JP’s Postgame Presser – Bears at Vikings and the end for Emery and Trestman
Bears fans, I hope this JP Postgame Presser finds you well. Over the past few weeks we have all been trying to find some rationale of when the season went sour. The date I came up with was September 1 a/k/a #SmokeGate. The week leading up to the home opener against the Bills made things real clear: Lack of communication/trust between players and coaches, Trestman’s relationship with the Big 1 of the Lovie Big 3, and the inmates were running the asylum. I can just hear you now: “Wait, JP, you’re saying the season was doomed before it started?” Yes it was. Of course this is easier to pinpoint in hindsight, but that’s exactly what the higher ups should be doing right now. Identify all the problems and find ways to solve them. That week illustrated that Marc Trestman and Phil Emery were not going to hold players accountable. The locker room became more about “me” and less about “we.”
Let’s flash back to training camp when Martellus Bennett body slammed rookie Kyle Fuller. Emery and Trestman were very swift in making a decision. Marty’s actions or the like would not be tolerated in the organization. The next big event on the time table was #SmokeGate. Why didn’t they continue to act swiftly, like they did in the WWE match? It seems apparent that there has been a rift between “Lovie” and “Trestman” guys. Lovie guys never bought into what Trestman was selling. That is a problem when you’re trying win over a locker room.
Trestman was brought to Chicago to fix the problems on the offensive side of the ball and elevate the play of Jay Cutler to be a legit franchise QB. Trestman had success in his first season, but the offense digressed miserably in year two. Why is that, you ask? Trestman never adjusted to what defenses were taking away. When a new coach brings a new system into the NFL that teams haven’t seen, they usually see success. It’s year two when defensive coordinators have an off-season to come up with a game plan and you see the true colors of an offense and the play caller. The Bears finished the season averaging just 19.9 points per game, ranking 23rd in the NFL. Trestman seemed unprepared, as did his offensive game plan and his players all season.
The bigger mystery is trying to figure out how Emery sold to Bears fans that signing Jay Cutler to a mega deal was in the best interest of this ball club. Really Phil, Really? Understanding the market is soft for a QB, but why not put the franchise tag on Jay? You mortgaged the franchise on a QB who is only slightly above average. Cutler is the 4th best QB in the division, leading the League in INT’s? Well my mom use to say, “What doesn’t come out in the wash will come out in the rinse.” I’m writing this presser on a stationary bike and news that Emery has been released from his duties as the Bears GM just hit. Wow! Hold on I’m 7 miles in and just saw another alert, Marc Trestman was just fired. #Blackmonday is for real. These moves show me that George McCaskey understands that changes need to be made for this organization to move forward. What’s the word I’m looking for…accountability? As a lifelong Bears fan, I’m happy they did what was best for the future of the organization.
Now what’s the future of Jay Cutler? That’s the 126 million dollar question. In some strange way, I see him staying with the ball club. It’s not what I think is best for the team, but money always seems to alter major decisions. Sadly the Bears keep basing these major decisions on Cutler. Cutler had a big hand in the last coaching selection and look how that turned out. Just like on the field, a lot of Cutler’s choices have left this organization in disarray. After cleaning house with the coaching staff and Emery, the sad realization is Cutler will be the starting QB for the Bears in 2015. With the amount of money invested in Cutler, the Bears will bring in a coach that hopes to work with Cutler’s strengths, but history has shown can’t be fixed.
The Bears finished the season 5-11 and you are only as good as your record. The more games you lose, the more likely you will be to the locker room. It takes a solid foundation to withstand all the finger pointing. The lack of accountability, rotating captains, lack of QB production and lack of a team identity lead to the bottom falling out on the season. With the changes made today it’s time for the Bears to move forward. However, this was just the first step, and now Bears fans will have to wait and see who will be the next leader of this storied franchise. Trestman is someone that I will call a friend for life. He’s a great coach, an even better person, but it was time for the Bears to make changes. As Nino Brown said in New Jack City, “It’s always business. Never personal.”
With today’s changes there is a little light peeking through the dark clouds that have been hanging over Halas Hall. #BearDown