As the second year under coach John Fox has played out, it hasn't been anything the Bears imagined. Thus far, there has been no magic turnaround, amid quarterback issues, injury woes and all-around gaffes.
With the franchise heading in the wrong direction, the team's brass has begun a full examination of the football operation from top to bottom, according to several sources briefed of their process.
They've tapped what is being described as an outside consultant to help.
At 1-6, everything is up for review. It's clear Fox's footing beyond 2016 is shaky. As for the front office and general manager Ryan Pace, the current view from inside is that two years is far too quick to judge those tabbed with acquiring talent, especially with the 2016 draft class showing flashes of being a strong one.
Fox has two more years left on a four-year deal, while Pace has three years left on a five-year deal -- both fully guaranteed.
While the Bears get set to play the Vikings on Monday, sources say there were some intense meetings this week in Chicago involving members of the front office and some coaches. It is clear everyone is not on the same page.
They'll start a quarterback in Jay Cutler on Monday that the front office and Fox clearly aren't including in their future plans. In fact, they kept him away from practice as Brian Hoyer started, clearing him right after Hoyer's injury. Grudgingly, Cutler is now back under center, knowing this organization has tried to trade him in the past.
Asked this week if he has Fox's trust, Cutler deadpanned: "He doesn't have a choice, I guess, at this point."
There is frustration with the talent on the field. This year's first-round pick, Leonard Floyd, is starting to come into his own, with two sacks and a forced fumble against the Packers. But 2015 first-round receiver Kevin White (ankle) and 2014 first-round cornerback Kyle Fuller are both on injured reserve despite showing considerable skill. They are not alone.
Rival executives and coaches have roundly criticized almost everything the Bears have done this year. Some wonder if Fox is as invested as he's been in the past. Those close to Fox say he works as many hours as he always has, staying late and watching film. Still, it's obvious he won't pull off a second-year turnaround with the Bears as he has done in the past with the Panthers and Broncos.
Others wonder about personnel moves, including why reserve quarterback Matt Barkley is even on the team, considering he has no future with it.
As chairman George McCaskey and the team's brass mull future moves, everyone has been put on notice.
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