By Dan Durkin-
(CBS) Detroit’s win over Tampa Bay on Sunday officially ended any hopes of the Chicago Bears making the playoffs. Anyone who has paid even cursory attention to the team this year knew the Bears weren’t a playoff team weeks ago.
With the focus already shifted to the offseason, reports have started to surface about the job security of defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and potential buyer’s remorse over the contract given to quarterback Jay Cutler.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport took to Twitter on Sunday and shared some Bears-related information, first about Tucker potentially being fired at the end of the season.
Barring significant improvement, I’m told the #Bears plan to part ways with defensive coordinator Mel Tucker after this season.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 7, 2014
During Monday’s press conference, Chicago coach Marc Trestman was questioned about both reports. He neither confirmed or denied the content of the Tucker report.
“All we’re trying to do here is to get our football team in a position that we can be better on Monday night,” Trestman said. “The focus inside this building is exactly that and has always been exactly that week to week. That’s all that’s been important to all of us here.”
From an outside perspective, it’s hard to imagine Tucker remaining in his post beyond this season. in 2013, the Bears defense found itself at the bottom of the league in rushing yards, and this season, the Bears rank last in the league in points allowed (29.1) and receiving touchdowns allowed (30).
Rapoport also tweeted this about the sentiment within Halas Hall about Cutler’s lucrative contract extension.
Trestman was more firm in denying the content of the Cutler report.
“Jay Cutler, as long as he’s been healthy, has been the guy we’ve had in there and wanted to play,” Trestman said. “There’s been no indifference there whatsoever.”
Trestman also said that even with the Bears’ playoff hopes eliminated, there’s no plan to play backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen provided Cutler is healthy.
“As long as Jay is healthy, he’ll be playing quarterback for us,” Trestman said.
It’s doubtful the Bears ever anticipated having to do this level of damage control, but in hindsight, the question to give Cutler financial security via an extension over using the franchise tag last January looks unwise. Cutler’s 21 turnovers lead the league, and the Bears’ 25 giveaways this season have led to 94 points for opponents.
In reality, the Bears have no choice but to ride this out with Cutler. Trestman said that Cutler knows where he stands with the team.
“Jay and I talk daily,” Trestman said. “I think he has a very good understanding of how we feel about him. There’s a lot of noise out there. We’re all aware of that. You get away for a few days, you know how much noise there is out there because you’re not working 24/7. But, we’re here to do one thing. Today we worked to get better and when we get back here on Wednesday, we’re going to do everything we can to get ready for New Orleans.”
Marshall released from the hospital
Trestman confirmed receiver Brandon Marshall has been released from the hospital after receiving treatment for two fractured ribs and a lung injury. Given the Bears’ season is meaningless, it seems like only a matter of time until he’s put on injured reserve.
“We’re working through some roster situations,” Trestman said. “I think that’ll all work itself out over the next few days. I think that’s a part of it. As of right now, he’ll be out on Monday night obviously. I think all that will come to fruition when everything is worked out roster wise.”
Dan Durkin covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @djdurkin.