163 Comments

Events of Last Two Weeks Make Clear Bears Biggest Need is Organizational Leadership

| December 18th, 2014

patton

Quick timeline…

Last week Aaron Kromer admitted to an act that would have led to his excommunication from 31 of the 32 NFL coaching staffs. But Marc Trestman, ever the genteel humanitarian,  wrapped his arms around a buddy and said, “People make mistakes. How about some cocoa over at my place?”

After that decision GM Phil Emery made clear in pre-Saints game comments the actions of Kromer (a) infuriated him and (b) would have been handled differently were he to have the power to handle them. Disciplining coaches does not come under the purview of the GM, Emery told us. That’s the head coach’s responsibility.

Now comes Wednesday night and the LEAK HEARD ROUND THE LEAGUE. Jay Cutler, the handsome man paid handsomely by Emery to be his franchise quarterback, was benched by the head coach in favor of Jimmy Clausen, a wretched quarterback with only one more win than me in the NFL. No word from coaches or front office alike led to a night and morning worth of speculation about last gasps from drowning coaches, $16M in injury settlements, Ken Whisenhunt trades…etc.

From the Twitter feed of Adam Hoge:

So Kromer doesn’t get fired, but Cutler gets benched? Trestman: “That’s a completely … That’s a question that I’m not going to answer.”

Of course that is a question Trestman is not going to answer. How can he answer it? What he was going to say is these issues are completely separate and he’s right. One individual admitted to publicly stabbing a player in the back. The other individual didn’t play well. He chose to fire the one who will have no impact on his future coaching career.

But all this is just fodder for folks like me to use for paragraph creation. Marc Trestman will no longer be head coach of the Chicago Bears as the ball drops in midtown Manhattan so what point is there in dwelling on his incompetence. There is a far larger issue at play, illuminated like an escaping prisoner on the prison yard by the events of the last week.

Who is in charge of the Chicago Bears?

Does anybody know? Can anybody concretely say where the buck stops within the Bears organization? One needs only look around at the league’s successful organization to understand these questions are never asked in those locations. Either ownership rules the roost (Giants, Steelers, Cowboys), there is a distinct management structure of accountability (Packers, Ravens), a coach and personnel man co-rule the roost (Seahawks, Saints) or the coach is the final authority on matters (Patriots, Chiefs). Even most unsuccessful organizations don’t have question marks at the top of their leadership pyramid.

The Bears do. Outside of Halas Hall no one knows for sure how involved George McCaskey is with football operations. No one knows how much power Ted Phillips wields. No one knew Phil Emery could not 86 a coach for treason or prevent his quarterback from being benched.

Emery has spoken so often about synergy but that word, when applied to an NFL organization, means everyone at every leadership level operating in the best interest of that organization’s future. Does Trestman starting Clausen have anything to do with the Bears future? Does Emery keeping Trestman in the wake of that decision make the team more competitive next year? Does complete radio silence from ownership do anyone any good?

This has been the most embarrassing season in the proud history of the Chicago Bears. It is rock bottom. The Bears must look at themselves in the mirror, admit they have a problem and empower the correct individuals to lead in the recovery. If these two weeks don’t inspire a drastic response, nothing ever will.

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  • Jack Lacan

    Perhaps Caldwell-Lions similar to Rick Pitino, at Louisville, after more than a thirty point
    lead might play 10 high school mathletes and an Egyptian…

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      Holy Jack…only on DBB.

      • johnnywad

        I don’t even know what he said

        • Jack Lacan

          Louisville was ahead in their basketball game over The Carmelite Sisters (some very weak opponent). After the game Pitino told the press that he tried to keep the score lower by playing four white guys and an Egyptian.

          • johnnywad

            Now it makes sense

    • Viva

      “Joey, you like movies about gladiators?

  • phahn
  • SC Dave

    Worst season in history? Gotta say that keeping this blog and being a twitter guy have sure honed your ability to engage in hyperbole.

    • DaBearsBlog

      Mike Ditka just said the same thing on radio.

      I’ve gone through the entire Super Bowl era. Not a single team has been as bad on the field and gutless/shady off of it. You got something from the 50s?

      • DaMurph

        Been watching more than 40 yrs, worst Ive seen!

        • AlbertInTucson

          What a way to celebrate my 50th year as a Bear fan.
          Even in 1-13 1969 I don’t remember them looking this non-competitive.

