CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears coach Marc Trestman said the team’s season-ending loss to the Packers was “very disappointing,” and called Green Bay’s first-half fumble return for a touchdown while on offense “a debacle,” as the entire defense stood around and watched their rivals make an easy score.
Even many of the Packers players stood around after quarterback Aaron Rodgers fumbled late in the second quarter — thinking it had been an incomplete pass — but wide receiver Jarrett Boykin scooped up the loose ball and ran it into the end zone for an uncontested touchdown as the entire Bears defense stood around and watched.
“It was just such an unusual situation to see 22 guys standing around, with the ball on the ground, because … you just never see that happening,” Trestman told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday. “Every day in practice, the ball’s on the ground, and it always is scooped up, so why it happened I’m really not sure. It was very difficult to understand, but the positive side is our guys didn’t let it get to them.”
Trestman said he was proud of how the Bears responded to that “debacle” after halftime, scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half.
“Our locker room was great. The guys collected themselves. They came out and played extremely hard in the second half,” he said.
However, another bad play by the Bears defense in a key situation allowed the Packers to leave Soldier Field with a victory, and the NFC North title, when Rodgers threw a 48-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb, who was wide open after safety Chris Conte blew the coverage on 4th down.
Trestman explained the play was a blitz designed to pressure Rodgers into rushing a quick throw, but Rodgers managed to break containment to make an easy touchdown pass.
“We went after Aaron. We went after him with everybody, and that blitz is designed, obviously, that he’s got to throw the ball very quickly, and when he does, it’s going to be a catch and a tackle very quickly,” Trestman said. “Once Aaron got outside the pocket, then anything can happen, because it’s very difficult to hold onto your man for that period of time with all the space in the field.”
“We didn’t put a complete game together. We had a chance to win at the end, and we couldn’t close,” he added.
The Bears head coach offered no major insight into how his team will answer the two biggest questions of the offseason: whether to bring quarterback Jay Cutler back, and how to retool one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
“We certainly are going to be very, very tough on ourselves as we go back through each game, and evaluate our team from inside-out to get better next time around,” he said. “I think we’re going to take our time, in a sense. … A lot of things have been going behind the scenes. I think that as we move forward here, things will come out. We’re going to act very slowly, take our time, and work quickly in other areas.”