By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
In 1940-1941 the Chicago Bears were the most dominant team in the NFL.
It resurged again in 1984-1985 when the Bears built another dominant defense that consisted of “Samurai” Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, Richard Dent, Otis Wilson, Ron Rivera, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and William “Refridgerator” Perry, Lezlie Frasier, Dave Duerson, and Gary Fencik.
These prolific players took Chicago by storm. But shortly after that, the monsters hibernated, showing only glimpses in 1990-1991 and then again in 2005-2006 and 2010.
Fast forward to 2013 when Marc Trestman was hired as head coach. His winning record in the CFL was enough to hire him as head coach to replace Lovie Smith, but he didn’t have the fire to back it up.
After two years, the Bears switch to John Fox who had some success in Denver but did not have the passion to bring back the fierceness of this once feared team. His tenure lasted three awful years as the Bears were living in the basement of the NFC North.
General manager Ryan Pace knew he had to do something fast. They had to go back to what made this franchise so great. In order for that to happen, they had to start from scratch and that meant letting quarterback Jay Cutler go, along with a few others.
They dabbled with QB Mike Glennon under center but he was not the answer so they took a chance on a rookie. A rookie who had played only one season of college football at the University of North Carolina.
Starting from scratch meant changing up the coaching staff as well. The Bears needed a former player to be the head coach. Someone who understood the game and could develop a new quarterback. Enter Matt Nagy, a passionate coach off the Andy Reid coaching tree. Wisely, they held on to Vic Fangio to coach the defense, and the birth of the new Monsters of the Midway began.
The addition of linebacker Khalil Mack and draftees LB Roquan Smith, defensive tackle Bilal Nicols and safety Eddie Jackson to the defense awakened a sleeping giant. This team has come together to fight for every blade of grass, every inch of daylight and every win they can stack. Don’t believe me, just look at the list of injuries they have had this season. It’s the lowest it has been in years.
Why is that? I believe this team of players can’t wait to be on the field. It means taking care of themselves by resting, eating well and staying focused. From their starting quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky to their kicker Cody Parkey, when one falls, they come alongside him and push him to succeed and to fight another day.
That’s how a great head coach builds a winning culture. Under Trestman and Fox, no one wanted to come and play for the Chicago Bears, but that’s not the case anymore. The new Monsters of the Midway are the real deal and they are going to be fun to watch for years to come.
Coach Nagy believes in his players. The Bears are now 7-3 and in first place of the NFC North. I think it’s safe to say the fans of Chicago can believe again.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @Wanda63