By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) In the wake of the Bears’ collapse Sunday in Carolina, where they couldn’t close out a game in which they led 21-7, Chicago coach Marc Trestman had some harsh words for his team about their performance.READ MORE: Former Chicago Park District Supervisor Mauricio Ramirez Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Another 16-Year-Old Lifeguard
“I try to give them (the team) some perspective on how we approach things as a staff trying to get our football team better,” Trestman said. “We were very clear that yesterday’s collective performance was unacceptable. That was a game that we were in control of and had a great opportunity. We didn’t get it done.”
That’s an accurate assessment of the game, in which every phase lent a hand in the 31-24 loss that dropped the Bears to 2-3 on the season.
However, after vaulting from the bottom of the league to the near-top in points scored a year ago, the Bears offense has to be counted on to close out games. Yesterday, it failed to do so.
For the second straight week, second-half turnovers by the offense ruined the day. Over the past two weeks, the Bears have more turnovers than points in the second half, a troubling trend for a team with playoff aspirations.
“Concept-wise in our passing game, we broke down a few times structurally,” Trestman said. “That would have enabled us to make the plays, and certainly Jay (Cutler) talked about it yesterday already, just taking care of the football. Those are all the things that go into it that bring a football team together.”
Don’t forget about Brandon Marshall
Over the past three weeks, star wide receiver Brandon Marshall has six receptions. In a pass-first offense, the Bears need to get Marshall more involved during the course of the game.
Last week marked the first time Marshall was a full participant for the entire week of practice, but come Sunday, he still wasn’t able to produce at the level the team expects.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Warmer Than Normal Temps This Week
“We targeted him yesterday (five times),” Trestman said. “He had a lot of calls. They took it away, and Jay did the right thing by going other places. We want him obviously to have more productivity. When he touches the ball, good things happen, and over the last couple of weeks we haven’t been able to get that done.”
Through five games, the Bears’ offense is averaging 22 points per game, which is below league average. Heading into the season, nobody would’ve predicted teams like the Browns, Dolphins, Chiefs and Redskins to be scoring at a better rate than the Bears, but they are.
The offense has to play four quarters of football, and getting the ball into the hands of their best playmakers is something Trestman is focused on moving forward.
“It’s certainly something that we have to continue to work on to get him back involved where he can get more touches that will result in bigger plays,” Trestman said.
Avoiding Twitter terrorists
Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston took to Twitter after yesterday’s game to vent his frustration, telling those who are wavering in their belief of the team to “eat dirt.”
Those were strong words for the Bears’ big-ticket free agent who has yet to make an impact on a game. Trestman was adamant that the team encourages all its players to think twice and keep the bigger picture in mind when they use social media.
“We talk about it all the time,” Trestman said. “We talk about it all the time, making sure they take a deep breath, making sure they understand that they’re representing the team. We talk about it in terms of not being responsive to the Twitter terrorists, so to speak, that are out there, for lack of a better word.”MORE NEWS: Lawrence Ligas Of Chicago Becomes Latest Illinois Resident Charged In Jan. 6 Capitol Insurrection
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.