Black Monday escalated rather quickly and before you could even finish your breakfast the Bears had fired General Manager Phil Emery and Head Coach Marc Trestman. The only person who may have been surprised by this move would be Trestman himself.
After Sundays season ending loss to the Vikings, Trestman told reporters he expected to be back next season and in his usual soft, shaky tone made a case why he should be back in control.
“ I don’t have to go into the reasons that I expect to be back, I couldn’t look at it any other way or with any other kind of focus” Trestman said in his last post-game interview as head coach of the Bears, and while it was the right decision it should and will not be the only change we see.
The Bears should have paid attention to the 3:25 slot after their embarrassing loss. The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions were in a week 17 war for the NFC North crown and a first round BYE in the playoffs. The Bears were playing in a similar matchup just one year ago, week 17. The Bears went from a team on the rise to the embarrassment of the league in the matter of 12 months.
To once again be competitive and taken serious throughout the league, the Bears need to cut ties with the players who are not willing to buy into (yet) another new system and start over. That does not necessarily mean Jay Cutler will be gone however.
While Cutler is clearly not an elite quarterback and will most likely never lead a team to a championship on talent alone, is it worth giving up a top draft pick just to trade him elsewhere? Since the Bears have chosen to go through the rebuilding process, they will want to keep as many picks as possible and does it really matter who’s behind center during a losing season anyway? Not to mention Cutler gives the Bears the best opportunity to win if they are going to attempt to rebuild on the fly. The 2015 quarterback draft class is full of prospects and no proven stars and the Bears most likely wont have a shot at landing Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. I would be very surprised if Cutler was throwing interceptions anywhere else next season and expect him back in Chicago with another new coordinator and head coach.
The Bears should consider cutting ties with Brandon Marshall, unless they can find a head coach who can control his antics. Marshall called out Cutler after a loss to the Lions earlier in the season and has challenged two people publicly to boxing matches in the last few months. Trestman clearly could not control Marshall, allowing him to fly to New York to do a weekly appearance on Showtime’s “ Inside the NFL” and sign his contract extension on “ the View.” If the Bears want to start fresh they need to get rid of all the off the field drama and antics that were never in the locker room during the glory days of Bears football.
While Marshall is one of the top receivers in the league when healthy and mentally prepared, the Bears need to start building their team from within— through the NFL Draft and with guys who understand the concept of playing “ team football” and don’t concern themselves with outside careers or restaurants ( Lance Briggs) during the season.
Football is the ultimate team sport and for the Bears to succeed they need to add a coaching staff with some experience to preach that. It is time to stop hiring guys with no head coaching experience and pray that they learn on the fly. If that option is not available and the Bears cannot land a former head coach, they should at least consider a coordinator who’s last job was in the United States… Personally I feel Rex Ryan never had any backing in New York and would be a great fit for Chicago.
The past two seasons the Bears have lost their identity and forgotten what kind of football team they are. While the defense came into the year with low expectations everybody expected some improvement. What we witnessed was a total catastrophe and possibly one of the worst defensive units in Chicago Bears history. The offense never clicked and the players clearly checked out a few months ago. For the Bears to be relevant once again and have a shot at competing with the Green Bay Packers they have to once again find their identity and fix their putrid defense that gave up back-to-back fifty point games.
So now begins the future for the Chicago Bears. It will be interesting to see what kind of moves are made throughout the offseason and what kind of team takes the field next August. It is almost surreal that a team that had such high expectations and an offense that was predicted to be tops in the league fell to obscurity so fast -but that is just the way it goes in today’s NFL. Hopefully for the people of Chicago they make the right choices this time and we aren’t talking about this same subject in another two years with another head coach packing his bags.