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Bears in disarray

Thursday, Sep 21, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The full Fields quote is here. Patrick Finley at the Sun-Times

After months spent running an updated version of the Bears’ offense, Justin Fields pushed back against it Wednesday, saying he wanted to play less “robotic” and more like “myself,” starting with the game at the Chiefs on Sunday.

“My goal this week is just to say ‘eff it’ and go out there and play football how I know to play football,” he said. “That includes thinking less and just going out there and playing off of instincts rather than so much, say, info in my head, data in my head. Just literally going out there and playing football. Going back to, ‘It’s a game,’ and that’s it.”

Asked why he was overthinking things, Fields pointed toward the coaching staff.

“You know, could be coaching, I think,” he said. “They are doing their job when they are giving me what to look at, but at the end of the day, I can’t be thinking about that when the game comes. I prepare myself throughout the week, and then when the game comes, it’s time to play free at that point. Thinking less and playing more.”

A player trying to publicly distance himself from the way he’s coached is a line rarely crossed. It was a major development at Halas Hall on a day that had plenty of competition.

Fields then walked it back, but he was right the first time. The coaching is awful. The Bears have ruined countless quarterbacks. It’s been fashionable to express dreams about what could’ve happened if the Bears had taken Patrick Mahomes in the draft, but the Bears probably would’ve ruined him, too.

* Speaking of coaches, here’s Mark Potash at the Sun-Times

After a week of vague details surrounding his absence last week, defensive coordinator Alan Williams suddenly resigned Wednesday, citing health and family reasons. […]

Williams, who was in his second season as defensive coordinator, left the team last week after a 38-20 loss to the Packers on Sept. 10. His absence and the lack of clarity regarding it led to internet and social-media speculation, including a report that Williams’ home and Halas Hall were “raided” as part of an investigation into presumed wrongdoing.

It was enough to compel Williams’ Chicago-based attorney, Andrew M. Stroth, to address the reports and innuendo, saying there “was no raid on Halas Hall” and “no raid on his home.”

“There’s no criminal or any type of action against coach Williams,” Stroth said.

A Bears spokesman said there was no police activity Wednesday or any other day related to Williams.

Still, the circumstances surrounding Williams’ exit remain murky. Most notably, the Bears’ only comment on Williams’ departure was a terse statement in a press release — “Alan Williams submitted his resignation as the team’s defensive coordinator this afternoon” — that lacked well-wishes for Williams and appreciation for his contribution to the organization. The White Sox’ statement about the firing of Rick Hahn and Ken Williams was effusive by comparison.

Attorney Andrew Stroth’s full comment

“Given the false rumors and what seems to be out there on social media, I just want to set the record straight that Coach Williams has some health challenges and some family issues he’s dealing with and he thought it was the right time to take a step back and deal with those issues. He has tremendous respect for the Bears organization and he just though it was the time to handle this health issue and his personal matters.”

* SB Nation’s James Dator

We’re not going to amplify the accounts that started the most disgusting rumors about Williams, but there were several small accounts, with no history of ever breaking news, who suddenly had detailed information about alleged criminal investigations.

These went so far as to allege that former Bears player Charles Tillman, who became an FBI agent prior his retirement from football, was part of the investigating team that raided Williams’ home and the Bears facilities.

If this happened 10 years ago people would look for a verified account to substantiate a piece of news. It wasn’t an infaillible process, and rumors still spread — but there was at least one small safeguard to tell users that someone might not be legitimate.

Now, with verification being tied to an $8 monthly payment it’s become impossible to discern real reporters from any rando with a YouTube channel, which is where these rumors began. This is now compounded with Twitter’s “revenue sharing” model, which incentivizes paid accounts to gain as many interactions as possible in a month in order to get a cash payout. Real or fake, the name of the game is getting as many eyeballs as possible on your tweets — and the best way to do this is breaking news, even if it’s fake.

* Ugh…

* Leaving this here…


  1. - Jerry - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    I heard it was Dytka who conducted the raid. Rex is our quarterback!

  2. - Torco Sign - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    Hey, maybe Tyson Bagent is the next Tony Romo. I’d take that even if wasn’t exactly Tom Brady.

    But we know what’s going to happen — there will be another high draft pick on a QB who won’t pan out.

    Same as it ever was.

