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SportsMonday: Son Of Buddy Next?

First and foremost, the McCaskeys are fans. George is the chairman of the Bears and his mom Virginia, the daughter of George Halas who will turn 92 on January 5th, is always referred to as "the matriarch," whatever that means. But despite their titles, they are fans through and through.

And as such, they had to be feeling all the same things the diehards were feeling as this Bears season went so incredibly wrong these last few months.

They had to be feeling that they could not possibly watch one more delusional Marc Trestman press conference. They had to be feeling revulsion as Phil Emery gave a clueless interview Sunday in which he seemed completely convinced he would carry on despite all that has happened.

And finally, leading up to the news today that the coach and the general manager have both been fired, the McCaskeys had to be feeling that for the first time in the franchise's 95-year history, ownership simply couldn't care how much it all cost. They concluded that they couldn't have these guys in charge of the NFL's charter franchise for even one more day.

To a certain extent, coaches and other team officials have to be disingenuous when seasons go south. There is a certain decorum that must be followed. Management's true feelings leaked out a few weeks ago when Aaron Kromer confided in an NFL Network reporter that the biggest problem was Jay Cutler's shortcomings and was rightly vilified for it.

But there is disingenuousness and there is blithering dishonesty and Trestman crossed that line a long time ago.

It wasn't just that the Bears had a bad season. It is that they had a bad season following an off-season in which expectations, at least for the offense, were through the roof. And then when things went bad, they went so, so bad. In case giving up a franchise record 38 points in the first half against the Patriots wasn't enough, they then gave up 42 in the first half to the Packers.

But at least Emery probably might have weathered the storm that followed those games if the offense had shown even a little bit of life. Instead it was as bad as any offense in the league.

So now attention turns to the search for the next team builder and his coach. Only a few coaches would be worth hiring before a GM. Jim Harbaugh will apparently take the unbelievable step of going from three straight NFC championship games to an 8-8 season to coaching the University of Michigan.

I don't care how much they pay Harbaugh or Nick Saban or whatever other supposed supercoach may come down the pike - college football is minor league football! Come on!
There is the fact that by going to Michigan, Harbaugh ensures the 49ers will get no draft pick compensation, the sort of compensation most thought an NFL team would pay (the Patriots paid the Jets a first-round pick when they hired Bill Belichick) to hire Harbaugh despite his having one year left on his San Francisco deal. But that doesn't change the fact that he is taking a massive step back.

So moving right along, the Bears better at least try to talk to Rex Ryan. The last few seasons were rough for the coach who was fired by the Jets on Monday, but it wasn't that long ago that Ryan (the son of beloved - by the fans - former Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan) was winning four playoff games on the road in a two-year span with Mark Sanchez as his quarterback. That is almost as impressive as three straight NFC championship games.

Whatever they do, the Bears need to avoid falling into the trap of the polar opposite hire. So many times teams cap off a coaching change by hiring the candidate who is least like the guy before. So they hire a disciplinarian to replace a players' coach. My simple advice is to hire the best candidate, be he a players' coach or the ultimate tough guy.

Oh, and perhaps it is time to hire a coach with previous NFL head coaching experience after 95 years of not doing so. I mean, if the Bears can fire a coach with two years left on his contract, who knows how much they might spend on the next guy.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

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