JP's Presser - Out with the old, in with the who?
Posted 10:56 AM January 7, 2015 by Jarrett Payton
The process of change has taken place around Halas Hall. Out with the old, but haven’t found the new. Who’s going to be the next Bears GM and head coach? First let’s start with the GM search. There are two names that stick out to me and they are Baltimore Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta and Kansas City Chiefs’ director of pro personnel Chris Ballard.
I’ve said from the beginning I really like Eric DeCosta. What DeCosta has helped Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome build in Baltimore has been more than impressive. But the word on the street is DeCosta is staying put in Baltimore. Who wouldn’t understand that? Rumor is that he’s a loyal guy. Plus it doesn’t hurt that he’s the GM in waiting behind Newsome.
Moving on to the next name I circled from the beginning, Chris Ballard. Ballard’s stint from 2001-2012 with the Bears stands out to me. The Bears organization loves familiarity and Ballard provides that. If my sources are correct, Ballard could accept the GM job as early as today.
So why did the Bears bring in Ernie Accorsi in to consult? If Ballard is chosen then it doesn’t make sense because Phil and Ted both know Chris pretty well. Moving forward, look at what he did for the Chiefs. It is very promising as a Bears fan. Ballard’s experience in coaching and scouting would be a good fit to turn around the Bears quickly. Ballard has an ability to understand what his coaches need and finds players who fit their system. That’s a huge plus in my book.
If Ballard takes the job, there is still one more question: Who will he hire as the head coach? Recently we have heard Mike Shanahan and Gary Kubiak’s names, but there are just too many to name. Talking with Bears fans, the majority of them want a coach with NFL head coaching experience because of the Marc Trestman experiment. Not having that experience shouldn’t be an automatic disqualifier. Mike Shanahan is a big name, but he is also 62 years old, and everyone knows exactly who they’re getting with Shanahan.
If the Bears GM/organization brings Shanahan in to fix Jay Cutler…just wait and see what I will write then! The NFL has changed and a new generation of coaches is upon us, with a little different approach to the game. So you can stay with the classic or you can choose to adapt, I’d pick the later.
Todd Bowles, the defensive coordinator from Arizona, name comes up often. Reports are that Bowles will sit down with the Bears on Saturday. Everyone I know who has played for or has interaction with him says he is top notch. The Cardinals defense had numerous injuries to key contributors, yet they ended up with the league’s fifth-ranked scoring defense. Whether it’s Bowles or not, I hope the organization gets a defensive minded head coach. The Bears need to get back to the hard-nosed, blue-collar defensive mentality that has been synonymous with Bears football for years.
Let’s be real, I just want a coach that can get the Bears back to where they were in 1985…the #SuperBowle! No favoritism just couldn’t pass up using it.
Pondering over what the Bears do next for a GM and head coach is one thing, but it’s hard to stop thinking about Jay Cutler. What should the Bears do? I know, I know most of you are saying “get rid of him.” Like I said in many of my other pressers, money always seems to complicate things. When a marriage doesn’t work, with no prenup, money will be exchanging hands. Quoting Jerome played by Martin Lawrence, “it’s cheaper to keep her.” He’s right, unless you can shop her, but in real life you can do that so back to football.
The ideal situation would be to move Cutler. The question I keep getting is “is there a market for him?” There definitely is a market for Cutler. However, no one can overlook the mega deal he just signed. Cutler is guaranteed $15.5 million for 2015, with another $10 million of his salary guaranteed for 2016 if he is on the roster on the 3rd day of the new NFL year. Wow, that is a lot of coin! Speak now or forever hold your peace. Everyone, including me, wonders why no one yelled from the top of their lungs, no one was brave enough to stop it! George McCaskey and Ted Philips stood by and gave their blessing. Why not just hold off a little longer. Franchise Tag anyone? The Bears will need to act fast with the draft coming up and before you know it training camp will be breaking. The Bears are asking the same question we all are, what can you get for Cutler and is it enough? Cutler’s fate is in the hands of the new GM and head coach. So far only dark smoke has come from Halas Hall; let’s hope it’s white soon! #BearDown