Chicago Bears Leadership on the Hot Seat
The Bears lost the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field, giving the Bears a record of 3 losses at home early in the season. This is a team that should be tied with Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions by now. But they are currently swimming in a 3-4 season along with the 2-5 Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North division. What was seen as a promising year for the Bears with a strong offense and a revamped defense, the Chicago Bears have appeared to be disconnected and inexperienced. It starts with the leadership.
Every single loss, Head coach Marc Trestman begins with these words, "This is a tough loss and it starts with me." That is correct Coach Trestman, it starts with you. It was you who hired Aaron Kromer to lead the offense, Mel Tucker to lead the defense and Joe DeCamillis to lead Special Team. So far DeCamillis has not done anything special as the Bears special teams look like amateurs and the return game is none existent.
As for the defense, DC Mel Tucker has improved the defense in preparing the young players in stopping the pass and run action. But if we look at the numbers rookie Willie Young has 7 sacks so far this season, followed by Stephen Paea with 4 and Jeremiah Ratliff with 3.5. Stepping up to the plate is rookie CB Kyle Fuller with 25 solo tackles, 8 assists, 3 fumbles and 3 interceptions. But there still needs to be more practice on the pass rush and pressure to the quarterback, as we have seen little from Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen.
As for the offense, OC Aaron Kromer needs to drill it on ball protection. However, Marc Trestman, aka "The Quarterback Whisperer", needs to speak louder to QB Jay Cutler, who, as of late can't seem to go through a game without throwing a pick or two. With the exception of the game in Atlanta, Cutler is on track to finish his season with 10+ interceptions. Every coach wants to have confidence in his gunner, but until Cutler can meet up to the level of an Aaron Rodgers or a Peyton Manning, Trestman needs to tighten the reins on Cutler's play calling abilities.
The undertone to Marshall's "pep talk" in the locker room and the comments he said to the media, was loud and clear. Play with heart boys. Dig deeper and find the will to win without jeopardizing the play with unnecessary penalties. In a non-calling-out way, without mentioning his quarterbacks name, Marshall was telling Cutler to run the given play. This is a team and not a one-man-show. Just find the OPEN receiver and throw. Ex-Bear Doug Flutie said it best, "nothing has changed in the game. It's still the same. You find the open receiver and you throw."
The Bears play the New England Patriots on the road this week and Vegas Odds has them as the underdog at -6. The Bears could make a statement here and show that they can keep up with the big boys, by playing as one consistent cohesive unit. Going into the bye after that will give them much needed rest but an opportunity to clean up the miscues in all phases and prepare to play the Packers in Lambeau Field. A win there will scream volumes that the Bears are not done yet.
To quote Marshall, "We just need to gel, we need to continue to come together, but the time is now."