(CBS) It’s no secret that the Bears’ locker room turned into a dysfunctional mess during a disappointing 5-11 season in 2014 under former coach Marc Trestman, who was fired a day after the season ended. From teammates arguing/fighting to social media controversy to an offensive coordinator who broke down in tears in front of players, it was all in all a disaster off the field as well as on it.
On Tuesday night, former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, now retired, shed more light on where the ugly drama of 2014 stemmed from. Briggs made clear he “got along” with Trestman, but the coach’s knack for being too involved with what he didn’t need to be in and then looking the other way when his leadership was needed led to problems, Briggs said. Trestman was Chicago’s coach for two seasons.
“One of the issues for Marc Trestman is he was a micro-manager,” Briggs said in an interview on 670 The Score with Laurence Holmes. “He micro-managed everything and everyone, and that’s one of the things that makes you a very good offensive coordinator, because of those little … small things. But when you’re managing men, when you’re leading men, when you micro-manage things and say, ‘Hey, you guys got to make sure all the recycling goes into the recycling bins and all the trash goes in the trash bins,’ and then you watch and he says, ‘Hey, you didn’t put that in the recycling bin — let’s get that in the recycling bin, I told you we’re going to put it all in there …’ it’s like, ‘C’mon man. You’re watching me, you’re watching my every move?’
“That’s the idea behind it. Another thing too is we had more fights during the Trestman era than any of the other years amongst our team. You know, we fought a lot. And I’m talking to some friends, and they say on their teams, ‘We fought a lot. We fight here, we fight there.’ But here, we had some fights here and there, but we never fought as much as we fought when Trestman was here.”
Briggs indicated the Bears fought about plenty of petty aspects, such as an offensive or defensive lineman hit the other during practice. It all added up to be a bigger trouble.
“We’re fighting and everything,” Briggs said. “And you want to see your head coach jump in there and stop it. He would never stop it. He would never stop it. As a matter of fact, he would sit on the other side and pretend like he didn’t see anything. It was just tough, man. It was tough. If your head coach isn’t going to lead, if you’re not going to see the leadership out of your head coach, then the team’s going to adopt the identity of your head coach.”
Listen to Briggs’ hour-long segment below.