  3. - wowie - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    Fields is so unbelievably bad and he’s not even the worst part of the offense somehow. As a non-Bears fan it has been quite satisfying to watch the “fans” completely turn on the team over the course of 2 weeks.

    All offseason all I heard was how this team was going to compete for the division title and Fields was poised for a breakout year. Lol.

  4. - Stones - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    The Bears and White Sox are both dumpster fires. It’s getting to the point that they are going to have to win me back as a fan.

  5. - Stuck in Celliniland - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    And yet these clowns want us to help prop up a new stadium in Arlington Heights or elsewhere?

  6. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    Seven new starters on defense and still no sacks after two games. If the White Sox are a dumpster fire, what are the Bears?

    I’ll hang up and listen to your answer.

  7. - Rudy’s teeth - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    Last Sunday the Bears resembled a junior college team playing against an NFL team at Soldier Field.

    No disrespect to junior colleges.

  8. - Stuck in Celliniland - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    =If the White Sox are a dumpster fire, what are the Bears?=

    A clogged up porta potty on fire.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    It should be noted, however, on a “random week day” this summer, the Chicago Bears, doing nothing but showing up, having hotel coffee and pastry, gained $240-400 million in value by raising “their hand” and approving the sale of the Washington Commanders.

    They did nothing… but raise “their hand”… 1/3 of a billion of worth gained.

    Bear Down.

  10. - ANNON'IN - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    Ok. No drug bust. No Jim Jordan grabbing guys in the showers…How about he wanted escape the McCaskey Magic?

  11. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    I’m at the point where I think they fired Lovie Smith because Virginia Hallas didn’t like him for reasons that have nothing to do with merit.

  12. - FormerParatrooper - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:22 pm:

    I hope Justin Fields has a decent game. He has talent, and a good offensive line would show it. I wish him all the best, but I still hope for a Chiefs win of course. Let’s just have a competitive game.

    There is some great talent in a few of these young QBs and that makes games better.

  13. - Google Is Your Friend - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:28 pm:

    - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    Yannick Ngakoue sacked Jordan Love on the opening Sunday.

  14. - Jocko - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:30 pm:

    ::cue Virginia telling Jerry “Hold my beer (exclamation point)”::

    This whole thing has been ugly since Sunday, from Pam Oliver’s snarky sideline reply of “…family reasons” regarding Alan’s absence to yesterday’s resignation not being on Bears letterhead.

  15. - Pundent - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:31 pm:

    This franchise is so poorly run that you can’t fit all of their ineptitude in one posting. But I would be remiss in not pointing out that they cut and then resigned Fields’ backup in the span of 24 hours.

  16. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Yannick Ngakoue sacked Jordan Love on the opening Sunday===

    I stand corrected. Thanks.

    DJ Moore has as many tackles as Dominique Robinson.

  17. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:40 pm:

    gotta put the GM and President on watch. Lovie has not been exactly tearing up the world of football so his firing was probably not a mistake. U of I under BB doing much better. the most immediate worrisome issue is that there is no real backup at QB. before they got Peterman the talk was that Trevor Siemian would come back. wonder where he is now.

  18. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:53 pm:

    Cutting and re-signing the backup QB who has no real value to any other team in the league and thus would not be claimed while waived has nothing to do with organizational incompetence.
    The rest of it does though. You couldn’t find a more inept ownership group. I’m sure Kevin Warren has all the solutions though, or at least that’s what the silliest segment of the fanbase seems to be telling itself these days.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    Lovie Smith.

    Everything about his tenure explains everything after his dismissal.

    No QB growth, no imagination in play calling, no big threats to blow games wide open

    No defensive scheme that can handle the burden of being on the field for long periods of time (depth), so much pressure to be perfect, no margin of error, both which then highlight the bad even more. Deterioration to sub-mediocre.

    Lovie Smith overcame so much.

    Lovie Smith was a coach, he was the Head Coach.

    The Bears overcame a great deal by understanding “who they thought they were”… and made it turn into victories.

    Lovie Smith is not with the Bears.

    Lovie Smith.

  20. - Regular democrat - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    The inability of the Bears to EVER tell the truth about anything allows the internet to take over. They know this but insist on doing it the McCaskey wayy which is always WRONG. All old news but the bigger story will be the empty tract of land sitting there as the Bears kick off in Sep 2033

  21. - DS - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:56 pm:

    Fritz Kaegi should add a million bucks to the tax bill on Arlington Park for every Bears loss.

