Rozner: Another Chicago Bears Sunday hardly good as Gould

Is Virginia McCaskey angry yet? Is George McCaskey embarrassed? Is Ted Phillips, um, still Ted Phillips?

According to George McCaskey, that’s the man GM Ryan Pace reports to directly.

How are they enjoying Chicago Bears football these days?

While John Fox marches inexorably toward the end of his coaching career, his general manager continues to own the same record as his coach, and the short rebuild will stretch into a fourth year without so much as a .500 season.

That’s 12-32 under Pace if you’re keeping score at home. Phil Emery was 23-21 at the same moment in time during his third and final season, when Bears ownership was so fed up they cleaned house.

Pace will sell it as if he didn’t want Fox, which is convenient now that the Bears are terrible. Many will buy it. Many already do.

Had they done well, Pace would be celebrated for bringing in the veteran, turnaround expert.

Fox or not, terrible coach or not, to suggest George Halas himself could win with this group stretches credulity far past the absurd and provides Pace with a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Impressive, that Teflon tailor Pace employs.

So what’s your favorite loss thus far for the 3-9 Bears?

Green Bay coming out of a bye at home and without Aaron Rodgers was special. Philadelphia was amazing in its own way. And then there’s Sunday’s loss at home to the 1-10 Niners.

The Bears had the ball for only 21:13, managed 147 yards of offense and passed for 85.

This is still a passing league, right?

If you chose the Robbie Gould hysterics, no one would blame you.

Pace cut the Bears’ all-time leading scorer last year just before the season because he couldn’t wait to get his hands on Connor Barth, who went 29-for-39 as a Bear and was sacked a couple of weeks ago, with the Bears 31st in football in field-goal percentage.

At the time, Pace said it was an upgrade because, “We’ve evaluated (Barth) a lot over the years. He’s an experienced kicker. He’s kicked in big games. Under 40 yards, he’s extremely accurate.

“There’s a sureness with that I respect.”

So Gould came in Sunday and kicked 5 field goals in the Niners’ 15-14 victory, pointing and screaming at the Bears’ sideline after kicking the game-winner with four seconds remaining.

The Bears’ place-kicker, one Cairo Santos, managed 2 extra points but could not kick off and was unavailable for longer field goals because he was injured.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Gould shook hands postgame with several players and coaches, shared a hug with punter Pat O’Donnell and many of the Bears’ game-day personnel, one of whom handed Gould the ball from the game-winning kick.

Asked postgame whether he’s spoken to Pace since his firing, Gould said, “I haven’t. Ryan’s never reached out to me. When we were in New York last year (when the Giants hosted the Bears), he didn’t speak to me.

“I didn’t see him today. I talked to Fox. I talked to (special-teams coordinator) Jeff (Rodgers).

“To come in here and get a win like that and kick a game-winner, I don’t think I could have written it any better.”

It was pretty good as well for hometown boy Jimmy Garoppolo, feasting on the Bears in front of family and friends at Soldier Field.

Pace had numerous chances to pursue the Rolling Meadows High School grad the last three years — Garoppolo went to San Francisco from New England for a second-round pick a month ago — but instead of a player with NFL experience and four years of starts in college, Pace chose to give up three draft picks to move up one spot and take Mitch Trubisky and his 13 college starts, second overall.

After seven months in the Bears’ offense, Trubisky is very much a work in progress. It’s what you’d expect for a rookie with so little college experience and it doesn’t mean he can’t be good down the road.

But after only a month in the Niners’ offense and making his first start for a new team, Garoppolo looked very much the part, commanding the offense and commanding the postgame news conference.

Asked why he appeared to throw sidearm into triple coverage while getting smoked and completing a pass in the third quarter Sunday, Garoppolo said, “I actually didn’t see him catch it. I got hit after that one.

“I knew his route. I knew what his depth was. The linebacker had no vision on me, so I knew he wasn’t going to make a play on the ball.

“I just had to keep it away from the safety and the other linebacker coming over. So I kept it low and (Louis Murphy) made a tremendous catch … I heard. I’ll see it on film.

“That’s the trust part you have with teammates, and I’m starting to learn that with certain guys and hopefully it keeps growing with everybody.

“I think that’s a part of becoming a team, trusting the O-line, the O-line trusting you, you trusting the receivers. It all plays a part.”

These are things Trubisky hopes to find with the Bears, but he needs a lot of help.

It’s up to management to find it.

brozner@dailyherald.com

• Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.


Source: Sports

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