Skip to content
No one wins in sickly season
Q I felt sick after watching the Bears drop another game Sunday, against lowly Carolina. Is there any reason for us fans to have faith in the Bears organization to turn things around next season?
A Everyone was so pumped up last season when the Bears finished 13-3 and won their division. But the Bears have had just one winning season in the last seven years. Before last season the Bears had not finished above .500 since they were 9-7 in 1995. And they didn't even make the playoffs that season.
Q Dick Jauron appears so lack-luster and uninspired after every Bears loss. Does the entire Bears staff react that way?
A I'm sure on some level Jauron takes every loss as hard as the next coach. But his personality is such that he doesn't reveal his feelings after a victory or a loss. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache, on the other hand, is always on edge.
"You're always under a microscope," Blache says. "One thing that sticks in my mind was when I first went to Notre Dame. Coach Ara Parseghian had a sign up that read 'No Breaking Point.' That has always stuck in my mind. Great people have no breaking point. I never have a point in coaching or in life when I say, 'That's it. I give up.'"
Q Will there be any incentive for the Bears to upset Tampa Bay next Sunday night?
A Blache says: "For me, that's the real challenge in coaching. I get as much or more excited because it is going to be hard." The question now is whether his players will feel similarly motivated.
Q Watching the Bears on television has become very painful this year. Was there any bright spot for them Sunday?
A OK, here's the obligatory positive stat: The Bears have forced a turnover in 33 straight games (34 including the playoffs). On Sunday, Brian Urlacher recovered a fumble and returned it 44 yards in the fourth quarter to set up a Henry Burris-to-Dez White TD pass.
Q Last year Blache's name was mentioned as a head-coaching prospect in the NFL. Has his ship sailed away?
A The hottest head-coaching prospects usually are the coordinators from playoff teams. But often the assistants on losing teams do the best jobs.
"If you look at the cycle of hiring coaches, obviously the NFL has not figured things out," Blache said. "I don't know any other business where there is such a high turnover rate every year. The most important qualities are being organized and showing leadershipthe ability to lead guys through tough times."
QThe Bears seem to have so many glaring weaknesses. Which area has been the most damaging?
A It's a tie between the Bears' run defense (ranked 27th) and their rushing offense (32nd). Both have been horrible.
"Anybody who can run the ball on you and score ... you're going to have a long day," said Jauron.
Got a question or an idea for Fred Mitchell? E-mail: AskFred@tribune.com