          • DaMurph

            Exactly Albert, even with the losing record, as a team, they looked much better than this 2014 version!

          • CanadaBear

            I think it’s the worst only because we actually have some talent. Back in the old days they had a bunch of try hard guys that were easy to root for. Now we know more about them than we should and it makes it worse. We all had some hope for a good year. I thought Cutler turned a corner last year with that Fudgies game. After the Buffalo game I realized it was fools gold. Can’t remember a wimpier coach. All that kumbaya bullshit and he’s no different than anyone else. Minus the spine and talent, of course.

          • SC Dave

            This. It’s only because we had crazily false expectations. We, and Ditka too.

          • SC Dave

            No, they didn’t. One guy did, and that could could your judgment reasonably enough.

            Butkus.

          • SC Dave

            I’m in my 49th year. And I disagree. But, yeah, my memory is fading too.

        • SC Dave

          No, it’s not Murph. It is only because your expectations were out of touch with reality. Just like most of the rest of >us<.

          "Us" including me, of course.

      • huntinbare

        Nothing since 1958 has been this “completely” bad
        Some years had a bit-o-the bad ..but this year
        being the only team to draw comparisons to the Rochester Jeffersons…..
        That says it all…and back then I thought it couldn’t get any worse. Look at us this week
        What scares me most…those who led us here are still in charge..it will be like picking up a 180 lb. Pack of Enthusiasm and carrying it up Everest sans oxygen; when begining to support the coming change…good thing…
        We are the sherpas of the organization and we will Bear the burden successfully.

        • SC Dave

          This team can still win seven games, and worst case has won five.

          The only difference between bad teams before and bad teams now is our ability to piss and moan on the internet.

          • huntinbare

            I had a solid core of friends when I lived in the burbs and we all had our roles we played in the group dynamic…I remember passion, hyperbolic verbage, deep sarcasm…all over some form of adult beverages that started in our teenage years…those who have not left still get together on gamedays…this is the closest I have found to that experience…I dearly missed being a poster the 2 years life took me under the surf and spun my little world upside down…I was not even able to watch a game in 2012…it sucked…and even though this season has been the worstest; it was good to get back to football and great to share the pain and shame….

      • SC Dave

        Ditka is, and always was, a jackass. As I’ve said since my Day 1 on this blog.

        • do you seriously believe that benching Cutler is going to lead them to winning the last 2 games? I mean, seriously?

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Yeah, seems plausible…smh.

          • SC Dave

            I said “could”, not “will”.

            And we shall see. I’ll quote the old cliche “that’s why you play the game”.

          • MikeBrownhadaPosse

            Your premise is that Cutler was holding this team back from being competitive with the Lions and the Vikings. I think that’s laughable.

    • SC Dave

      Oh, and congrats on all the page hits and $ for your hyperbole.

      • johnnywad

        Said Dave as he feverishly banged out another fifteen posts late into the evening.

  • BillW

    I heard from a friend channel 9 and others are reporting cutler checked out of or into plays at the end of the half. Essentially screwing up on purpose. I have no links or details but it makes sense and goes with jeffs assertions

    Cutler is a jerk and likely not above being manipulative. Being so magnanimous in the pressers but sabotaging in reality.
    Read jahns quote in that context. Marc wasn’t going to rat on cutlers insubordination but he is right. The situations are different. Though both horrible

    • BillW

      Sorry. Hoge, not jahns quote

    • BillW

      Sorry. Hoge, not Jahns

  • TheBigCheesy

    Jay Cutler is a handsome man. I learn new things every day around here.

    • SC Dave

      Sunnavabitch! Good shit, Cheesy.

    • BerwynBomber

      The Blogfather’s man crush is about ready to go full monty.

  • Jack Lacan

    Trib. Digital
    Kay Jewelers
    “Every pic begins with Jay”…

    • SC Dave

      Pic, or pick?

  • CanadaBear

    My hope is one of the long time NFL families (G-Men, Steelers) or rival (Fudgies) take pity on George and point him in the right direction to get a real Football man in charge. The new guy would hire GM and the 2 of them would get a good head coach in here. Unless we get the right guy in the big chair and push Teddy over to Biz only, we’re destined to repeat this horrible cycle. I’d hand the reins over to Ozzie Newsome in a heartbeat. I’m sure there are others that are just as qualified (if not more so) and I’m OK with that too. Just want us to stop shitting the bed.

