Several hours after the Chicago Bears' loss to Green Bay Sunday, Soldier Field was nearly empty, save a few reporters and the cleanup crew.
In the calm after the tempest, during a brief and quiet conversation, a longtime NFL type suggested Bears players better get serious about their business or there would be major changes on the roster.
These players have to understand that they're lucky to be here, was the suggestion, and that management would not sit still for such nonsense.
Losing to Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers and as a favorite at home was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.
The final straw.
A simple nod was all that could suffice in the moment, lest laughter take said moment and perhaps offer insult to the daylong injury.
Changes? Major changes? To this roster?
The Bears are three years into a rebuild and the record under current management is 12-29.
The only players remaining from the Phil Emery era are Pat O'Donnell, Josh Bellamy, Christian Jones, Charles Leno, Sherrick McManis, Willie Young (injured reserve), Kyle Long -- the team's best offensive lineman -- and Kyle Fuller -- one of the best players on defense this season, up until Sunday's miserable performance.
Eight players. The rest belong to GM Ryan Pace.
Major changes to the roster?
In a year in which they should be making the playoffs, Pace's team is 3-6 following seasons of 6-10 (2015) and 3-13 (2016).
With the GM nowhere in sight, the man who answers for the franchise several times a week -- and presumably will answer for his record after the season -- is head coach John Fox.
Both teams were banged up going into the game, but the Packers always seem to have enough depth to make it work, while the Bears looked helpless on offense without Long and Zach Miller.
After naming several of the injured players, Fox said, "Those aren't excuses. Those are just realities. Not having a Pro Bowl guard available, those are things that every team deals with.
"Bottom line is we didn't execute well enough. We didn't run it as efficiently as we have in the past and they did."
While Fox is usually first in the firing line, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is now right next to him.
Most believe they are deserving of such a position, but there is no reason to ignore the contributions of Pace, who has delivered a team with a weak offensive line and few weapons to speak of in an awful league where it only takes a couple of impact players to win a game.
So a rookie quarterback with little experience and even less to work with finds himself looking around and, ultimately, guessing.
It's not the best possible situation in which to develop Mitch Trubisky, and it's easy to imagine how Mike Glennon's $18 million might have been better spent.
"There's been challenges," Fox said. "I don't think we've had offensive lineups two weeks in a row. It's really no different than a year ago, just at the quarterback position.
"I see us getting our feet wet a little bit with our receiver position and the tight end position, as well as the quarterback position."
That's a polite way of saying the guys they're putting out on the field are as green as the TV money filling the franchise coffers.
"We're 3-6. That's reality," Fox said. "We've got to get better."
That's what the players say after every loss. That's what the coaches say after every loss. That's what the analysts say after every loss.
It's tough to get better when you weren't very good to begin with.
The Bears have a 3-6 roster. That's reality, too.
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