After their loss to the Jaguars, all playoff hopes can be put to rest. But, I believe there’s something to play for and the Bears and Lovie Smith should focus on these three things: (a) finishing the season with some momentum for next year, (b) taking a look at all players in game situations, and (c) putting the whole playbook in to see which plays their players can execute and which plays require different players.Defensively, the strength of the unit is the secondary and getting everyone healthy for next year should be a priority. And, the line will get better with a year under their belts together. However, the Bears must improve their depth at linebacker and by playing all of them in the last few games would allow the coaches to see the need area. Both, Lovie and Ron Rivera must take a long look to see if Brian Urlacher is more suited to be an Outside Linebacker.
On offense, without a question, the line needs to be taken apart and by letting everyone play in the next few games the Bears can see which players have any promise; only two Bears Olin Kreutz and John Taitt should be guarenteed spots. And, I believe bringing in an experienced NFL line coach should be the first move after the season. Next, the Bears should look to become more athletic, mobile, and stronger up front through free agency and the draft.
In addition, the Bears should determine if : (a) the West Coast Offense is suited for their team, (b) Anthony Thomas and Thomas Jones can coexist, (c) they need to bring in another tight end that can both catch and block, (d) David Terrell should be part of the team, and (e) the quarterback situation is resolved with Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson, and Jeff George or Craig Krenzel.
And, on special teams the Bears should look to rid themselves of Paul Edinger’s inconsistencies on kickoffs and field goals. In addition, the Beas must decide if using a roster spot on the long snapper Patrick Mannelly is in their best interest.
So, there is something to play for in the remaining games; just not the playoffs.