Chicago Bears News: Who’s to blame for sad state of affairs?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Many Chicago Bears fans have been clamoring for the firing of Ted Phillips as the president of the organization, but that is a misguided effort. Who is really responsible for the state of the team?

The Chicago Bears’ 2017 season has reached unpredicted depths.

Sitting at 3-9 on the season, the Bears have hit a certain level of ineptitude that many fans thought they would never see. The 2017 Chicago Bears, led by general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox, have not just sunk to the level of Marc Trestman and Phil Emery’s 2014 Chicago Bears: they have surpassed them.

At the end of their second and final season with the Bears, Trestman and Emery had a combined 13 wins with the team. With only four games remaining in the third season of the Pace and Fox regime, and the team only has a combined 12 wins during their tenure.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears /

Chicago Bears

At this point, it is foregone conclusion that Fox will be fired as soon as the calendar turns to 2018. But the buck may not stop there.

There needs to be an answer for why the Bears have regressed since the final season that they had Lovie Smith as their head coach in 2014—a season in which the team had 10 wins.

In search of that answer, fans have begun to point the finger at team president Ted Phillips.

After all, Phillips is the common denominator between the Emery/Trestman regime and the Pace/Fox regime. For that reason, many have begun clamoring for Phillips to be removed from the Bears’ organization.

There is just one problem with that: Phillips no longer has a say in the football side of the Bears’ organization.

Let’s go back to January of 2015 when the Bears hired Ryan Pace as their general manager. Bears’ chairman George McCaskey was very clear that Pace would not be reporting to Phillips. Instead, Pace would be reporting directly to McCaskey while Phillips was removed from the football operations.

When it comes to the Bears’ chain of command for football operations, the structure is simple to follow.

John Fox is the head coach and reports to general manager Ryan Pace who, in turn, reports directly to McCaskey. Phillips’ name is not on the chain of command for the Bears’ football operations. Phillips is to the Bears what Crane Kenney is to the Chicago Cubs. Phillips’ job does not pertain to the on-the-field product. His job pertains exclusively to making money for the organization.

Therefore, if the chain of command for the Bears’ football operations is to be believed, then Pace is the one who should be on the hot seat, not Phillips.

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After Bears’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, it was clear that Fox needed to be fired. After the Bears’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, it became clear that Pace needs to be on the hot seat as much Fox. There is only one team in the NFL that has less talent than the Bears: the Cleveland Browns. Though, to be honest, it could be argued whether or not the Browns actually have more talent than the Bears—we will find out on Christmas Eve.

Pace has had three offseasons to turn over the Bears’ roster and bring talent to the organization. And who does he have to hang his hat on?

Pernell McPhee? Pace’s prized free agent from 2015 has yet to finish a full season with the team.

Kevin White? Pace’s first draft selection has only played in a total of five games for the Bears over the course of the past three seasons.

Pace has also waved farewell to talented players, such as quarterback Jay Cutler, wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, kicker Robbie Gould, running back Matt Forte, and tight end Martellus Bennett.

The issue is not that Pace decided to part ways with those players. The issue is that with the exception of Forte, Pace has failed miserably at trying to replace those players.

Next: Lesson learned from the Chicago Bears' latest loss

Yes, Pace inherited a mess when he became general manager of the Bears in 2015. But Pace has had three offseasons to right the ship. Not only has he failed to do so, the ship has been overrun by pirates and turned into a drunken mess filled with individuals that simply have no future.

General manager Ryan Pace, not Ted Phillips, is to be blamed for the current stench of the Bears’ organization. And it’s time that fans start holding him more responsible for it.