  22. - Huh? - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    =If the White Sox are a dumpster fire, what are the Bears?=

    Someone inside “A clogged up porta potty on fire” and rolling down a hill.

  23. - Independent - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:01 pm:

    Being a great running QB is fine, but to keep healthy and have sustained success you have to be able to thrive in the pocket, as well. The Bears and Fields would be wise to look to Baltimore to see how they are thriving with Lamar Jackson.

  24. - Sox Fan - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:04 pm:

    As an alum of university of Illinois I sust want to say, let’s not pretend Lovie Smith is a good coach.

  25. - Roman - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:05 pm:

    Jerry Reinsdorf has to be happy. Now instead of being the both the worst run franchise Chicago professional sports and all of Major League Baseball, the White Sox are just the latter.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===Lovie Smith is a good coach.===

    At the collegiate level, it’s not about Xs and Os, it’s about the Jimmys and Joes.

    Ask Deon Sanders, and the overhaul of scholarship athletes

  27. - Just Me 2 - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:12 pm:

    I am related to a professional football coach, and he has commented that the problem with the Bears is the owners think they know better than everyone else, and feel free to involve themselves in all aspects of the organization, including hiring players and choosing strategy.

    Also explains their FUBAR on how to get a new stadium.

  28. - Res Melius - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:17 pm:

    I didn’t think I would see the day, but the Bears are thisclose to completely eliminating the goodwill and fan base built up over 100 plus years.

  29. - levivotedforjudy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    The Williams incident should be a case study for journalism students. When I heard “health” and “family” as the reasons, I immediately thought spouse or even worse - children. I hope this is not the case. Now, leave the guy alone. He has stuff to do that is none of our business.

  30. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    While I agree Lovie did not deserve to be fired by the Bears when he was, his three firings since have been well earned. He really seemed to phone it in at Illinois in particular.

  31. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===let’s not pretend Lovie Smith is a good coach===

    He got the Bears to a Super Bowl. He wasn’t a good college coach, for sure, though.

  32. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 1:41 pm:

    Those whom the Gods would destroy they first make Bears QB.

  33. - Jerry - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:04 pm:

    And the highlight of Lovies Super Bowl was the kick off return.

    Rex is our quarterback.

  34. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    ==Being a great running QB is fine, but to keep healthy and have sustained success you have to be able to thrive in the pocket, as well.==

    There needs to be an actual pocket before a QB can thrive in it. Until the Bears develop an offensive line, it’s hard to critique the QB.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:09 pm:

    ===And the highlight of Lovies Super Bowl was…===

    … Prince’s Halftime Show

    Full Stop.

    Arguably the greatest halftime performance, ever… including “Purple Rain”… done in the rain

  36. - Pundent - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    =let’s not pretend Lovie Smith is a good coach=

    I think we can objectively say that he was a better coach than anyone who succeeded him. Which probably just means that the Bears are really bad at hiring coaches among other things.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:17 pm:


    Lovie Smith, lame duck Houston Texans coach

    Smith coached his last game there, a game they needed to lose to get the #1 overall pick, and convinced a 53 man roster and lame duck coaches to play for pride, even if it meant for the other players staying in Houston that it would cost the team a better draft pick for their team.

    That last drive, the joy and elation at “winning at a franchise cost”… that’s coaching where they all still bought in…

    … and the Bears got that #1 pick instead… thanks to Lovie.

    Sports is funny sometimes.

  38. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:22 pm:

    - let’s not pretend Lovie Smith is a good coach. -

    The Bears were at least mostly watchable during his tenure. The last couple years I’ve turned off more games before halftime than I’ve watched to the end.

  39. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:25 pm:

    =Charles Tillman, who became an FBI agent prior his retirement from football=

    Wait, what? I think you are all missing the real story here. CHARLES TILLMAN is an FBI agent? I think you guys are missing the really BIG story.

  40. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===Until the Bears develop an offensive line, it’s hard to critique the QB.===

    Yes, the offensive line has some serious issues that won’t get fixed this year, especially as starters keep going down with injuries.

    But there were several examples of Fields holding the ball way too long that resulted in sacks. Not even the best lines can give their QBs 4 seconds in the pocket on a majority of passing downs.

