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Bears Tue Dec 16 2014

Trestman & the Bears Are a Complete Abomination

Chicago BearsI was wrong about Marc Trestman. When he was introduced as the successor to Lovie Smith, I was blinded by the fact the Bears were bringing in an offensive mind -- someone who could bring the organization into the 21st Century when it comes to moving the ball. He was completely opposite of Smith, as most new NFL coaches are. The next Bears leader will undoubtedly be straight out of the hard ass, disciplinary school of coaching. I'll be more skeptical this time around.

The numbers looked shiny. Trestman had won two titles in the CFL, and had coordinated some of the best offenses in the NFL during the '90s and '00s. But I ignored cautionary words from Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who stated, "Marc Trestman is a very smart coach and I got along well with him, but I think some of the guys are going to challenge him. How he responds to that will play a very important role in future and the future of that team."

Then there was future Hall of Famer Tim Brown, who weighed in on the hiring: "He's a really smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand. That's not the issue. But there's a lot more to coaching than just X's and O's. You have to be able to deal with players and that's the reason [former Raiders coach] Bill Callahan hasn't succeeded as a head coach because he's a smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand, but when it comes to leading me, it's a totally different intangible you have to have. It's going to be very interesting to see how [Trestman] and Jay Cutler get along, that's for sure."

Brown was frustrated that a year after reaching the Pro Bowl, 40-year-old Jerry Rice ostensibly became the number one receiver for the 2002 Raiders, almost as if Trestman was trying to right a wrong he made with Rice and the 49ers in the '90s. I saw the book about perseverance and leadership, and I assumed he could lead. I ignored Brown too.

When guys with these résumés and reputations talk, they should never be disregarded. Other teams had interviewed Trestman and passed. I took that as the Bears seeing something in him that nobody else had; a diamond in the rough. I should've known better.

All was well at Halas Hall last year. Sure, the team finished 8-8, but the offense was second in the NFL in scoring, all 11 starters were returning, and all we could think about was how the offense might be even better now that Cutler finally had a competent offensive coordinator for two consecutive seasons. They were a middling defense away from being a Super Bowl contender. I just didn't know the leadership problem was this bad.

Martellus Bennett body slammed Kyle Fuller in training camp, and Trestman responded with a fine and an indefinite suspension. That's the sign of a leader with complete control over his club, right? Indefinitely ended up being four days. Bennett has been one of the bright spots of the Bears offense in 2014, but it was another missed sign on the Trestman front.

Lance Briggs needs a day off during camp to open up his barbeque restaurant in California? No problem, Lance, we'll see you whenever you get back. Since you're a veteran and Trestman can't possibly assert his authority and tell you that excuse isn't good enough to miss the limited practice time NFL teams get after the latest CBA, you're free to do whatever you'd like. By the way -- they ran out of BBQ that day...

Brandon Marshall wants to fly out to New York every Tuesday to be a part of Showtime's "Inside the NFL"? Go for it, Brandon. Trestman wants you to grow as a man, and apparently being on set in person is of significant importance, as opposed to you just joining the show via satellite from any capable studio in Chicago. And while your at it, we're not going to stop you from making a fool of yourself by victim blaming and media bashing after a report you didn't like from a few years ago (that actually makes you look good in the end) gets re-aired during the Ray Rice domestic violence discussion.

Failure, after failure, after failure to score points at the end of halves held the Bears back at a time they couldn't afford it -- especially since they were getting off to terrible starts in nearly every game. Clock management isn't complicated to normal folks, but it is to Trestman.

During the bye week, Emery and Trestman were at the podium saying they were going to try Jordan Mills at guard. That lasted one practice, and Mills went right back to tackle, where he's been one of the worst in the NFL over the past two seasons. No repercussions for poor play.

Aaron Kromer made a stupid comment to a reporter, then admits it in a tearful apology to the team when it wasn't apparent that it was him talking to the reporter. Maybe he fell on the sword for someone else? Who knows, but that's as fireable as offenses get. Hell, you could probably get him for cause, and not owe him any money? Instead, Trestman says he's disappointed, and they'll handle it internally. Emery is silent all week, but then gives a five-minute dissertation on the fiasco during pre-game last night, where he compared the Bears' hierarchy to the military while referencing Alexander Haig. Huh?

The special teams sucks not because of Joe DeCamillis, but because he's dealing with a rotating cast of young players, right? What about Danny McCray, though? He was a veteran brought in specifically because of his special teams prowess, along with his familiarity with DeCamillis from Dallas. McCray has allowed a punt to get blocked against Green Bay, a fake punt to be successful against Minnesota, and last night, he decided that 10 guys were enough to go ahead and try the fake punt the Bears had planned. He knew they were short a player, but ran it anyway. On that play, the Bears had three starting linemen in, their long snapper at left tackle, and a guard snapping the football with one hand with the punter lined up 17 yards deep. Don't give it away or anything, boys.

Then after another embarrassing loss that included that hilariously failed fake punt, numerous false start penalties on receivers, little offense, three interceptions, and completely inept coaching -- Cutler decides to dodge the media by sneaking into the press room before Trestman (he always goes after him), and asks the PR person if he can be done after the only reporter in the room asks three questions before the local beat guys are notified he's at the podium. Cutler had handled the Kromer situation extremely well during the week, but copped out after he played terribly.

It's time to clean house. The entire coaching staff should be fired, and Emery should be too. He's the ring leader of these clowns. He handed Marshall a contract extension before it was necessary. He gave Cutler a bunch of guaranteed paper when he could've franchised him for another year of study with no future repercussions (a move I wholeheartedly agreed with at the time -- but I'm not paid to run a football team). Emery hired Trestman when guys like Bruce Arians and Mike McCoy were looking for head coaching jobs. He's drafted a couple of great players in Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long, but nobody else in his first two classes have made any sort of positive impact.

Nearly 11,000 seats sat empty at Soldier Field last night. It'll be worse next week. And it'll only get better if the entire hierarchy is torn down, and re-built from scratch.

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