- David Haugh at the Chicago Tribune has a point:
“‘We’ve got to … put the San Francisco game on, the Jets game on and see why we were able to play four quarters against Atlanta in competitive football games,’ [head coach Marc] Trestman said.
“No need for videotape to remember why the Bears won those games. For starters, the 2-8 Jets and 3-6 Falcons stink. And the 49ers gifted the Bears the victory when quarterback Colin Kaepernick ‘Cutler-ized’ his offense by committing four turnovers. To hear Trestman wax poetically about those victories, the Bears beat the Broncos, Seahawks and ’72 Dolphins.”
In fact, the opponent handed the Bears all three games on a silver platter. It wasn’t a question of who played better. It was who played worse.
Perhaps the biggest misconception that Bears fans and, apparently, the Bears themselves have about this team is that they are inconsistent. They are, in fact, very consistent. It’s the teams they play that determine their fate.
As to the rest of Haugh’s column, I don’t put much stock in calling for firing Marc Trestman or any of the coaches mid-season. My view tends to match that of Brad Biggs, also at the Chicago Tribune:
“Midseason shakeups rarely are successful in the NFL. If defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is blamed and sent packing, I don’t know that that will accomplish anything. Someone needs to answer for these repeated failures, but canning Tucker and moving to the next guy looks a lot like Lovie Smith laying blame on offensive coordinator after offensive coordinator and moving on without ever sustaining success.”
Biggs is right but I will say this. Someone needs to identify what’s wrong before it can be fixed. Based upon what’s coming out of Trestman’s mouth, right now no one can do that. If that’s true, then they’re eventually going to have to hire someone who knows what they’re doing.
Fans live on hope. Its hard to do that when your head coach is “confounded” and “disturbed” and admits that he can’t understand why their great practices don’t translate on to the field. If someone doesn’t do something, faithful fan base or no, there won’t be many of them left in the stands come December.
- Biggs continues:
“The other question worth exploring was whether Trestman believed the roster had enough talent to compete.
“‘The only thing I am going to say to you is we’re not good enough right now,’ [Trestman] replied. ‘As I told our players, there is a good team in there somewhere because we have seen signs of it this year. We’re not a good team right now.'”
I’ve said this before but its worth repeating. When you watch this team live the first thing you notice is how slow they are on defense, especially at linebacker. Whatever the problems are on offense, that’s where I’d start on defense. It’s not going to be a quick fix.
- Biggs also quotes left tackle Jermon Bushrod on how the Packer’s defense managed to dominate the Bears:
“‘They did a lot more movement than they did in the first game,’ Bushrod said. ‘In the first game we were able to dissect everything and figure everything out. They were running line games and T-E’s (tackle-end twists) and run plays. That is something we don’t really see much. We tried to make the necessary adjustments and then they would bring something else. We’ve got to find a way to get it done.”
This is what’s so frustrating about being a Bears fan (or the fan of any bad team) right now. You see what other teams do, playing multiple fronts and coverages and executing it to the point where the opposition is in total disarray. You want that for your team. But you watch the Bears and they can’t execute even the simplest plays without something going wrong. Multiple fronts? They can’t even successfully execute a pre-snap change from cover two to cover three.
We can talk about lack of talent but this is lack of preparation and coaching. Players are simply not in the right mindset when they hit the field and what they do on the practice field doesn’t translate to the game. There’s simply no other explanation.
I’m not a coach and I don’t know how you fix it. But I’m tired of seeing the Packers do it time and again as they find a way to win while the Bears couldn’t execute their way out of a paper bag. Never has the difference between the Bears and the elite organizations in the NFL been so apparent.
Yes. I haven’t been this frustrated with the team in quite a while.
- Biggs on the move that wasn’t of Jordan Mills from right tackle to left guard:
“‘That is why we shuffled one day, we looked at it,’ [offensive line coach Pete] Meyer said. ‘He did a nice job; it just wasn’t natural. It would have been different probably if it was the right side because he wouldn’t have to shift his stance.
“‘We’re gonna work with him in the offseason and he wants to do it, too. It’s something we’re going to look at just like we’re working different combinations right now because of the position we’re in. The offseason is a good time to do it.'”
Mills’s move was precipitated by the loss of Matt Slauson for the remainder of the season. If they move Mills to guard in the offseason, who sits?
- I’m not looking forward to seeing what New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees might do to that Bears defense.
- What the hell is wrong with you people?
One Final Thought
Mike Mulligan at the Chicago Tribune gets credit for the best quote of the week:
“The team has been put together more as a fantasy football squad than a living, breathing entity. An assistant coach for a recent opponent called them the ‘biggest collection of front-runners in the NFL.'”
Couldn’t agree more. I’m sure the assistant coach had Jay Cutler particularly in mind when he said because he’s the classic example of someone who goes as the team goes, not the other way around. But it probably applies to a large part of the rest of them. Packers receiver Randall Cobb may have put it best:
“We knew that if we got up early on them, they may lay down on us.”
This team needs leadership and a large infusion of pride and guts in the worst way.