By Brian Hanley-
(CBS) — Those were damning words uttered Sunday in the aftermath of the Bears’ latest Soldier Field no-show.
And we’re not talking about Brandon Marshall’s few media minutes, during which he squeezed “unacceptable'” in 17 times. Or even Marshall’s preceding finger-pointing, voice-raised rant targeting Jay Cutler. Something which Marc Trestman, enabler-in-chief, said Monday was acceptable.
“I told our team after the game in the locker room, just as I’m telling you, that we have to always be accepting of how people express themselves after the game,'” Trestman said. “Because they are coming down from a week of working hard, of building their emotions and passions for the game.
“I’m not reading any more into it than that. And we have to be accepting and not judgmental. And let it pass. That’s the way I’ve handled athletes that get into that state. It’s not the first time. It’s not the first locker room that’s ever happened in. And I’m not reading any more into it than that.”
Talk about twisted Marshall law. But we’ll get back to Coach Kumbaya and his constant coddling.
The words which were even more telling about the sad state of Trestman’s team came from cornerback Tim Jennings.
“We have no identity,'” Jennings said. “We still don’t know who we are.'”
This is where we could trot out Bill Parcells’ well-worn words: “You are what your record says you are.”
Instead, it is another of Parcells’ pearls of wisdom that we will impart to Trestman and his often embarrassing 3-4 Bears.
“Something goes wrong, I yell at them, ‘Fix it!’ whether it’s their fault or not,” Parcells once said. “You can only really yell at the players you trust . . .The only players I hurt with my words are the ones who have an inflated opinion of their ability. I can’t worry about that.”
It’s time to deflate some of those opinions.
And not just those of players.
“We didn’t execute in the manner that we’re capable of,” said Trestman, who is looking more and more like a pedestrian play-caller than the so-called quarterback-whisperer.
Throwing incomplete deep on third-and-1 from your own 47 just four minutes into a home game? Talk about an inflated opinion of an offense that has played well for a complete game just once this season. That was against Atlanta, the third-worst defense in the league, allowing 412.1 yards per game.
It’s time for Bears general manager Phil Emery to yell, “Fix it!”‘ to Trestman when it comes to the coach’s head-scratching game plans, poor game management and Jay Cutler’s constant turnovers.
“Gotta play better,” shrugged the what-me-worry quarterback with the $54 million guaranteed contract and 10 turnovers in seven games. `”We’ve got to protect the ball.”
How about, finally, a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to Cutler coughing up the ball? Something defenders say weekly they expect him to do.
“After watching film all week, we saw (Cutler) was looking where he threw the ball,” said Miami safety Reshad Jones, who intercepted Cutler on Sunday when a double-covered Martellus Bennett was overthrown. “He was always looking at his receivers and never looking off. We tried to take advantage of that, and it paid off.”
It’s time for Trestman to yell, “Fix it!” to defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and his Sunday-strolling defense, which was surgically picked apart by the Dolphins.
Ditto to Joe DeCamillis and his better-Sunday-but-nowhere-close-to-good-enough special teams.
All that, of course, is if Trestman is capable of taking such control.
An NFL type who once hired Trestman said Trestman was perhaps the most impressive person he had interviewed, lauding his meticulous presentation. It’s the same thing we heard from Emery when he imported the esoteric Trestman from Canada and bypassed Bruce Arians, the then reigning NFL coach of the year.
But that same NFL type said he soon saw Trestman have trouble turning those detailed plans into practice and connecting with those around him when things were going south.
Trestman can disprove that assessment by taking control of his locker room starting this week, a sure tipping point if the 3-4 Bears still think the playoffs are possible.
But Trestman’s words Monday were hardly those of coach planning any a change in approach.
“As a team, we have to allow our teammates and our coaches to express themselves,” he said of the postgame players’ shouting match. “We all do it differently. We’re all different people. That’s how I approach it with the team and with the coaches. There are coaches who handle these situations differently than others.”
Like Parcells, who wasn’t one to try and be the players’ friend or fill them with verbal comfort food when times get tough.
“Sometimes when everybody’s feeding you the cheese, it’s hard not to eat it,” Parcells once said.
Time to cut the cheese, Coach Kumbaya.