McCarthy gives Bears fans smidgen of hope

Any sign of the Packers squirming should be fun for Bears fans to watch.

One of the great battle cries in sports is, “We don't have to get better; they just have to get worse.”

Around here that means the Bears don't have to get better; the Packers just have to get worse.

OK, that has to be amended to the Bears don't have to just get better, they have to get a lot better, and the Packers don't have to just get worse, they have to get a lot worse.

Maybe a part of that equation is occurring.

The Bears? No, that remains to be seen with a new general manager, a new head coach and hopefully for them myriad new players.

But maybe the improvement doesn't have to be as pronounced now that the Packers appear to be undergoing a minor makeover.

The latest ripple of uncertainty in Green Bay came Monday when it was reported that Mike McCarthy is considering not calling offensive plays next season.

The Packers' head coach would turn over the duties to offensive coordinator Tom Clements, who also would become associate head coach.

Fallout would include receivers coach Edgar Bennett becoming offensive coordinator. No word on whether quarterback Aaron Rodgers would become an offensive guard.

The Packers also fired special teams coach Shawn Slocum last month. Assistant coach Ron Zook — the former Illinois head coach — is the lead candidate to replace him and Illini fans must be getting a giggle out of that.

OK, maybe the wisecrack above about Aaron Rodgers was uncalled for ... but maybe Green Bay will hire Illinois coach Tim Beckman as general manager.

Reverting to reality, the Bears only can hope that McCarthy does quit calling plays to concentrate on the bigger picture on game day.

Anybody else directing the offense would be a relief in Halas Hall after the way McCarthy's offense has discombobulated the Bears' defense the past nine seasons.

That befuddled look on the face of Bears coaches was due mostly to McCarthy calling the plays, Rodgers executing them and the Bears falling over themselves in pursuit.

The McCarthy-Rodgers combination consistently outsmarted the Bears.

Maybe the Clements-Rodgers combo will, too, but it can't be much harder for the Bears to defend.

Anything different up there should be welcome down here.

The Packers' offense would be in transition.

Their special teams already are. If they want to replace defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the Bears wouldn't mind that either.

Maybe the Packers will want to trade Rodgers for a seventh-round draft choice and replace him with Tim Tebow.

The changes in Green Bay come in the wake of the Pack's collapse against the Seahawks late in the NFC title game.

Give the Packers credit. They're responding to that one fluky loss instead of treating it as nothing more than one fluky loss.

Give the Bears some credit, too.

They saw head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery flounder and quickly dumped them.

It's no secret that new general manager Ryan Pace and new head coach John Fox have been charged with catching and passing the Packers.

The way to do that is to draft well, develop young players, sign the right free agents, put them all in position to excel and blend them all into a cohesive unit.

But it sure wouldn't hurt if the Packers maneuver themselves into vulnerability this off-season.

The Bears can only hope.

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