The Bears have yet to land on their next quarterback, and they may not for a while. But for once, it’s okay. After a series of questionable decisions that led to their current position, the front office may finally be willing to try something different.
It’s something we discussed two years ago, when they clearly needed to revamp their entire QB evaluation process, and it remains true today:
At a higher level, the Chicago front office must re-evaluate its entire quarterback process. All of it. Every crack, nook and cranny. It should be a deep dive that encompasses the entire position. From top to bottom. This should be a complete teardown and position group rebuild. Everything from players, coaches, scouts, evaluation techniques, processes, language… everything. Any part that got the Bears to where they are today with this quarterback situation needs to be under the microscope, go through the wringer, shred, analyze and evaluate.
Four hundred and twenty-eight days have passed since I wrote that paragraph. And for the first time since then, I feel like the Chicago football team * IS * doing something different with their search process for quarterbacks. Take the Carson Wentz giveaway, for example.
Albert Breer recently dove into the deal that sent Wentz from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, and anecdotes about the Bears’ role in that saga piqued my interest. Specifically, the participation of quarterback coach / passing games coordinator John DeFilippo.
If you recall, DeFilippo was Wentz’s position coach in 2017 during his breakout campaign. So if anyone was going to be in a position to comment and help, it was DeFilippo. And in fact, DeFilippo allegedly gave Chicago’s top brass his “institutional knowledge of the player and the person.”
That is certainly remarkable for a number of reasons. But nothing more than this: Bears bosses are finally getting feedback from their coaches this time. And that is not inconsequential. Seriously. You may be thinking that it should be, and you’d be right, but it’s not. No, the Bears didn’t finish Wentz even though DeFilippo believed he was “fixable,” but that’s pretty much the point.
If Pace is finally taking data, information, anecdotes, or anything useful from the coaches and staff when it comes to this QB quest, it’s already a better process than the one he used when he landed on Mitchell Trubisky, and not Deshaun Watson or Patrick. Mahomes. – like the quarterback he needed to draft in 2017. Again, this is no small development.
Remember, then-head coach John Fox made it known that Deshaun Watson was his preferred quarterback in the Draft class of 2017. Dave Ragone, who was the quarterback coach at the time, also left with Watson as QB1 of that class. But if you remember, it was Pace and Bears scouting director Mark Sadowski who had Mitchell Trubisky as his top quarterback. And more than that, it was Pace’s infatuation with Trubisky that led him to the UNC product as the quarterback he had to have. In the end, that was a failed process. Therefore, DeFilippo’s communication with the Bears when it came to Wentz, as well as the team’s involvement / interest in the player, is worth underlining.
In the end, the Bears didn’t get Wentz. And maybe that’s a good thing in the grand scheme of things. Chicago may have dodged a bullet by not executing a deal. But the most important thing is that whatever the process of searching for a new quarterback is, it is about coaches who will have that player in their hands. It may seem like a small step, but it is significant based on past experiences.