There have been many feeble attempts over the years by members of the Chicago Bears organization to explain what they are doing behind closed doors at Halas Hall.
Probably not since the late Michael McCaskey failed to hire Dave McGinnis have there been comments so totally astonishing by anyone within the organization as one made in Wednesday's Zoom press conference.
It wasn't said by board chairman George McCaskey.
Appropriately, team president and CEO Ted Phillips made it when talking about coach Matt Nagy and GM Ryan Pace. From what social media says, no person raises the hair on the back of Bears fans' necks more than Phillips because he is in such a position of power within a football organization and was essentially an accountant rather than a football guy.
"This is a people business, and when we step back and we've taken a look at, what are the qualities of a successful general manager and a head coach, we feel that Ryan and Matt check off lots of those boxes," Phillips told everyone via Zoom.
Phillips should have simply quit while he was ahead.
They had made almost this exact same statement the previous year and it didn't suffice. So he proceeded ahead and stepped in it.
"Have we gotten the quarterback situation completely right? No," Phillips said.
Completely right? Completely right?
We are all missing the part of it they did get right, evidently.
Maybe it was the two games they won with Nick Foles starting?
In fact, we're missing any part of it the entire organization has gotten right with this position any time since before they traded away Jim McMahon 31 years ago.
It surely wasn't Jay Cutler or Kyle Orton or Brian Griese or Rex Grossman or Kordell Stewart.
The point is, when have they ever made the right choice at quarterback?
Hint: It's a one-word answer starting with "n," ending in "r" and with an "eve" in between.
And there's one other word to put after that: ever, as in never ever.
The Bears would have been better off going to the wildcat offense exclusively 31 years ago.
During the press conference George McCaskey was asked once how far back he went in making his judgment of where the organization was and where it should be in assessing performances of the coach and GM, and he kind of laughed off the thought someone should go back 20 years for an assessment.
Twenty years ago they were about to run that decade's sunshine boy out of town, quarterback Cade McNown.
Jim Miller and Shane Matthews were like Johnny Unitas compared to some of the Bears quarterbacks who've been through Halas Hall and they were solid mediocre. Erik Kramer and Steve Walsh were saviors compared to what many of their quarterbacks have been. They still weren't good.
You'd think that in more than 30 years they could at least get a tiny little bit closer to a franchise quarterback than what they've trotted out on Sundays: Mike Glennon, Chad Hutchinson, Dave Krieg, Caleb Hanie, and a cast of thousands.
"Have we won enough games? No," said Phillips, who answers his own questions better than he answered reporters questions about how long the contracts of Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace were. "Everything else is there."
Everything else is there.
That's nearly as inaccurate as the statement about quarterbacks.
They had a good defense at one time. In case he hasn't looked, they went from first in scoring and third overall under Vic Fangio to fourth in scoring and eighth overall last year and now to 11th overall and 14th in scoring. How is this evidence of having a championship-caliber defense? It's evidence of decay caused by never doing anything to support their defense.
They definitely don't have the running game solved. They went from 11th in Nagy's first year to 27th and now 25th. So yeah, 25th is better than 27th. But it's still worse than more than three-quarters of the league and nowhere near as good as they were even two years ago
They love pointing out how they ran the ball well late in the season. That was merely evidence of how they could run against weaker defenses or opponents who wanted to get home to their families and get this COVID-infested season done. The Saints and Packers proved this much in successive weeks by stuffing that Bears running game
The only thing the Bears are better at than they were two years ago is kicking field goals.
It's really hard to get worse than they were then because it's really hard to hit the goal post six times in a season.
Oh, they're also better at kick returning, but Cordarrelle Patterson is a free agent.
"So whenever you make a decision, in my opinion, there's lots of ripple effects throughout other parts of the building, too, and other people's careers and we have a solid football foundation," Phillips said. "We have a solid football culture.
"We truly believe that because we've delved into all the different issues that make up a solid football culture and we feel confident that that will lead us and lead Matt and Ryan to make the right decisions and correct some of the mistakes in the past."
When the mistakes of the past have been repeated, and we're all right back here again next year where we seem to be every year—listening to excuses and platitudes—will it be because the great football culture just wasn't as great as everyone thought?
Or will it be because the two guys who kept Pace and Nagy here are really the ones who don't know what they're doing?