(CBS) Details regarding the long-time build-up of defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff’s exit from the Bears are trickling out, slowly but surely, as you might expect.
Ratliff was released last week after a heated confrontation with general manager Ryan Pace at Halas Hall in which Lake Forest police were summoned for precautionary measures. Last Wednesday’s rage was only the most recent — and final — issue that Bears had with Ratliff, sources told 670 The Score. Now, we have more insight.
In a late-season practice in 2014 under the Marc Trestman regime, Ratliff was “behaving belligerently” toward teammates and coaches, according to a report from Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman. Amid his rage after being told he wouldn’t be allowed to practice, he shoved an assistant coach to the ground and destroyed a clock, and Trestman did nothing.
Ratliff went ballistic, this player said, and was asked to leave practice. He departed but later returned. Practice was stopped and most players went off to the side while a small group of players and coaches tried to calm Ratliff down and get him to leave.
It didn’t work initially. Ratliff destroyed the game clock on the practice field, smashing it and kicking it. Later, he shoved an assistant coach to the ground. While all of this went on, Trestman never intervened. He just stood off to the side and watched.
And this is the most incredible part. The uber-enabling part. Not only was Ratliff never punished by Trestman … he was named one of the captains the next day. The entire locker room was incredulous.
Trestman justified making Ratliff a captain by saying he brought intensity, but no player bought that.
That practice was leading up to a season-ending loss to the Vikings. Trestman was fired the Monday after that finale.