    The problems extend beyond Fields, but he needs to play much better than he’s shown so far. It’s really not hard to critique him.

  41. - JS Mill - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:28 pm:

    =- let’s not pretend Lovie Smith is a good coach. -=

    He was a good coach, just not a great coach. He was a superior defensive coach, among the best in the business and his defenses at least gave us something to watch because Urlacher and Briggs were off the chain back then. IRRC the Bears defense led the league in defensive scores and take aways or was top 5 every year.

  42. - Jerry - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:35 pm:

    OW….I know when you say full stop you mean business. I’ll make sure to stay off your lawn.

    - with respect and hopefully a laugh -

  43. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:42 pm:

    Yes. Peanut is a FBI agent. Lovie is not the answer. Bears will lose to Chiefs on Sunday.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    - Jerry -

    Between you and I, sometimes I type “Full Stop” because I ran out of things that make sense. Even then it might be too late. Shhh.


    To the social media, “Peanut”, all that crazy…

    Textbook to taking a fact (Peanut is in the FBI, or was dunno the current status) and wrapping a thought around a conclusion to a known happening.

    It made me first question, take a big pause, then wait till a real source of news could weigh in… for the love of Pete… Elgas from Channel 7 tweeted (I wrote what I wrote, tweeted) the I-Team was heading to Halas Hall to figure out the mess.

    That platform is purposely damaged, not unlike the Bears.

  45. - Pundent - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:46 pm:

    =has nothing to do with organizational incompetence.=

    Peterman was waived because the organization thought they could find a better replacement presumably on someone else’s practice squad. They couldn’t. I guess destroying one quarterback’s confidence isn’t enough to the Bears. Well run organizations don’t do this.

  46. - Joe Bidenopolous - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 3:02 pm:

    =When I heard “health” and “family” as the reasons=

    Look, I’m not gonna speculate or jump to the conclusions that were found on Twitter yesterday, but there’s something very fishy here.

    1: The team’s official statement was short, cold and did not wish him well or thank him for what he’s done

    2: If you need to take time away from work for you health, would you then quit a job that is likely providing outstanding benefits just to have to pay for everything out of pocket? Or would you take a medical leave of absence?

    3: Brad Biggs reported this week that the beat press corps was given the impression it was neither health nor family

    I’m not saying it’s not health-related, but if it is, this is a super curious way to go about it.

  47. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    To parahrase Da late Mare.

    “The Bears aren’t here to create disarray. They’re here to preserve disarray!”

  48. - Um, no - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 3:45 pm:

    Lovie wasn’t just a poor college coach, he mailed it in. He didn’t even make an effort to develop a relationship with high school coaches, bring in top tier assistants, et. al.

    He did fleece the U of I for $24 million. His tenure was a high cost disaster.

  49. - CLJ - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 4:08 pm:

    I miss the Dave Wannstedt era. Good times were had at Soldier Field in that last year.

  50. - sulla - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 4:28 pm:

    As a Packer fan, I hope Virgina McCaskey lives forever.

  51. - Give Us Barabbas - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 5:14 pm:

    Fields wasn’t wrong. Undiplomatic, and he’ll likely pay for that, later, but he’s not wrong.

    Watched him play before that leg injury last season and he had great instincts, could run it or throw it, accurately, and he was fast and nimble.

    Then I watched the packers game. It felt like watching someone play a football video game who has dropped his hand controller or jammed it with cheeto dust. Run the exact same play the exact same way, expecting a different result, over and over and over…

    Fields is only one component of an offense. He could be the second coming… but he’s just one guy.

    The offensive coaching has been terrible this year, as has the defensive coaching. “Robotic” was a good choice of words; there didn’t seem to be a realtime see-and-react as Fields alluded to. Packers defense could read Fields like a book. He might want to try those sunglass visors to hide his eyes, or learn to throw a few more fake moves and head turns into his routine… but yeah, it’s the coaching. No inspired or interactive offense, no/ slow defense, and no head coaching that unifies and motivates the team to play *as* a team. It’s random guys out there milling around.

  52. - Proud Papa Bear - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 6:50 pm:

    I just love how the Bears go through coaches like scratch-off tickets.
    This one didn’t pay off, let’s get another one.
    This one didn’t pay off, let’s get another one.
    This one didn’t pay off, let’s get another one.

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