With the Bears and Mitch Trubisky struggling, what’s Virginia McCaskey’s pissed-off level now?
It’s becoming more apparent by the minute that her general manager, Ryan Pace, was legally insane when he traded up to take the quarterback second overall in the 2017 draft.
‘‘She’s pissed off,’’ Bears chairman George McCaskey had said of his mother that fateful day in 2014.
The team had just fired its general manager and coach after a truly horrendous 5-11 season, and owner Virginia McCaskey was angry, steamed and quite possibly chapped.
I wonder what the 96-year-old’s PO level is now, with it becoming more apparent by the minute that general manager Ryan Pace was legally insane when he traded up to take Mitch Trubisky second overall in the 2017 draft?
Is she more pissed off than she was in 2014 because the Trubisky decision might set the franchise back years?
So pissed off she wants to pick up Pace and pile-drive him into the grass at Soldier Field?
Or not so pissed off because paying customers are still coming to the games?
That these questions are being asked after a 3-3 start is a good reflection of the bizarre reality we’re experiencing right now. From Super Bowl talk to chaos in less than two months.
Here’s how strange it is. The day after the Bears ran the ball a franchise-low seven times in a loss to the Saints last week, reporters asked coach Matt Nagy why he had dropped off the ground game at an orphanage. What followed was what can best be described as earnest disconnectedness.
“I know we need to run the ball more,” he said. “I’m not an idiot. I realize that . . . you need to do it. I never go into a game saying I want to throw the ball 54 times. I would love to go into a game and say I want to run the ball 54 times. But that hasn’t happened. This is what I have to answer to.’’
“Hasn’t happened’’ is a close personal friend of “mistakes were made.’’ Nagy made it sound as if the whole situation was beyond his control, as if he wanted to join the posse that would track down the guy responsible for the problems with the running game.
No, see, you call the plays, Coach. Your team can run the ball 54 times in a game if that’s what you choose to do. There’s no invisible hand that moves pieces around. It’s your hand. The answer is in that play sheet you hold on the sideline. The answer has been there the whole time, just like with Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
Call plays that require the quarterback to hand the ball off to a running back. Let Mitch run it, too.
Such strange times.
If I had written in the offseason that the Bears would hold a players-only meeting after Week 7, everyone would have laughed at me. Why would such an excellent football team need a players-only meeting? Those are for teams in crisis, and there would be no way the 2019 Bears, the reincarnation of the 1985 Bears (if some were to be believed), would need one of those.
We have very few details about what happened at the midweek meeting. We don’t know if Trubisky talked or if teammates threw things at him when he stood up to speak. We just know that players-only meetings usually are the last refuge of doomed teams.
I have no sources inside Virginia McCaskey’s camp, so if she has been howling that Trubisky “couldn’t hit the Willis Tower from 10 paces’’ or that the Bears would be better with backup Chase Daniel at quarterback, I couldn’t tell you.
But if she has been, she’s right.
The fact that we’re even wondering what level her nonagenarian rage is at tells you all you need to know about this weird, ugly season.
The Bears play the Chargers on the lakefront Sunday. Both teams are profoundly struggling, the Bears with consecutive bad losses, and the 2-5 Chargers with a three-game losing streak. Both finished 12-4 last season.
Even after the Bears’ terrible loss to the Raiders in London on Oct. 6, there was reason to believe they would bounce back. The defense would return to being its excellent self. It was an aberration, right? But then the debacle against the Saints happened, with the defense giving up 424 yards and four touchdowns. Whatever good thoughts you might have had about the Bears for the Chargers game in Week 8 went out the window.
Their previously unbreachable defense has been breached, broken and bruised.
Add to that Trubisky’s declining play, and you have a game that looks like a complete toss-up.
That’s the Bears’ new reality, and it’s not pleasant.
All I know is that I wouldn’t want to be around Virginia McCaskey right now.