    • Viva

      I want Trestman to stop sniffing the sheets.

    • huntinbare

      I like what you did there CB…”PUSH” Teddy over..
      I was thinking that the ire from fans for the fanal home game should be directed at George and Ted….
      Best to keep the heat on them because of their refusal to come out of the cuckoo clock with as much as a peep during all of this…as GPL would say…weak sauce
      I am thinking , after what you just said, thousands of signs to be worn on fans backs
      1….PUSH ME
      2….NO PUSH ME

  • Cutler should have pulled a Constanza

    • Jack Lacan

      Well played…

    • Jack Lacan

      Cutler has been given “the Penske File”…

  • Trac

    Love the Patton picture/reference Jeff. Very clever.

  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    it’s almost so bad, I want to grab my sons by the shoulders, give em a little shake, little slap, and tell them don’t waste the next 20 years. Just go ahead and root for the Seahawks.

    • TheBigCheesy

      Interestingly enough, the Bears have the highest all-time winning percentage. So if you’re looking for the most consistently competitive franchise, the Bears have to be it, don’t they?

      • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

        It’s an emotional response. I would never actually tell them that.

      • huntinbare

        Nothing like the sensation of playoff football. .competitive does not reach that peak experience…we racked up a lot of early success but the decades I have seen have been mostly satisfying by having one or 2 suoerior athletes that spark your experience; our leadership has not been very adept at building teams around this talent and creating sustained successful campaigns year after year.
        You know what rooting for yearly dominance feels like…so do Chicagoan’s… Jordan and Jackson’s Bulls taught us the feel of superiority and the current Bkackhawks organization is producing the same sensations…but never has the Bears organization been able to provide that for its fans…. and this is a shame because most of what the NFL is and enjoys runs through this family…but that is a feeling of pride for our forefathers …not the ekectricity of a playoff atmosphere…it is more cerebral …I want the juice of playoffs

      • SC Dave

        It is almost comical, isn’t it Cheesy? This is a team that could still win seven games, and all the Henny Pennys are calling it the worst team in the history of the franchise. The lack of perspective is well… I don’t know… would you say hilarious or pathetic?

        • johnnywad

          Every team in the NFL would beat the Bears this week. That’s the point. They are currently the worst team in the NFL. This is in the same season in which they came from way back to beat the Niners at home when the whole world thought the Miners were very good. This team is more disappointing than any Bears team in my lifetime.

      • now run winning % in the SB era. I’ll bet they’re not even top 10. The franchise is living off the glory days of 1985 and then before 99% of their fans were alive.

        • TheBigCheesy

          they are 368-378. Not great. 26 losing seasons. 18 winning seasons. 5 .500 seasons.

          Packers are 399-340, with 26 winning seasons, 17 losing ones.

          • so they’ve basically been an average franchise over the last 50 years. It’s just that the 45 years before that were incredible.

        • TheBigCheesy

          Think about the Cardinals for a minute though. They are just as old as the Bears and they have 2 leather helmet championships and 0 super bowls. They only have 8 playoff appearances in their history. Eight. The Baltimore Ravens have 9 playoff apps and they came into the league in 1996.

          They began as the Chicago Cardinals, and then they got kicked around all over the country. Soo, it could be worse?

          Or maybe the bears could have moved to LA in 1986 and you all could have been spared the last 30 years of pain and rooted for the Packers instead. Would that have been betteR?

          • oh, I’m not saying the Bears have sucked. But they have overall been mediocre in the Super Bowl era. One great year, 5-10 good ones, a lot in the middle, and some bad ones.

            The whole “this is a great franchise” thing hasn’t really been true for 50 years, as much as we Bears fans are loathe to admit.

          • SC Dave

            Of course it hasn’t. A simple look at facts tells anyone that.

            What keeps us going are individuals – Butkus, Payton, Urlacher. Who is the guy now? For me it’s Forte. There is no one on defense to be sure.

        • Shady

          Take a look at this football nerds:

          http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/nfl-margins/index.html

          This is the cumulative regular-season point differential since 1920, for all teams.

