Unless something very surprising happens between now and the end of the NFL season, the Chicago Bears will fire head coach Marc Trestman in a couple of weeks as the team seems destined to finish last in their division, not to mention miss out on the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. General manager Phil Emery might leave with him as well.
The Bears are 5-9 through 14 games and on pace to what looks like their worst season since 2004, when they finished 5-11 and last in the division. With two games left, two meaningless wins can be achieved, but considering how poorly the Bears have preformed in each and every one of their “big” games this season excluding the shocking comeback win in San Francisco over the 49ers, it’s safe to say the team hasn’t lived up to the expectations.
Trestman arrived after successful years in Canadian Football with the “offensive genius” label. However, after a promising debut season that ended at 8-8 which could have been blamed on Jay Cutler picking up an injury and the defensive woes, the team seemed to move in the wrong direction in pretty much every aspect in 2014. Cutler returns to his interception ways (leading the NFL with 18), the defense is ranked 30th in total yards allowed and dead last in points allowed.
Phil Emery has been the general manager since 2012. Trestman was considered to be his pick after the Bears let go of Lovie Smith, who took the team to the playoffs three times, including the Super Bowl following the 2006 season, with the Bears constantly ranked among the best in the league defensively. Under Emery it seemed that the focus shifted towards finding offensive weapons for Cutler to use, but the defense kept deteriorating and the offensive line was never fixed as it should have been.
The losses at home and being humiliated more than once against the Packers (twice), Patriots and most recently the Saints didn’t help Trestman sell his “improvement” and “change” vision to the front office. The Bears went backwards under his reign, with troubling play calling also part of the package. Combine that with the fact that they recently handed Jay Cutler the “franchise quarterback” extension deal, and the pressure to succeed has been too great for the ownership to simply let the failure of this season go by unattended.
The Bears haven’t had a losing season since 2009, and were a win away from making the playoff three years in a row. Trestman and Emery seemed to have a solid foundation to build on, but they failed to realize their problems in personnel defensively which was sinking like a stone in quality, while Trestman himself never brought that talked about ingenuity to the offense, mainly not being able to change and improve Jay Cutler.
Right now this is on the rumor-level basis; anonymous sources and such. However, with the kind of reactions the Bears have gotten from their home fans this season, it’s not very surprising that the front office seems to be getting closer and closer to the decision of changing direction and going with new faces at head coach and general manager. Two years might not be a long time, but it’s enough to realize when something isn’t working.