Opposite Sideline: Bears inconsistent
The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers' next opponent from a beat writer who covers the team.
The lowdown on the Green Bay Packers' next opponent from a beat writer who covers the team
The Green Bay Packers are getting ready to take on a Chicago Bears team that has struggled to score points and win games, but this is still a team that came into Lambeau Field last Thanksgiving and beat Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
We caught up with Brad Biggs, who covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune, and got his thoughts on Thursday night's game. You can find a separate Q&A in the video above and the text below.
1. A lot has been made, rightfully so, about the struggles of this Bears team. Is there anything they are doing well? What's the strength of this football team?
They've been decent on defense the past couple weeks with a unit that has been hampered by injuries. They haven't gotten the knockout punch they've needed. With the exception of the Week 3 loss at Dallas, they've been OK in terms of run defense and the Packers got a close look at how well the Cowboys can run the ball. But nothing has been real consistent and they are not getting game-changing plays on either side of the ball.
2. So much was made about the free-agent additions to the defense this offseason. Why has that unit continued to struggle?
They spent good money to make an upgrade at inside linebacker with Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman replacing Christian Jones and Shea McClellin. The problem is the engine that drives the 3-4 scheme is the outside linebackers. So while they've been more competent on defense, they haven't added real difference makers. Right tackle Bobby Massie has been average at best and it looks like left guard Josh Sitton likely will miss the game with an ankle injury. It's tough to rebuild in free agency.
3. It's been pretty surprising to hear, but there are already whispers about Jon Fox's job security. Do you think he's coaching the Bears in 2017?
I don't believe anyone that's talking about Fox's job security follows the organization that closely. For starters, the McCaskeys are paying off Marc Trestman this year in the final year of what was his four-year contract to coach the Bears. So, in essence they have been paying two head coaches for two seasons now. Fox has a four-year contract that runs through the 2018 season and I don't believe ownership wants to get right back into another cycle of paying two head coaches. If the Bears keep running GMs and coaches through the front door of Halas Hall, pretty soon they're going to be the Browns and no one wants to resemble the Browns.