          Thanks to the great work of designated Skeptical Football charts guru Reuben Fischer-Baum, you can roll over a line to see the team’s entire history, and move along the line to see exactly how many points it has scored compared to its opponents at a given point. You can also click on a team to keep its line highlighted, and then roll over another team for comparison. Irrelevant dates (where no regular-season games were played) are excluded from the timeline.

          Check out the Bears dynasties of the 30’s and 40’s, the futility of the 70’s, the dominance of the mid to late 80’s, the fall-off of the late 90’s and the mediocrity of the new millennium.

    • huntinbare

      These are the character building years….do not let them know we have all been building character for far too many decades…does anyone really know if character ever guarantees success?

      • SC Dave

        I suppose it had nothing to do with the success of, say, Donald Trump. Or Barack Obama.

        • huntinbare

          Character not characters dave…

  • Trac

    Which is more embarrassing? Firing evra one from the GM down after 3 years or signing an under achieving QB and letting him get away with thinking he can single handedly take down an organization? Will the McCaskeys do both? Either way, Jay wins.

  • huntinbare

    An insider from Halas Hall suapects that the current disfunction has been caused by foreign chemical substances that were placed into the food during team meals. A recent new hire to the kitchen staff, only know as Chef MB;( to protect his identity); has been put under house arrest. He is said to have been arrested with various pills and other unknown chemicals; and a diary with violent references dating back to the Jerry Angelo regime….presser in the a.m. to reveal the details….blood tests of management and players will be conducted; and no future changes will be made until all involved pass a P-test….a looming disaster for a founding franchise may have been averted.

    • johnnywad

      No wonder he went dark

      • huntinbare

        Every one of his boxes have been checked

    • SC Dave

      IRISH!!! Masquerading as huntin’ – brilliant!

      • huntinbare

        I miss them both …very colorful commentary is what can get us through the dog days…

  • wreckinball

    Well if you want to feel a little better watch TNF. Whew are these teams bad

    • Big Mike

      We look just like then on offense without the excuse of having rookies on offense

      In fact it looks like our offense. Run, dump off, pressure screen punt

    • BerwynBomber

      Bortles has potential. A team like the Bears would be lucky to have him.

  • wreckinball

    Throw Tennessee into teams that may still be interested in Jay

  • Jack Lacan

    Charlie Whitehurst’s helmet has gained forty-five yards…

  • WP4Life

    dont think the McCaskeys have a plan. they always seem to act knee jerk.

    tucker gone was/is to satisfy the fans
    kromer added his name to the list to satisfy fans
    trest tied himself to kromer bc thier relationship and thus no punishment

    trest tries to show he is still good OC by benching jay

    j wood. article on bears beat show emery fair a draft, uses FA too much etc…

    ted – doesnt know what the hell he is dong.

    i think we are second city for a reason and will be until we get someone who can instill some disciple, order etc… ditka in his day was too much for them, so then we are stuck with nice coaches that are incapable…

    i just want to win – billacheat, double burger mcarthy, harbaugh etc….

    I guess we will see.

  • Jack Lacan

    Remember Bortles & James – wine coolers???

  • Scharfinator

    I like this article. Keep up the good work, Jeff.

  • Jack Lacan

    Fortunately no one burst into tears at todays Bears press conference…except for us…

  • Big Mike

    Jaguars are running Bears’ offense

    • wreckinball

      Yes and somehow even less effective

      • Big Mike

        Not by much

    • Big Mike

      Better 2 minute dtoll

  • wreckinball

    It’s ugly but nice play by Bortles

    • Big Mike

      Oh look run the ball a couple times and now you can pass downfield

  • The Ghost of Super Bowl XX

    Good stuff Jeff…

  • ErikGrogan

    Jay Cutler definitely looked and talked like a guy who was staying.

    • NewBearInTown

      Cutler has consistently been the bigger man in all of the many fiascos that have followed him in his career. He might not be a great QB (or he may be), but he is at least a mature human being.

      • SC Dave

        I don’t even know how to respond to that. He tanks plays for most of a game in a petulant tizzy, and… shit… you give him a pass on that because he’s good in a press conference?

        • BearDown100393

          I guess that makes Jay Cutler a good head coach according to Emery standards right?

        • BerwynBomber

          The press conference thing was always a bit overrated. But yes, it is rather ridiculous for people who always excused his petulance at pressers to now want to blow him because he has given a couple of professional ones.

