The 2017 Bears will not be boring.
So, there's that.
It's actually a significant change from the last couple of years, when it was merely a question of how many games the Bears would lose.
Oh, they will lose plenty this year, but now there's much more at stake.
Three years in, GM Ryan Pace is not afraid to put jobs on the line, including his own. You have to give him credit for at least having the guts to do what he thinks is right, even if there are times when he believes he knows something no one else in football knows.
If he's right and if he does, there are bright days ahead. If he's wrong, there will be many more dark years of NFL football in Chicago.
Either way, 2017 will be interesting.
This season is now all about Mitch Trubisky, and his development will directly determine the futures of Pace and many others in the organization, but the rookie is raw and will need time before he's ready to command the offense.
After the season, Pace will use that as the explanation for why he spent $18 million on quarterback Mike Glennon, when in reality he could have spent a tenth of that to find a placeholder.
Glennon wouldn't seem to have much of a prayer given the state of the offensive line and the wide receiving corps, so you wonder why Pace wasted so much money on that position for a guy who has little chance to succeed.
It really doesn't make any sense, but Pace marches to his own beat and makes no apologies for it.
The problem for Pace and especially John Fox, who needs to win to keep his job, is that every poor Glennon performance -- whether his fault or not -- will only bring screams for the kid, who isn't ready to play.
With precious little experience, Trubisky is not prepared for NFL speed, not the look or the pass rush or the coverage.
That's going to take some time and it does not serve him well if he's getting hit hard while trying to figure it out.
So the Bears really need Glennon to buy Trubisky some time while the rookie watches, practices and learns.
The defense could be better and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has done more with less than just about anyone, so the Bears will be competitive in games again, and they should win more than they did last year.
They better. This is the third year of Pace's rebuild and there's no excuse for another three-win team when the Bears should be talking playoffs.
It remains to be seen whether five or six wins will be enough for the Bears to keep Fox, though he is owed more than $4 million in 2018 and it's no certainty that the McCaskeys will write that check and send Fox home before they go out and buy another coach.
It's going to cost twice that much if they go hunting for a big name like Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh or Jon Gruden.
Yes, there is much on the line for the Bears in 2017, even though few believe there's a playoff spot in their near future.
After each season, the Bears say they're close -- as they did again in January -- and seasons continue to pass without a postseason berth.
That is likely to be the case again this season.
But at least it won't be boring.
So there's that.
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