Coach Marc Trestman seemed flabbergasted, a bit annoyed and somewhat perturbed. When the media room laughed at a joke, he didn’t.
These are the days of rampant speculation. With the Bears being 5-8 and having abundant issues, it will be part of their every-day life until decisions are made for or against change.
How Trestman handles it all should make for compelling theater as certain answers are sought with pointed questions over the final three weeks.
“There’s a lot of noise out there,” Trestman said Monday. “We’re all aware of that.”
Last week, Trestman said he believed he still had the faith of the organization, saying it never changed through the good or bad times. This week, Trestman has had to express his confidence in quarterback Jay Cutler and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker.
Simply put, Trestman did a better job of defending Cutler than Tucker.
“Jay Cutler, as long as he’s been healthy, has been the guy we’ve had in there and wanted to play,” Trestman said. “There’s been no indifference there whatsoever.”
And there was more.
“Jay and I talk daily,” Trestman said. “He has a very good understanding of how we feel about him.”
Trestman’s statements only underscored his remarks from last week when he said, “Jay is our quarterback,” after being asked if he has considered giving backup Jimmy Clausen a look.
Trestman wasn’t as adamant in his defense of Tucker as he typically has been. That might change later this week when Tucker is faced with questions from the media about his job security.
But if Trestman stays, Tucker is the likeliest candidate to be the scapegoat after another calamitous season on defense, despite the roles that injuries and inexperience might have played.
“All we’re trying to do here is to get our football team in a position that we can be better on Monday night [against the New Orleans Saints],” Trestman said when asked about Tucker’s future with the team. “The focus inside this building is exactly that and has always been exactly that week to week. That’s all that’s been important to all of us here.”
Brandon Marshall was the latest of several players to describe this season as the toughest he has endured.
“It is the most frustrating season [of my career],” the injured receiver said on ESPN Radio 1000. “Not only was I not really productive, I couldn’t really get a flow or rhythm in this offense this year. But two, I wasn’t having fun.
“This year sucked, man. It really did. It sucks to go out this way.”
There’s a sense of disbelief in the locker room with how the season has unraveled, considering the talent the Bears believe they have and their high expectations.
“You look back at everything we have,” defensive end Willie Young said. “Our record doesn’t add up to anything we’ve done since offseason workouts beginning in April.”
Some players said they sense that changes are coming. They’re not sure exactly what, but they’re coming.
But there was one very strong vote of confidence delivered for Trestman.
“I would love to continue to play for coach Trestman,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “I just love to play hard for the guy. He puts so much into each week, getting the team ready. So when I’m playing for him, not only am I playing for him, but I’m playing for his family.”
As a sign of Bennett’s deep affection for Trestman, the loquacious tight end said the same about running back Matt Forte and his family.
“I love coach Trestman,” Bennett said. “I love his approach to the game. But ultimately I have no say in [if he gets fired] whatsoever.”