Imrem: Chicago Bears show signs that are positive
Mike Ditka was blustering on Soldier Field's big screens Sunday during the second quarter of the Chicago Bears' 23-17 loss to Atlanta.
Among the former coach's declarations was one of his usuals: "I don't live in the past."
Maybe not, but the former Bears coach -- Da Coach, if you will -- did show up for the franchise's alumni weekend anyway.
If Ditka looked down from where I was sitting he would have noticed that Bears fans absolutely are living in the past.
The names on the jerseys in the east upper deck read Payton, Urlacher, Piccolo, Perry, Sayers, Singletary, Hester, McMahon, Marshall (Brandon), Butkus, Peppers …
Wait, there was one for current offensive tackle Kyle Long, even though he was injured, and one for running back Jordan Howard, though for some reason the letters and numbers were in gold.
Oh, yeah, and there was one for rookie backup quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who is neither the past nor present but clearly the future.
That was about it for up-to-date fashion statements.
This season's Bears laundry hasn't caught on yet …. but maybe it will after they were competitive against the NFC defending champion Falcons.
"Right now," Bears head coach John Fox said, "we're a pretty good football team."
With some pretty good football players, though not nearly enough to be a very good football team.
For now it looks like Bears fans will have to pick out an isolated favorite and rebuild their wardrobes from there, sort of like the Bears are doing.
Trubisky will have more Bears fans wearing the shirt off his back if he ever actually gets to play a real game.
Rookie running back Tarik Cohen is going to be popular sooner than later, considering how dynamic he is at an undersized 5-feet-6.
Some of the defenders -- Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks among them -- deserve a following after holding the explosive Falcons to 23 points.
The performance was spoiled by one big gaffe when Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan scrambled to find tight end Austin Hooper alone for an 88-yard touchdown.
"Miscommunication on the call," Fox said. "Obviously we didn't execute very well there."
OK, we have stalled long enough before addressing whether Bears temp quarterback Mike Glennon played well enough for a couple of fans to purchase his No. 8 uniform top.
"He operated the team very well," Fox said.
That's like saying Glennon hits well for a pitcher and is a good 3-point shooter for a big man.
"I thought it was good," Fox said of Glennon's play. "Like the whole football team, we played pretty well but not good enough."
Or well enough, for that matter, meaning the rest of the Bears will have to be better for the quarterback to be a winner or the quarterback will have to be better for the rest of the team to be a winner.
The play-calling didn't seem to have much confidence in Glennon, playing it conservatively through three quarters.
Then the Bears had to open it up a teensy bit and Glennon responded by, uh, operating the team very well.
Glennon might even have been a hero if not for a couple of dropped passes in the final minute.
Overall, bits of the past still look better, the present has been upgraded to iffy, and the future depends on the rookie quarterback wearing a No. 10 jersey on the sidelines.