GREEN BAY, Wis. – The right thing would have been for general manager Phil Emery to make his way down to the Bears’ locker room at halftime and inform head coach Marc Trestman that his services would no longer be needed for the second half of Sunday’s game and beyond. And then for Emery to fire himself too.
From there, it would have logically followed that the McCaskeys would see the error of their ways and divest themselves of their ownership of the Bears and go into something better suited to their unique talents. Butter churning, perhaps. Or pizza delivery.
But that was never going to happen, even though the Bears were trailing the hated Packers 42-0 at halftime, an embarrassment of such epic proportions that one of the McCaskeys was rumored to have blushed.
My guess is that the Bears will cut a third-string cornerback after Sunday night’s debacle, but I suppose a ritual sacrifice of defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is possible. The obvious result of the inexcusable 55-14 loss to the Packers should be Trestman’s dismissal at the end of the season, but that is not going to happen.
It’s not how the McCaskeys work. They work at the speed of elevator music, and Trestman is only two years into a four-year contract. What happened at Lambeau Field on Sunday is a fire-able offense, but it will not end that way for Trestman because these are the Bears. It’s why they haven’t won a Super Bowl in 28 years and won’t anytime soon.
This game is a complete repudiation of the Trestman Way, whatever that is. After all the hue and cry following a miserable 51-23 loss to the Patriots and after a bye week, this is how the Bears respond? In the fetal position on national television?
“Based on what I saw this week (in practice), I was confounded to see the type of play we had (Sunday night),’’ Trestman said after the game. “Our coaches did a tremendous job preparing our guys this week, and our guys did a tremendous job of preparing. But none of it translated to the game.’’
The fact that the Bears have struggled offensively in the first half in three straight games? Trestman called that “confounding’’ too. A confounded coach — not a good thing.
The Bears have enough talent that a clobbering of this magnitude should not happen. But when your coach talks about “mutual respect’’ and “humility’’ and seems to want to inspire his troops with sonnets rather than sledgehammers, something like Sunday night can happen very easily.
A 3-5 team with its clichéd back against the wall? A season riding on the outcome? I’m sorry, but this falls directly on Trestman. The Bears look unprepared, overmatched and not very much in the mood to play football. And I know is who’s responsible.
“You ask about what’s going on during the week?’’ Trestman said. “Our guys are locked in – as good a team at working, meetings, being compliant, doing the things we’re asking them to do. This is a really good group of men.’’
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdowns in the first half. Six. Two of them were to Jordy Nelson, who was so open on both scores that he kept looking for the “Candid Camera’’ crew.
The Bears are stuck with Trestman and Jay Cutler. It’s why Emery won’t fire Trestman. He’s responsible for the presence of both men. He hired the coach, and he gave the quarterback $54 million in guaranteed money over three years. Admitting he was wrong twice? He might as well tell the world he doesn’t know the first thing about football.
The other reason Trestman isn’t going anywhere isn’t a very good one. But Cutler doesn’t need a new offensive system. He needs continuity. I know: This continuity stinks. But this is where the Bears are. They’re stuck with a quarterback who is very, very average, a coach with all the motivational skills of a goalpost, a general manager who doesn’t see what the problem is and a family of owners that doesn’t have the foggiest idea about anything, including fogs.
Have I left anyone out?
By the midpoint of the third quarter, Rodgers was done for the night, having thrown for 315 yards. His passer rating was a muscular 145.8. Cutler had a Cutler type of night, with two interceptions, including one tipped pass brought back for a touchdown. He was not the reason they lost, but he certainly was a reason they had no chance of beating the Packers.
The biggest reason was the head coach. But Trestman getting the axe for it after the season? No way. These are the Bears.