The Chicago Bears haven’t given fans many reasons to afford them the benefit of the doubt lately. They did finally clean house at the end of the season, by firing head coach, Matt Nagy, and general manager, Ryan Pace. Since then, they have either been connected to, interviewed, or plan to interview a wide range of people for both positions. The main fear for Bears fans is that they’ll repeat old mistakes by hiring a new coach before they settle on a new GM. You need only go as far back as Matt Nagy’s predecessor, John Fox to see how this worked out before. It was referred to on local sports radio as a “Shotgun wedding” between Fox and Pace. That being the likely reason Pace kept his job and hired Nagy.
Hiring a coach before the GM runs the risk of the two of them not working well together. This can lead to different philosophies about what players to draft, sign, or trade for. Worse, it can lead to varying levels of confidence in the players already on the roster. Forget about being on the same page as each other, they need to be on the same paragraph. A perfect example is: If the new coach loves Justin Fields to be the quarterback to lead the Bears and the GM doesn’t, well that’s going to lead to weird draft targets or signings. Then, whether the QB does great or bombs, one side is going to play the “I told you so” card. In a sports culture so often dominated by egos, their relationship may just implode before it even has a chance to gel. What would those perceptions do to the relationships each has with the QB? In a perfect world, all three will be at least on the same page.
This should all be common sense. Ah, but there’s the rub. Common sense isn’t so common at Halas Hall. So much so that it reminds me of a hamster in his wheel. Running and running, but going nowhere, until they spin 360° and fall off the damn thing. The GM needs to be hired first, sit at the head of the table and choose his head coach. It improves the chances they’ll work well together. Who knows, maybe then one of our most recent playoff memories won’t include the double doink! Or, maybe the Bears think if they screw up, they’ll distract us with the announcement of the new stadium in Arlington Heights.