        • johnnywad

          Just to be clear here Dave, what would you do if you were Cutler last Monday? The team is in free fall with no real coach at the helm, and an OC that did what he did. He’s supposed to go out in front of the world and play well? For whom? The entire team has quit. Not on Jay. They’ve quit on Marc. Every snap he takes right now is a risk given the way the o line is playing.

          Every person on this board has been bitching all year and calling him Captain Check down because he won’t throw the ball down field, including me. Now when he does, when he ignores the “system” of a limp dick, lame duck coach that won’t have a job in a another week, and throws the ball down field, its tanking? He threw a petulant tizzy? What would you do if you were him? I’m not removing Cutler’s responsibility in this mess, but you have zero perspective.

          This team is a shitball from top to bottom. And you spend virtually every post either pushing the Cutler sucks narrative or lauding the play of Chris Conte. It doesn’t make any sense.

          Name a player on this team that’s really playing well not named Kyle Long or Matt Forte. You can’t. And yet, every post is “Cutler sucks.” I don’t get it.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            Agree.
            as for your last paragraph Bennett seems to still be playing hard and fairly well.
            one player that i would like to see more in the final weeks is Carey. There was one play in the last game, can’t remember if it was screen or just a dump off to him, and he ran with passion and was looking to hit whoever tackled him. It was one of the few plays that inspired me a little.

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          Cutler definitely tanked or took plays off that game. I was trying to think of it from his point of view and all I got was 1) there’s nothing left to play for this year 2) half or more of the time since he’s been here the O-line was one of the worst in the league and he had the living **** sacked out of him 3) even if he or the offense was playing better, the defense would still be giving up 35 points a game on a good day.

          It’s like in the last few weeks Cutler became a Cubs fan and thought (consciously or unconsciously) the best way to think about all this is the motto “Better Luck Next Year!”

          Frustrating as a fan, but after the team gave up 50 points in consecutive weeks, the illusions of being a contender this year (or even next year) disappeared.

          Lovie Smith: “Rex Grossman is our quarterback!”
          Marc Trestman:”Jimmy Clausen is our quarterback!”

          ugh.

      • Thisguy_justsaid

        Am I suppose to laugh at this or take it seriously?

      • BearDown100393

        Chain smoking keeps him calm.

      • BerwynBomber

        He is NOT a great QB. He is not even a good one. He is an average one.

    • BerwynBomber

      He is auditioning for future jobs. He pretty much has to sound that way unless he wishes to place his resentment in front of his career.

    • Shady

      “Despite coach Marc Trestman benching him just 14 games into a seven-year, $126.7 million contract, quarterback Jay Cutler hopes to remain with the Bears, but he acknowledged Thursday…

      “it definitely crossed my mind” that he has possibly played his final game with the team.”

      http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/12048720/jay-cutler-chicago-bears-hopes-remain-team-being-benched

  • Thisguy_justsaid

    Trestman and Kromer modern day Lovie and Bob Babich? Or was it Ron?

  • BerwynBomber

    JAX may have something in Bortles. Not projecting him as HoF material but he could eventually progress to top 10. Lots of TOs but you can live with that from a rook surrounded by average-to-crap talent. He shows leadership and has some natural ability.

    Thought TEN got jobbed a little on that PI call at the end. May not have ultimately mattered but would have been interesting to see them get the ball back with two minutes to go.

  • BearDown100393

    Sen’Derrick Marks sacks the QB for a $600K bonus. Nice work if you can get it. Jay will be paid over $1 million to sit on his ass this weekend. Even better work.

    • Big Mike

      I’m glad he got that sack

  • Nailed it, Jeff. Well done, as usual.

    • SC Dave

      Agree vehemently on the part about confusion on who is in charge.

      The “worst team ever” is indefensible emotional pablum to generate page views or however they get paid/opportunities from this thing.

      • AlbertInTucson

        At this point, they ARE as INEPT as any Bear team I have ever watched.

      • beninnorcal

        Don’t think he meant ‘worst team ever’, he said ‘most embarrassing’ and I would have to agree after the high expectations. Jeff doesn’t seem to me like one of those Yahoo.com writers just trying to get views.

        • SC Dave

          I stand corrected. “Most embarrassing” is something I will not debate.

      • Scott W.

