The Chicago Bears Must Show a Cultural Change

The Miami Dolphins come to Soldier Field August 14 as the Chicago Bears kick off their preseason. These are the same Dolphins who dismantled the Bears last season in Week 7. As the Bears get ready to start the preseason, it’s important we see a drastic cultural change from this team.

Rewind back to last year’s preseason. A lot of us swept it under the rug but there were plenty of signs the team was going to struggle that year. They lacked any passion or discipline in the preseason second game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and it seemed as if the entire team laid down against the Seattle Seahawks in the all important third preseason game.

As the 2014 regular season kicked off, we saw many of the same poor tendencies on full display. Gap discipline and missed tackles on defense, turnovers and no cohesion on offense and an abundant amount of penalties and bone headed plays in all three phases of the game.

New head coach John Fox now takes the helm. With Fox, accompanied by new coordinators on offense and defense, Adam Gase and Vic Fangio, this team needs to show the fans and each other they have a plan in place and nothing less than full execution will be tolerated.

Wins and losses may not matter in the preseason but effort, preparation and proficiency do. Even if quarterback Jay Cutler plays only one series, it’s important to see him be confident in the plays, have trust in his teammates and make the right decisions with the football.

On defense, the front seven needs to  attack the football but maintain gap discipline. The secondary should be active but always maintain composure especially under duress and all eleven men on the field wearing a Bears uniform should have no problem zeroing in on a player and making a quality tackle.

Special teams was a disaster last year. The array of mistakes all season were downright embarrassing. There were high school football teams who seemed more prepared and had more pride for the third phase than the Bears. Jobs will be won and lost on special teams and regardless of who’s on the field, each player needs to show hustle and level headiness.

Fox is a veteran coach. He brings a smart staff with him and they all have credibility in the NFL. It’s going to be interesting to see if it can all translate into the play on the field. When watching the Bears’ four preseason games this season, look for the subtle cultural changes because it just might foreshadow the regular season.