After another disappointing loss, the Chicago Bears have yet to find a win at home. In fact, the Chicago Blackhawks have won more games than the Bears at Solider Field in 2014. This has become frustrating for players as well as fans. Boos could be heard coming from the stands. This didn’t sit well with some of the players, and right guard Kyle Long called boos coming from their own fans “unacceptable”.
What is unacceptable is a team with this type of talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball, having a hard time performing on Sundays. After the loss, yells could be heard coming from inside of the Bears locker room. Reports came out that some teammates were screaming at one another and some players had to be removed from the situation. This outburst is a sign of a frustrated team that understands that they should be playing much better than they have this season. Brandon Marshall summed it up well, “We need to play better. That’s unacceptable. That’s unacceptable. Unacceptable. Shouldn’t have lost today. Shouldn’t be 3-4. Offense gotta play better. It’s as simple as that.”
The question remains: Will this bring the team together or tear them apart? It all depends on how the players react to adversity. Marshall believes that they have the right guys and on his weekly appearance on “Inside The NFL” he had this to say, “The problem right now is that we are not performing to our ability. We just need to gel, we need to continue to come together, but the time is now. We are halfway through the season and if any locker room has the guys to get it done, we do… We can get this thing turned around.”
Lovie Smith, the former head coach of the Chicago Bears was fired after a 10-6 season. Marc Trestman is below .500 in his career, but somehow he never seems to find any criticism. This may be due to his offense that usually performs well, and it might hide the fact that he is merely only an average head coach. His team is more talented than any team Lovie fielded, but the results have been mediocre. It is time for Trestman to step up and find a way to make his team perform on Sunday. Regarding the locker room outburst, former Bear Brian Urlacher believes it would not of occurred if Lovie Smith was still head coach. “When I was there we had different leaders and that would never happen. Lovie would have never let it happen,” Urlacher said during an interview on the “Kap & Haugh Show”.
Some have already questioned if Trestman’s team lacks leadership. Did you know that this season, the Bears rotate their team captains each week? That’s right, instead of having a core group of leaders, the Bears insist that everyone should share the “captain” duty. This actually creates a lack of leadership. If everyone can be a leader any week, then there is no value in being one. Instead of earning a leadership role, players are just given the opportunity. Who will players look up to when the game, or even the season, is on the line? As of right now, it looks like no one.
Hall of Famer Mike Ditka believes that leadership is an issue for the Bears right now and he disagrees with Trestman appointing captains. “I didn’t appoint the captain; they elected the captain. I didn’t believe in appointing a captain. The players know who they want to follow on that football team. So I put it to a vote, and that was it,” stated Ditka, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times.
Maybe Trestman is too nice of a guy to coach in the NFL. He tends to care more about making each individual feel special and cared for instead of wins and losses. In the NFL, wins are everything. Trestman needs to understand this and adjust how he goes about his job
Adjusting the offensive scheme might not be a bad idea as well. With more than a year’s worth of tape on Trestman’s offense, opposing teams know what to expect when facing the Bears. This has become evident the past couple of weeks. The Bears have found themselves having a difficult time not only moving the ball downfield, but finding the end zone. It looks like Trestman is calling mostly the same type of plays from week to week, and in the NFL, you simply cannot do that. Trestman and his offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer need to find a way to adjust their scheme to their opponent each week and attack their weaknesses, or at the very least run some plays they are not expecting.
Where does Jay Cutler stand in all of this? After one of his career best performances, Cutler simply didn’t play up to par against Miami. He only could manage 190 yards on 34 attempts, and had three turnovers. So far this season, the Bears opponents have scored 37 points off of Cutler’s turnovers. His inconsistences are starting to become a real problem and could haunt the Bears down the road. It appears that he has shied away from Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery has only seven targets or less in all but one game this season. He had 13 receptions back in week 3. It is worth considering that perhaps Jeffery is still bothered by the hamstring injury he had during the early part of the season. Or maybe he is not getting open? Either way, they need to find a way to become productive.
Are the Bears still in the playoff hunt after starting the season 3-4? Can they find a way to “gel” like Brandon Marshall said? The jury is still out, but things do not get any easier as the Bears are playing Tom Brady and the New England Patriots this week. Trestman will have his hands full with trying to find ways to score points against one of the stingiest defenses in the league. A win this week puts them at .500 headed into the bye and would provide some much-needed momentum for the second half of the season. One final question remains: Can the Chicago Bears turn it around before it is too late? We all know Brandon Marshall believes they can. Bears fans better hope he’s right. The Super Bowl might not be won in October, but it can surely be lost.
Patriots 31 – Bears 21
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