        “…indefensible emotional pablum…” is a cool phrase, but “hysterical bullshit” would have been more succinct.
        Nice phrase turn, but you are wrong. Not hysterical, perhaps, but you are wrong.

      • I’d say “most disappointing” over worst. On paper, this team is a legitimate fringe playoff team. I still believe that. Now with all the injuries, maybe you drop that to 8-9 wins instead of 10-11.

        But the 5-11 they’re gonna end up with, coupled with the fact that 2/3 of those wins have been absolute blowouts, is not at all on par with the talent on the roster. And that comes from coaching.

        • SC Dave

          The most disappointing Bears teams for me were Ditka’s one-and-done specials in 1986 and 1987, although I have to confess this one is pretty damn close.

  • AlbertInTucson

    What genius at the NFL thought Titans at Jaguars would be an attractive matchup for a Thursday night at ANY point, let alone this deep into the season?

    • BerwynBomber

      I’m not 100% sure but I believe every team in the league has to play one THURs night game. If that is the case, then I’d rather see these two level of teams face off then one of them against a Denver or NE who will punk them by 50.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Yes, everybody gets at least ONE Thursday night. But these two should have been WAY earlier in the season when the league could pretend they were still viable. I watched the 1938 version of CHRISTMAS CAROL on TCM. “God bless us, every one!”

        • BerwynBomber

          Bah humbug! You could have watched Blake Bortles and dreamed of us drafting such a dude ourselves.

  • Shady

    Clean house and bring in Mike Holmgren as football czar?

    Kinda looks like Ditka… meets Andy Reid:

    http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/mik-holmgren.bmp

    Not as crazy as you might think. The Hubbz says Holmgren and Caskeys go way back:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2006-10-02/sports/0610020233_1_bears-mccaskey-family-nfc-championship

    “..the Bears, owned by the McCaskey family, have maintained a friendly and cordial relationship with Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, even when he guided the division rival Green Bay Packers. Virginia McCaskey, the daughter of former Bears founder and coach George Halas, presented Holmgren with the NFC championship trophy at Lambeau Field when he coached the Packers.

    “That was a special day,” said Brian McCaskey, one of her sons. “[Holmgren] has a lot of supporters at North Park University. And it is kind of neat that two NFL teams have ties to North Park.

    “My wife (Barb) and I both went to North Park,” said Brian, the Bears’ senior director ofbusiness development. “Mike’s wife, Kathy, went to North Park, and he has four daughters who went to North Park. Mike and his wife have been very generous to North Park. He had the lead gift on the new recreation center. And he also had the last gift of the campaign.”

    Holmgren also provided the generous lead gift to the North Park facility that was later named the Holmgren Athletic Center, in his honor.”

    • BerwynBomber

      He did pretty well out in SEA but didn’t he crap the bed in that role at CLE?

      • Shady

        I’d feel better giving a job to a guy who’s at least done it before rather than handing out jobs to guys who’ve never done it before.

        • BerwynBomber

          Totally agree. I was only offering a sanity check on his otherwise impressive resume.

      • johnnywad

        To be fair, it was Cleveland. Nothing works in Cleveland. Didn’t Belechick fail in Cleveland as well? Or was that Baltimore?

  • madscout12
  • Scott W.

    A thundering conclusion to an article written about the deaf dumb and blind, men who can – and did – render one of the 2 most storied franchises in the NFL irrelevant.
    The Chicago Bears of 2014 have made themselves nothing, which in and of itself is an extraordinary achievement. This perfect storm of apathy, stupidity, and incongruity began with the hiring of Phil Emery. It started to rain incompetence with the hiring of Marc Trestman. Jay Cutler was of course the prevailing wind of the damned, and the McCaskeys just watched placidly through their picture windows as the team was blown into madness, finally dumping the wreckage of their self-respect into the laps of their fans.
    Fans who have stood with them through disappointments for decades, fans that never lost hope. Until now.
    It will take more than benching Jay Cutler to begin rebuilding.
    More than millions, more than draft picks and a change in coaches.
    It will take heart, focus, and determination beyond what they seem capable or willing of.
    The carnage of this team will require wholesale changes in philosophies.
    Jim Harbaugh shouldn’t be hired as head coach; he should be annointed as omnipotent, and without delay.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Not holding my breath for the hiring of Harbaugh. Or anybody even close in stature for that matter.

