Brian Billick was a Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Baltimore Ravens in 2000 and a renowned offensive coordinator with the Minnesota Vikings for six seasons (including the 1998 campaign in which Randall Cunningham, Cris Carter, and Randy Moss torched opposing secondaries and re-wrote the offensive record books).
So it feels safe to say that he might know a thing or two about putting championship-caliber pieces into place. And after a 3-13 season for the Bears, there is definitely value to be found in his perspective.
To that end, when Billick lists the Bears as one of the five teams that have the most work to do this offseason, we should probably take heed.
However, of all the scenarios by which the Bears can go about fixing their quarterback problem, Billick’s is the most peculiar. Recently, Billick openly suggested a reunion with former Bears QB Josh McCown – who was recently released by the Cleveland Browns, a team at the top of the list with the most to do this offseason and a vacancy at quarterback of their own.
“Competent” was the word Billick used to describe McCown’s last stint in Chicago, and as far as I’m concerned that is the perfect term. In other words, if the Bears are looking for short-term competence at the QB position – without mortgaging the future – while also grooming a draft pick who can take over when he’s ready, then McCown might be a good target.
Although, to be fair, filling the quarterback position this way likely wouldn’t be the team’s top priority.
Even if it wasn’t the primary goal of his Bears breakdown, Billick makes an important point about the offseason quarterback hunt. After the “overbidding” for Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo happens on the trade market (or free agent market, if Romo is released), the rest of the options – while full of familiar names and players looking for a fresh start – isn’t full of long-term solutions.
And at some point in the offseason, there needs to be a clear distinction between moves that address the quarterback position and ones that find a solution for it, because those can be two very different things.
While McCown being propped up as a short-term quarterback fix might have come as a surprise, the fact that the Bears are on Billick’s list shouldn’t be, as the team is loaded with ample cap room (and more could be coming), three picks among the draft’s first 70, and an apparent willingness to spend money to improve the on-field product in an offseason that could make-or-break the team’s front office.
Reuniting with McCown might not be the move most fans were expecting (and certainly not the one they’re hoping for), but it could be a savvy one. All angles need to be considered, after all.