By Chris Emma-
CHICAGO (CBS) — One repugnant play described the Bears’ miserable season.
It was fourth down and three yards to go, still early in the second quarter, and coach Marc Trestman pulled a trick from his toolbox of concepts. Trestman alerted special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis of a fake punt.
The Bears put 10 men on the field, Danny McCray was stopped a yard short and the team was penalized for an illegal formation. Shame on the coaches, shame on the players, shame on everyone. This should be rehearsed to perfection in practice.
“That’s on me,” Trestman said afterward, as he has oh so often.
After a week of false claims from Trestman and his staff saying the focus was on the New Orleans Saints, the hapless Bears were utterly incompetent in another embarrassment on national television, a 31-15 loss on Monday night at Soldier Field that dropped Chicago to 5-9.
Chicago’s offense, coordinated by the controversial Aaron Kromer, struggled before garbage time against the NFL’s 31st-ranked defense. The Bears posted nine penalties, three on special teams. There were many more laughable errors outside of the failure of a fake punt.
Week after week, Trestman is quick to claim how practice is going well. Yet, each game, the Bears’ play is poor. The circumstances surrounding Kromer’s controversy were certainly distracting, but this team has played much worse in games before the infamous tearful apology.
“It’s frustrating, but regardless of the situation, we have a job to do,” Bears defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff said.
Yet another sign of the Bears’ disconnect came in the postgame scene. As Trestman met the media, several players showed real emotion, contained near their locker stall; others joked in a jovial fashion, as if their season wasn’t spiraling out of control.
Have the Bears quit on Trestman and his staff of likely lame ducks?
“Our guys really gave everything they had tonight,” Trestman said.
Later, brutally honest tight end Martellus Bennett chimed in, saying “several” teammates aren’t playing with passion.
“They know who they are,” Bennett said.
But Trestman doesn’t. He simply doesn’t have a clue. He claimed the Bears came closer together after the Kromer comments and apology, yet safety Ryan Mundy was yelling at rookie linebacker Christian Jones after the Saints took a 21-0 lead. Before that, Matt Forte exchanged words with Kyle Long over a missed block.
All of Trestman’s techniques to “grow the man” and build team chemistry have failed miserably. But most things Trestman attempted this season have failed. The claims of a productive week of practice were ludicrous.
Judging by the play on the field and the circus off it, the Bears aren’t prepared to win. From Lamarr Houston’s dancing that led to a torn ACL to Brandon Marshall’s postgame yelling to Kromer’s leak of negative words and tears, it’s impossible to have a good week of practice.
But the rambling rhetoric of Trestman continued on. There are no distractions that detract from the team’s play in his mind.
“That’s my sense, based on the community of guys in our locker room, our meeting room and on the field,” Trestman said. “I stand by that.”
The players who are playing with passion know it. With his Pro Bowl play and effort, Bennett is giving his all. Many of his Bears teammates aren’t, whether Trestman wants to acknowledge it or not.
One putrid play exposed how unprepared the Bears truly are. A sad season showed several players don’t even care. The final two games won’t prove anything different.
Follow Chris on Twitter @CEmma670.