    • BillW

      I keep bringing this up – the team and league centennial is coming up fast. You’d hope the McCaskeys would want a much better team by then.

  • Scott W.

    On another note, I’ve gotten so desperate to understand what has happened, I’ve even wondered if Cutler is more affected by his diabetes than we know.
    I get royally pissed off about this mess. Which I guess means I haven’t become apathetic.

  • Big Mike

    Watched TN/Jacksonville last night. First half looked familiar. Jacksonville ran the Bears offense, (predictable runs, passed too much, penalties, screen plays) except they actually scored in the first half.

    Very depressing that watching two teams with 2 wins a piece, the both looked like the Bears.

  • Big Mike

    New game. What pieces do we have that we can A) build around and B) keep until they wear out C) keep until we can replace. D) Replace immediately
    A) Jeffery, Long, Fuller, Ferguson, Sutton, Marshall, Bennett, Forte, Paea, O’Donnell
    B) Bushrod, Slauson, Ratliffe, Jennings, Gould,
    C) Bostic, Mills, Greene,
    D) McClellin, Garza,

    Interesting way to think about it. Need to get younger and faster everywhere.

    • SC Dave

      I would move Marshall to (B).

      • GPLDAN

        (D)

        • Big Mike

          Marshall to D? Wow.

          • GPLDAN

            HIs ribs are broken. That’s usually the end of the wideout. It certainly ended Earl Bennett.

            He won’t be the same coming back. And minus Jay on the team, when he doesn’t get the balls he thinks he deserves, he will go into full cancer mode.

            Cut him at the end of the season, eat his contract too. It’s a fire sale, and the house needs to be decontaminated.

          • Big Mike

            Was not aware this was a career altering injury, with this much time to heal. That’s a tough loss. I’d still want to see what he has.

          • did the ribs ends Earl Bennett, or did Earl Bennett’s skill level end Earl Bennett?

          • johnnywad

            Didn’t the death of his brother end it?

        • Viva

          I was thinking the same thing.

        • Big Mike

          D for Marshall? Wow.

      • Big Mike

        Who would you add to any of these lists? I just went off the top of my head.

        • B) Gould
          C) Jennings, Vereen, Hurst, Any-Other-DB-We-Have-Not-Already-Named
          D) Conte
          E) Tillman (bring back as a coach)

          • Big Mike

            Vereen? not a second year to get better? I could see him as an A, but wasn’t sure. First year guy wasn’t even supposed to play much. Secondary is tough in the NFL. Isn’t it some sort of coaching insight that players make a big jump from year 1 to 2? Conte, needs a fresh start. Tillman as a coach that’s nice. Maybe even a “player /coach” if they have that. he’d make it through 2-3 games.

          • we gave Al Afalava a second year to get better.
            we gave Nate Vasher a second year to match his first.
            we gave Trumaine McBride extra years.
            we gave Tyler Clutts his walking papers.

          • Big Mike

            Doesn’t make it wrong for Vereen. Can’t get 53 new players every year.

          • and that’s why we keep until we replace 😉

          • Big Mike

            You’re right. I lost track of the thread and thought that was the replace list. That does give the 2nd year guy a chance to show progress. Vereen wasn’t really even slotted as a starter.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      i think we should bring the coaching staff back… at least for preseason as tackling dummies.

    • Viva

      A. Christian Jones

      • Big Mike

        Like it. Forgot about that guy. He could be one of those big jump yr 2 guys.

    • BillW

      What about Conte? I wanted him gone last year, but we’v kinda seen inside him recently. He apparently worked hard to improve; he clearly has a passion for the game. But he is injury prone and he may need to retire for his own good. And yet from his comments, it seems if he left football now he’d be majorly depressed.

      • Big Mike

        Conte in my book is clearly a C. He improved this year. He might improve again, but largely we know what we’re getting. Safety and LB need to be addressed early in the draft.

    • johnnywad

      Can’t build around Forte. That dude is great, but he’s bound to hit a brick wall in the next year or two. Too old, too many carries and catches to go on for much longer.

      • Big Mike

        You’re right. He’s a B.

  • Viva

    The 2014 version of the Chicago Bears are catastrophically undisciplined.

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      +1 for captain obvious.

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    this team has checked out like they were given a couple of drinks from Bill Cosby.

    • BillW

      Great line!

