By Doug Halberstadt
Even though the Chicago Bears still have one game remaining on the 2014 schedule, their season was over weeks ago. When trying to summarize and analyze why things have gone so drastically wrong for this team, the only conclusion I can logically arrive at is, they’ve set a new standard for the word “dysfunctional.”
The entire organization is in disarray. There are no easy fixes for what ails this team. It’s not as simple as replacing a flat tire or changing a faulty wiper blade. They need a complete mechanical overhaul.
Most people, myself included, believe that overhaul should start with the head coaching position. There’s been a ton of speculation about the future of Marc Trestman from both the fans and the media. Some say he’s definitely gone, while others insist he’ll keep his job.
I’m not sure if anyone truly knows whether he will or will not be back for a third season as the team’s on-field boss. I’ve never been a fan of his, and think he needs to be gone for the Bears to stand any chance of recovering from the damage that’s been done.
Numerous names have been tossed around about who the Bears should bring in if they are going to replace Trestman. I have my own theory about who should get the call. If it were my decision to make, I’d immediately pick up the phone and offer the position to Gary Fencik.
He played safety for 12 years with the Bears, including the 1985 Super Bowl championship season. He was their defensive captain for multiple years. He’s an exceptionally smart guy. He’s got a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s of business administration from Northwestern University. I’ve never heard his name mentioned as a candidate for the job. I don’t understand why.
Some people would argue that his lack of coaching experience might preclude him from being qualified. To them, I say what he lacks in coaching experience he makes up for with his on-field résumé. The guy knows what it means to be a winner, and I think he’d be one of the few people capable of bringing a sense of pride and a winning attitude back to a much-maligned team.
For the Bears to return to a top-caliber team, they’re going to have to make some drastic changes. I contend dropping Trestman and adding Fencik would be a great starting point.
I challenge the Bears’ owners and management to not be afraid to make the tough decisions necessary to make their organization a winning one once again. They need to make it a priority to let Trestman go as soon as humanly possible following the final whistle in their game against the Vikings this week. Then, and only then, will the 2014 season be officially over.
Their next order of business should be to begin work immediately on making improvements for the 2015 season. I think one way they could make giant strides forward would be taking a look back at their past success. Give Fencik that call.
From the Dec. 24-30, 2014, issue