Rozner: Remember, this Bears rebuild began with Kevin White

  • Bears wide receiver Kevin White runs after a catch during a 2016 game at Soldier Field.

    Bears wide receiver Kevin White runs after a catch during a 2016 game at Soldier Field. Daily Herald file photo

Updated 11/22/2020 5:30 PM

To fully understand the situation, all you really need to remember is Kevin White.

Yeah, the State of the Bears doesn't need a national address or over-analysis.


Sure, today it's all about Matt Nagy and how he suddenly can't call a football game.

This is the new narrative, as if you're supposed to forget that he was dubbed a genius by all the same who now believe Nagy and his scheme are the chief problem with the Chicago Bears.

Not that long ago, Nagy was the perfect antidote for all the problems John Fox couldn't solve. Fox was too old and too conservative. Nagy was young and exciting.

Now, he's a goof.

The Bears apologists are abandoning the program in droves after a ridiculous 5-1 record has evened out at 5-5. And you know what they say, once you lose the Bears apologists, you've lost the battle.

Yep, Fox was the perfect hire after Marc Trestman was sent packing, until the winds of change began to blow, and then even his biggest cheerleaders bailed on Fox.

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What's the common denominator? Six years of Ryan Pace. It lands squarely on the desk of Pace and you know that if you've been just slightly interested in this group, which brings us back to Kevin White.

Somehow, Pace escapes all responsibility, year after year, while this perpetual rebuild drags on.

It has never been his fault. First it was Fox. He had to go. In comes Nagy and the Dancing Director of All Things Offense was the answer to the city's prayers.

Except, Nagy is not a genius. Never was. Fox dumbed down the game plan in Mitch Trubisky's rookie year because Trubisky couldn't handle the playbook. Tarik Cohen didn't know where to line up. And Adam Shaheen couldn't get on the field because he couldn't do one thing a tight end is supposed to do.

But that was all the fault of Fox. Now, everything is the fault of Nagy.

Sensing a pattern here?

It's true enough that Nagy is stubborn, refuses to establish the run and can't call a simple play when a complicated one is so much more exciting. No wonder Nick Foles has spent weeks trying to educate him on what it feels like to have no time to throw behind a bad offensive line.


Ah, yes. The offensive line. It's not sexy and therefore Pace ignores it, not when there's a White, Trubisky, Shaheen, Leonard Floyd or any of his fabulous steals available.

The Bears needed a total rebuild when Pace arrived and the first thing he did was draft an injured wide receiver. That's absolutely one way to go about it. Start with Kevin White and go from there.

Now, the Trubisky faithful will try to put this all on Foles or Nagy, rather than acknowledge Trubisky was awful for three-plus years.

That doesn't mean Foles is much better, but Nagy had no choice. He had to try a veteran quarterback who can read an NFL defense. Pretty hard to play the position without at least a mild understanding of football.

Probably worth remembering that when Foles had his best seasons in Philadelphia he had a terrific play caller, a great offensive line and a superb run game.

Pace has given the Bears -- and Foles -- precisely none of that.

Blame is a favored pastime in these parts, especially around the holidays when the Bears are bad, which has been a significant amount of the time over the last 35 years, but this time it's simply not that complicated.

The general manager has had six years to rebuild the roster when it takes many teams only two years in a league of such extraordinary parity that you need not even be good to make the playoffs.

Yet, the Bears in six years have played one postseason game.

They may yet sneak in this season in a dreadful NFC, but if they don't all the talk will be of Nagy, Foles and Trubisky.

In truth, it's the general manager who hasn't gotten it done, and the rest of them are here entirely because of him.

As for those that hired Pace, well, that's another conversation -- and almost certainly a waste of your time.

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