  • BillW

    1. Not read anywhere about the benching being due to insubordination, so while that may still be true, I have no real basis for my saying that

    2. Cutler is number 2 so the idea that he’s being protected from injury for trade reasons apparently not true

    3. My favorite theory is this is Trestman giving Emery the finger.

    By the way Jeff – I admire your sticking to your support of Cutler especially during the firestorm. Don’t agree, but I admire you for that.

  • wreckinball

    The benching was ordered from above. That’s why Trestman reversed himself.
    It actually makes sense since the season is lost and they are protecting their investment in Jay. Whether they keep him or trade him

    Nothing good would happen with Jay in their. Best case he plays like shit for two games diminishing his trade value, Worst case he gets hurt while playing like shit

    • wreckinball

      I guess if your’re paying $100+ for a ticket it doesn’t make as much sense

  • Shady

    I posted this below, but it’s so much fun I thought I’d post it again:

    Take a look at this football nerds:

    http://projects.fivethirtyeigh

    This is the cumulative regular-season point differential since 1920, for all teams.

    Thanks to the great work of designated Skeptical Football charts guru Reuben Fischer-Baum, you can roll over a line to see the team’s entire history, and move along the line to see exactly how many points it has scored compared to its opponents at a given point. You can also click on a team to keep its line highlighted, and then roll over another team for comparison. Irrelevant dates (where no regular-season games were played) are excluded from the timeline.

    Check out the Bears dynasties of the 30’s and 40’s, the futility of the 70’s, the dominance of the mid to late 80’s, the fall-off of the late 90’s and the mediocrity of the new millennium.

    • Big Mike

      Thanks Shady

  • GPLDAN

    Over 20 years, Trestman spent 17 seasons with eight different teams, three times lasting just one year, four times two years and only twice making it through a third season.

    This is because Marc Trestman is a flaccid individual. A lawyer by trade is really all we should have needed to know. If you can name a single successful NFL head coach who came out of law school, I am waiting to hear it. NFL players are the baddest 20 something and early 30s mofos from their hometowns and then their universities. They respond to emotion, not to a flaccid man who won’t face them in the auditorium. Pete Carroll, who has arguable adopted the ‘nice man’ routine, was a little firecracker who defined scrappy when he actually played the game. And he went to b-school.

    I doubt Marc Trestman could even catch a football thrown at him with any velocity. Flaccid.

    There is no realistic way in which Phil Emery should go on a “world tour” to look under every rock and ask every question and end up with Marc Trestman as his head coach. Who turns press conference answers into mush mouthed answers that only a lawyer would give.

    I despise this management team. I despise that a man like Ted Phillips got planted as high as he did in the org being a bean counter. I despise the way the McCaskeys have taken the team with the best graph on Shady’s 538 graph since 1920 and done what they could to make it a joke.

    The media, at essentially all corners now, has nothing but abject contempt for this organization. Top to bottom. And it should. And we should. Nothing less than driving up to Halas Hall with picket signs should be enough. We should take a cue from that awful football movie Draft Day with Kostner playing a man 30 years younger than he is, when the Seahawks GM caves and goes full pussy when he sees all the protesters on the street.

    What a shit club. I hope they sell it.

    • Scott W.

      Yes. To me. To you. To anyone.

    • wreckinball

      One can hope but it’s not happening

    • BillW

      Well said.

    • BillW

      I was done with this club after the Kromer fiasco. And I now have real hope that George has had enough of the Bears’ being a laughingstock. Emery’s reaction to Trestman and the Cutler benching shows obvious political upheaval that I hope results in a fundamental change in the structure of the Bears organization, led by George in some small sense akin to Rocky Wirtz.

  • wreckinball

    Finks and Ditka turned them around before and besides Walter they had less talent than this team. It can happen

    • BillW

      Finks hired a very flaccid coach in Neill Armstrong after Jack Pardee decided to leave.

      Papa Bear saw how soft Armstrong was and stepped in – kept Buddy Ryan based on the defense players input – and hired Ditka.

      • AlbertInTucson

        …which induced Finks to leave the organization..

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    well… that is clear for years now… these last months don’t change that.

    the fans being kittens aren’t a great help in forcing change.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Cutler has been announced as the backup for Sunday.

    I submit this makes it even money that Clausen gets knocked out of the game.

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