This space has never been used to call for the firing of a head coach and by all accounts Marc Trestman is a good and decent man whose tenacious pursuit of an NFL head coaching position deserves praise. But the Chicago Bears had two weeks to study the errs of back-to-back disasters against the Dolphins and Patriots. They had two weeks to prepare for the Green Bay Packers and set the stage for the second half of the season. What happened? They got worse. Somehow, they got less competitive.
Having spent a fair amount of this life watching NFL football I feel comfortable now making the following statement: Marc Trestman is not the right man to lead the Chicago Bears and the McCaskey family will be remiss not to make this change at year’s end.
First and foremost Trestman is NOT a head coach. He has no knowledge of or seeming interest in the defensive side of the ball. This can be overcome if the head coach commands the respect and attention of the men in those meeting rooms (Sean Payton) but Trestman’s locker room disarray leads one to believe he doesn’t command much at all. Many wish to pin the defensive performance against the Packers on defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and he deserves the criticism. (Playing cover-2 against the Packers wide receivers with the Bears safeties should have resulted in his being fired in the locker room at halftime.) But the blame belongs squarely on the shoulder of the head coach. It is the head coach’s team. One need only check ChicagoBears.com to learn Trestman currently holds that position.
Head coaches are allowed to lose as they develop their programs. Growing pains are condoned in the name of progress but that progress must be visible. The Bears, outside of Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett, have taken a step back at every single position on the field. Every. Single. Position.
Head coaches are allowed to lose but they are not allowed to embarrass a city and commit the cardinal sin of draining a fan base’s passion for Sundays. I can’t imagine even the most die hard of die hards is excited for the Vikings coming to town Sunday. Football is a fan’s escape from the trial and tribulations of everyday life. Chicago Bears football is becoming a chore. Rake the leaves. Shovel the stoop. Clean the dishes. Watch the Bears.
What is the most distinguishing characteristic of the 2014 Chicago Bears? Their non competitiveness. If the Bears had lost 17-14 to Miami, 21-20 to New England and 30-27 in overtime to Green Bay there would be disappointment in Chicago certainly. But at no point in any of those three contests did the Bears look like they belonged on the field with their opponent. It is inexcusable.
The Bears will win a few games down the stretch. Their schedule breaks that way. But they should not let those victories fool them into thinking the head coach is capable of competing with the league’s best. He’s not. And the McCaskey family should not need another season to understand what Joe Philbin, Bill Belichick and Mike McCarthy learned first-hand.