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posted: 6/17/2016 5:19 AM

Why Chicago Bears fans should ignore the minicamp hype

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  • Chicago Bears head coach John Fox talks to media after the NFL football team's minicamp at Halas Hall Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Lake Forest, Ill.

    Chicago Bears head coach John Fox talks to media after the NFL football team's minicamp at Halas Hall Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Lake Forest, Ill.

 
 

The Chicago Bears finished their three-day minicamp in Lake Forest on Thursday, and I read a headline this week about how quarterback Jay Cutler loves the way the defense looks.

Hold on folks, it was the first day, and I get it -- hope springs eternal -- but let's not get carried away.

I am still in a little bit of a funk that running back Matt Forte is gone and one of Cutler's main weapons, tight end Martellus Bennett, is history. Bennett, now with the New England Patriots, wasn't exactly a positive for many fans, but he still hasn't been replaced by anyone better.

In the last few years, the Bears have lost Bennett, Forte, Brandon Marshall and more on the offensive side of the ball, so it's no wonder Cutler is talking defense.

What does he have to talk about on offense?

I also can't help but be a little concerned about the loss of their offensive coordinator, Adam Gase. Gase was able to unearth a different Cutler, and there's no doubt the QB performed better under his guidance last season.

That's not a reflection on the new coordinator, Dowell Loggains. It helps that Loggains was the quarterback coach in 2015, so perhaps the transition will be smooth, but he definitely faces a big job.

Let's take a minute to review: the Bears have lost Forte, Bennett, Marshall and Gase, all of them key pieces in their own way.

Now it seems that wide-receiver Alshon Jeffery believes he's the next coming of Jerry Rice. Sure, he is an important cog in the offense. Jeffery caught 54 passes last season for 807 yards and 4 touchdowns, and Cutler is glad to have him back, but slow down my friend!

I like general manager Ryan Pace, I like the coaching staff headed by John Fox, and I really don't have an issue with the ownership either.

You heard that right folks -- I don't have a problem with ownership, but at this point Ted Phillips should be on the clock. Phillips seems to have a lifetime job with the Bears after securing the "Jetsons meets the Flintstones" style of refurbishing done at Soldier Field. Ted has been the team's president since 1999 so he's going on 17 years.

Who's accountable for the lack of success?

Sure there was the Super Bowl appearance in 2006 and Phillips can consider it a crown jewel in his career, but overall he gets a C-.

That's not for lack of trying. He handled the firing of the disastrous duo of GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman quickly and efficiently, but he also hired them in the first place.

I believe Phillips, along with Fox, will be front and center if things don't go well this season. Of course, Cutler and the rest of the Bears will be held accountable because the front office still doesn't play on Sunday. Even though they are responsible for who does play.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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