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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.

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Benching Jay Cutler Last Drop of Jelly in Bears Dysfunctional Donut

| December 18th, 2014

Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears

Monday night against the New Orleans Saints was the last straw.

Even an amateur’ analyst’s passing glance at the game tape would recognize a quarterback almost purposely ignoring the offensive system in which he’s being asked to execute. At ten or more moments in that contest Jay Cutler passed on the opportunity to hit an open man underneath, instead choosing to fling the ball down the field, often to nobody in particular. A week earlier Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer had Sally Fielded the locker room with tears, admitting to an act of sideline treason and breaking the sacred covenant of the locker room by admonishing his quarterback publicly.

The Saints game was a Monday night mutiny by Cutler and no one on earth could convince me the quarterback was not calculated in his futility. A week earlier Trestman had refused the opportunity to fire a coordinator well-deserving of the slow, security guard aided walk to the front sidewalk. Monday night’s game tape was an opportunity knocking too loudly. Trestman fired Cutler as Bears starting quarterback.

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New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears – Monday Workday & Monday Night Football Thread

| December 15th, 2014

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Some Final Thoughts…

1 – Have read in multiple places the Bears now have an opportunity to utilize Marquess Wilson more prominently in the game plan due to the absence of Brandon Marshall. Poppycock. Wilson should be utilized in the exact same manner he would have been were Marshall healthy. Bears are already making a terrible decision by changing the positions of Jon Bostic and Christian Jones in the name of, to paraphrase Trestman, “less disruption”. All three should spend the final weeks of 2014 playing the positions they are projected to play in September of 2015.

2 – Josh Bellamy should start tonight for the Bears and Cutler should target him. When I watched Bellamy play against Cleveland this summer he handled first-round pick Justin Gilbert with ease. (I was so convinced by Bellamy I expected him to spend the year on the Browns roster.) I think he’s a pro.

3 – So now every time the Bears run the ball unsuccessfully, media and fans will question whether the blame belongs to the blockers and back or if Cutler should have checked out. That is the damage done by Aaron Kromer. That is why its inexcusable he is still a member of the coaching staff. (Do you think Tom Coughlin would still have Kromer around? John Harbaugh?)

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New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| December 11th, 2014

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip never amounted to much of a show but this is one of my favorite five minutes in TV history.

The Saints are horrible. The Bears are slightly more horrible. So why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

  • If the Saints didn’t win a Super Bowl a half decade ago they’d be the Chicago Bears. Their sideline is lousy with coaches shouting at one another, their defense is in the tank and now will have 2013 first-rounder Kenny Vaccaro on the bench, their offense shows up every other month and they are coming off a humiliating thrashing at the hands of the also-terrible Carolina Panthers. That was remarkably their fourth consecutive loss at home – a place where they’ve dominated the sport in the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era. It’s bad in New Orleans but…
  • …if you are miserable in New Orleans, you must not like drinking or eating or music or joy.
  • 40 carries, 271 yards, 6.8 yards a clip, 2 touchdowns. That is what the Panthers did to the Saints with a wasteland of an offensive line and a combination of Jonathan Stewart, Cam Newton, Mike Tolbert & Fozzy Whittaker.
  • Cam Newton is the fifth most sacked quarterback in the NFL. The Saints didn’t get near him.

2014 Draws Comparisons to 2009

The 2009 Chicago Bears were 3-1 heading into their early-season bye week. They came out of the bye and lost 8 of their next 10 games, including defensive embarrassments against Cincinnati, Arizona and Minnesota. The team was dead and buried.

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Who Survives This?

| December 5th, 2014

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There is no reason to dissect the most recent Chicago Bears humiliation – this time at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. The individual drives, plays, moments do not matter. Because despite having beaten five teams over the course of their 2014 journey this Bears team has cemented their place as one of the worst in the proud lineage of the organization.

Now the only questions to be answered are ones of survival. Can Marc Trestman survive being the head coach of a team so noncompetitive week after week after week? Can Phil Emery survive having put Trestman in charge? Can Mel Tucker survive the weekend? Can the McCaskey family and Ted Phillips survive the public relations nightmare of making no changes?

This is all that’s left. Not talent evaluation. Not playing with pride. Nothing. The only relevant moment remaining in 2014 will be the announcement of who is not returning in 2015.

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Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Game Thread Featuring Three Final Thoughts

| December 4th, 2014

dallas

Three Final Thoughts

(1) I was once, as a younger man, in New Orleans for Halloween with the great Lou Casillas and a reverend who used to spend some time around here. New Orleans for any night is the greatest party of your life but on Halloween its a special party. In my infinite wisdom I booked a flight back to New York early the next morning – the worst morning of my life. That was a Saturday. I returned to my friend Lou’s apartment and fell fast asleep, at 3 pm, in the same clothes I’d flown in. Sunday morning I awoke to the knowledge of the Bears playing the Detroit Lions, realized I’d need to be in a bar to watch it and thought, “Ugh.” That was the last time BEFORE THIS MORNING I felt that way the morning of a Bears game.

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Dallas Cowboys at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| December 2nd, 2014

This is normally the part of the Game Preview where I state the reasons why not to like the Chicago Bears in the coming week. Then I ask…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week? (And then I answer…)

I always like the Chicago Bears.

SO WHAT’S THE WEATHER?

It is supposed to be in the low 30s Thursday in Chicago, getting colder as the night progresses. (I believe this is how it works almost every day.) The way I see it, this is the Bears only advantage over the Dallas Cowboys.

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