that Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Chiefs should have been canceled.
Rushdie’s alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, was due in court to face attempted murder and assault charges.
Safety Juan Thornhill dropped his right should into Fields’ head on a slide, and Fields couldn’t believe there was no flag.
Smith, who demanded a trade Tuesday, did conditioning work with his teammates about two hours before kickoff of Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Chiefs.
Two men were fatally shot Friday in their vehicles in separate shootings about three miles apart on the South Side.