By John Dodge
CHICAGO (CBS) — As Bears fandom closes the book on a very forgettable 2014 season, consider what the team’s general manager said nearly two years ago.
“I want somebody that has high energy, somebody that pulls people together in the building,” Phil Emery said. “Whatever his personality subset is or however he approaches it, I want somebody to have some warmth that pulls everybody together in that we have synergy not only with our players but everybody in the building to work towards our common goal.”
Setting aside nonsensical words and phrases like “personality subset” and “synergy,” what Emery was saying as he set out to find the 14th coach of the Chicago Bears was that he wanted a leader who players and employees admired and clearly understood what was expected.
Emery reportedly interviewed more than a dozen candidates, before settling on Marc Trestman.
Now consider the following scenarios from this debacle:
1) A defense that was so confused and woefully unprepared that it allowed 50-plus points in two straight games and leads the NFL in points allowed.
Going into the final week of the season, the Bears have given up 28.6 points a game (429 points total).
In another strong indicator of the lack of discipline: penalties. The Bears rank No. 5 in the league in penalty yards (953).
2) A top “manager” on the team — in this case offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer — speaks anonymously to a national reporter about the poor performance of franchise quarterback Jay Cutler. Yet, Kromer not only keeps his job, but there’s little evidence that his boss, Trestman, issued any discipline. In many organizations, leaking confidential performance evaluations (or any company information) to the media would be grounds for dismissal.
3) So, when Trestman benched Cutler against the Lions, it left some players confused as to how Cutler could be punished so harshly, while Kromer appeared to get a slap on the wrist.
Trestman was asked about that last week.
“That’s a question I’m not going to answer,” he said.
For his part, Cutler, who has developed a reputation for being pouty and aloof, handled the situation with honesty and grace.
“I think it’s going to serve me well going forward,” Cutler said of the experience.
4) Lance Briggs has had a stellar career with the Chicago Bears.
Briggs also doesn’t care and made that pretty darn clear just before the massacre at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
“I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes,” he said. “Sometimes I sit in the meetings while coaches are talking and sometimes the words just phase out and I’m just staring at the screen. The only thing I can tell is the time. I can see the time and it’s like, ‘Damn, I still got 55 minutes left.’”
Sadly, and rightfully, the fans have given up, too.
For weeks, there have been multiple reports that Trestman will be fired after the finale against Minnesota.
There has been debate about whether Emery should get a second chance to get the decision right.
Considering his own words and his own criteria it seems to stretch credulity to try to defend giving him another shot after he missed the mark so badly.