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Hiring Of OC Adam Gase Solidifies Chicago’s Strong Offseason

The Bears are the clubhouse leaders for the best offseason, but there is still much work to be done.

Alex Hickey

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The NFL offseason has three distinctive phases – the front office/head coaching shakeups, the Draft, and free agency.

With the exception of the Atlanta Falcons, who are waiting to hire Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, the first portion of the offseason is complete. And the Chicago Bears have won that piece of the offseason in a rout the likes of which they haven’t seen since Super Bowl XX. (Except for the times they were on the receiving end).

Frankly, the story of Chicago’s offseason success has more to do with luck and timing than anything else.

When Marc Trestman was fired after a 5-11 season that felt even more putrid than the record indicated, no one could have imagined that a head coach with John Fox’s pedigree would be available. It seemed inevitable that the Bears would be matching their newly hired rookie general manager, Ryan Pace, with a similarly inexperienced coach.

And then John Elway got mad.

Following Denver’s divisional round dud against Indianapolis behind a halfway lame Peyton Manning, Fox was shown the door by his Broncos boss.

Suddenly the Bears had exactly what they needed – a defensive-minded guy with proven experience as a winner. Fox will likely scoff at the notion he can’t win with Jay Cutler – this dude has gone to a Super Bowl with Jake Delhomme and won a playoff game with Tim Tebow.

But Fox has made the deal even sweeter for the Bears by adding the two best available coordinators on the market who aren’t getting head coaching jobs – both of whom were passed over by the 49ers for that very position in favor of the highly questionable Jim Tomsula.

One of them is Tomsula’s former superior, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. In the four seasons Fangio coached in San Francisco, the Niners ranked second in the league in points per game, fourth in turnovers and sixth in passing yards allowed.

The other is Fox’s offensive coordinator with the Broncos, Adam Gase,. The 36-year-old was thought to be the favorite for the 49ers job after Jim Harbaugh was let go, but also lost out to Tomsula after interviewing.

Denver and San Francisco’s unexpected trash is now Chicago’s treasure. Granted, this will be a major proving ground for Gase, who has only served as Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator. Dealing with Jay Cutler is about as much of a 180-degree turn as one can get from Manning.

There is also plenty of offseason remaining. The Bears need to find the right personnel to match the brain trust they’ve assembled. And by the start of training camp, there very well could be some other team that has made the right total package of moves to surpass them as the league’s leaders in self-improvement.

But Chicago has a nice head start in that direction before this NFL season has even officially ended.

Alex Hickey can vividly recall most significant NFL events going back to Walter Payton's final game in 1987, including the ones that didn't make him cry. Since 2008, his full-time job has been covering college football, specifically McNeese State, for the Lake Charles (La.) American Press. Free time is spent informing, amusing or annoying you for Football Insiders.

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