George McCaskey should create a Chicago Bears alumni council.
There are a lot of former Bears who are very passionate about the Chicago Bears and want to see the franchise succeed. In addition, there are a lot of smart, former players McCaskey can tap into.
Some have argued that a players council would not provide a lot of value. George McCaskey has so many football shortcomings he needs all the help he can get. He needs it from people with his best interest at heart.
He can use this council to help study film so he can ask proper questions to whoever is running the football side when something goes wrong. George can also tap into specific knowledge from some of the former players before approving or vetoing a trade, player signing, or a draft pick.
Finally, this council can help him at the end of every season to properly evaluate the entire franchise.
Why a council and not say just hire one former player, like what the Lions did with Chris Spielman? Well, it is because the Chicago Bears currently have some very knowledgeable former players that can provide diverse perspectives that can point the Bears towards sustained winning.
There is probably a portion of the fan base that would love to see legends such as Ed O’Bradovich, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Mike Singletary, or Brian Urlacher dishing out the advice. They would love to see those five just screaming at McCaskey and Phillips about how they ruined the franchise. Those five would not be the best to be on the council.
George needs to turn to former players who are either still seriously involved in the game whether through the media or have had a successful business career in their post playing days.
That is why it should be made up of these former players…
- Olin Kreutz: He tells it like it is. The man once asked Ted Philips what is it he actually does for Bears. His ‘The No Name’ Podcast is a wealth of football information. He knows offensive line play like the back of his hand. He can breakdown film. He is not afraid of conflict. He could pump the chairman with all the football information he needs in a day. Plus, he is still providing training to offensive lineman looking to get drafted or get better in the NFL. Although, the Bears would need to pay him more than $15 an hour.
- Jason McKie: Olin’s Podcast co-host, McKie is full of football knowledge. His coaching experience may be at the high school level but he can provide insight on building a team culture. He can also provide insights on how the fundamentals are being implemented by the coaching staff. Finally, he could help assess if players have those extra attributes like spending extra time in the playbook or in the film room—all the things he did to stay in the league.
- Jim Miller: The former Bears quarterback is a walking quarterback encyclopedia. He could provide useful guidance on quarterback assessments.
- Patrick Mannelly: The man played the most games of any Chicago Bear. He has seen the franchise at its best and worst.
He can be a very valuable “lessons learned” advisor. In addition, he has a high football IQ. Finally, he is willing to make connections with others in the league. That could be very valuable to a chairman who does not network well.
- Alex Brown: A very smart and insightful analyst on NBC Sports Chicago postgame show. He can help advise on all things defense.
- Lance Briggs: He can help with guidance on what it takes to be great. He would provide another “tell it like it is” voice from a defensive side of the ball.
- Charles Tillman: No one saw the game more differently than Peanut. He changed the game with his famous “Peanut Punch” to force fumbles. He lined up against some of the best receivers to ever play the game and usually won his matchup. He is also a good communicator. His insights on defense would be beneficial especially in a pass-happy NFL.
- Gary Fencik: He is very successful businessman after his playing days. The 1985 Bears legend could help provide advice on the team and business culture. Also, the Ivy League-educated Fencik could provide a holistic viewpoint as he joined the team during the Jim Finks’ days. He has seen this franchise rise under what Finks built only to see it crater under the McCaskey’s.
Eight might be too many voices but you can assign them certain roles. Jimbo Covert would also be a possible former player to add if one of one eight said no thank you. I would suggest Dan Hampton to make it nine, but he might bring some bad press with his recent second DUI arrest.
Also, these eight would make great team ambassadors. They can all be deployed to make up for the numerous shortcomings George McCaskey has.
Plus, most of these former players are still tapped into the modern NFL game and have all come across as having the team’s best interest. Something competitors like the Bidwell’s, the Mara’s, and the Rooney’s probably do not.