It’s now been three hours and 44 minutes since Brad Biggs dropped this story on the city of Chicago and Bears fans everywhere, and now — finally —I’m going to attempt to write a non-emotional article about my beloved Chicago Bears. In case you missed the bomb that Biggs dropped and the rest of the drama currently surrounding the Bears, here’s the story.
On December 7th, Ian Rapoport — an NFL Media Insider — reported that the Bears have a “serious case of buyer’s remorse” about quarterback Jay Cutler. Last January, the Bears signed Cutler to a seven-year, $126.7 million contract, which in reality is a three-year contract worth $54 million. After Cutler’s third year, the Bears can cut him and they won’t owe him a dime.
Rapoport said that the Bears don’t think Cutler can lead them to a Super Bowl. He also said that one of Cutler’s problems this season is his inability to check out of bad running plays.
I guess that’s why those guys are the highest paid players out there. Because when you win and everything is going good, they get all the glory. And when it’s bad, they take more than what they should take. But I can understand that as far as a businessman, I would have buyer’s remorse, too.
On Thursday night, Biggs — the Bears’ beat writer for the Chicago Tribune — dropped this on all of us. Apparently, on Monday, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer “made an emotional and tearful apology for criticizing the quarterback in a private conversation at Soldier Field with an NFL Network reporter last week.”
According to Biggs, Kromer apologized in front of Cutler and the offense. He admitted to speaking with Rapoport after the Bears’ loss against the Cowboys on December 4th, though he denied being the one to say the Bears have a “serious case of buyer’s remorse.” Kromer did, however, admit to saying the tidbit about Cutler not checking out of bad running plays.
In short, Kromer admitted to being the rat.
The Bears are 5-8. They have the league’s worst defense in terms of points allowed, an aging roster, an offense that’s not even close to living up to its potential, a defensive coordinator who is all but guaranteed to get canned in January, and they have a head coach on a rapidly heating hot seat. And oh yeah, they now have an offensive coordinator who admitted to going to a league reporter to express his complaints about his team’s star quarterback.
So, what now?
We pretty much already know defensive coordinator Mel Tucker is gone at the end of the season. And after this most recent debacle, I think it’s safe to assume Kromer is gone. NFL coaches preach trust all the time and back in April, this Kromer quote appeared in the Chicago Tribune:
Game plans are specific and you can’t get too far out of the box. As we grow to trust each other and understand what we both are trying to get done, between the coaches and the quarterback, that’s always viable.
After Kromer anonymously complained to an NFL reporter about Cutler, how can anyone expect Cutler to trust his offensive coordinator? Furthermore, how can any player on the Bears’ roster trust Kromer?
I don’t care if you’re the greatest offensive coach since the 2013 version of Marc Trestman (Kromer’s not, evidenced by this season’s debacle). You can’t pull this type of shit in the NFL. If you get caught as the source badmouthing your quarterback, you’re gone. Kromer needs to go today.
What this means is that we’re looking at a potential scenario where Bears head coach Marc Trestman is firing (at least) both of his top coordinators at the end of the season. Which means, of course, Marc Trestman also needs to go.
When Bears GM Phil Emery hired Marc Trestman at the end of the 2012 season, I was all for it. Sure, I was naturally skeptical of choosing him over Bruce Arians, but even after the Bears went 8-8 last season, I was still on his side. I had never been more optimistic about the Bears’ future than I was back in January. Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte, the list goes on. I thought the Bears had the offense to overcome a bad defense. And, if the Bears’ defense did manage to rise to the middle of the pack, I was thinking Super Bowl. Well, I was wrong. The defense might be a bit better, but they still stink. More surprisingly though, the offense is just as bad.
That’s the first reason why Trestman needs to be fired. He’s supposed to be the quarterback whisperer and an offensive genius. His team is currently scoring less than 22 points per game.
The second reason — and this is the most important reason — why Trestman should be fired is because his team has given up on him. Trust me, as someone who is naturally skeptical of every “leadership/intangibles” narrative, it pains me to say it. But if you watched the blowouts against New England and Green Bay, you saw the lack of energy and fight. Again, I hate writing this. I know how dumb it can sound. But it needs to be said. And I’m not saying that this is primary reason why the Bears are 5-8, but it’s a negative factor and it falls solely on Trestman.
There’s also this: Back in October, during a game against the Dolphins, Trestman took away Cutler’s ability to check out of running plays because he wanted to make sure the Bears were running the football. Now, Kromer is claiming Cutler hasn’t been checking out of running plays enough. To be clear about the point I’m making here, Bears running back Matt Forte has run the ball 18 times in the last two games. What the hell is going on with the offensive staff?
Okay, so now let’s get to Cutler. Despite being on a team with the worst defense in the league (in terms of scoring), Cutler is often blamed by the national and local media for the Bears’ woeful season. I get that Cutler has turned the ball over pretty damn frequently this season, and I get that he’s not playing the way Bears fans wanted him to, but consider this. Right now, Jay Cutler has a quarterback rating above 90 and he’s seventh in the league in touchdown passes. I’m not at all saying that Cutler is playing great football right now. All I’m saying is that the Bears have far bigger issues than Jay Cutler.
Plus, the Bears can’t realistically part ways with Cutler unless they trade him. If the Bears were to cut Cutler after the season, they would still owe him $19.5 million, according to Bill Barnwell. The reality is, unless they find a suitable trade, Cutler is probably going to be in Chicago next season.
And, if you were watching the game that was being played on NFL Network while the Kromer story broke, you probably saw why keeping Cutler isn’t really a bad decision for the Bears. You might get stuck with a Ryan Lindley or Shaun Hill if you do part ways.
While we’re on the topic of Cutler, can we please get this cleared up? Kromer bashing Cutler to a reporter is NOT CUTLER’S FAULT. For years (and even still today), Cutler has been branded as a “coach killer.” Maybe that’s been fair in the past, maybe it hasn’t. Somehow, some people are blaming Cutler for this incident too. In Biggs’ story, he says Cutler shook his head while Kromer apologized to the team. Good. Cutler should be upset. There’s nothing wrong with a quarterback being upset at his offensive coordinator after the offensive coordinator anonymously rips him to the media.
So an “offensive coordinator” turns rat and it’s the quarterback’s fault? I am this close to officially quitting on Chicago Bears fans.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) December 12, 2014
So, we know what I want to happen. I want the coaching staff fired. But will GM Phil Emery do that?
There are some fans who want Emery gone too. I disagree with that assessment. Emery was handed the keys to an old, sinking ship that former-GM Jerry Angelo captained from 2001 to the end of the 2011 season. Take a look at Angelo’s recent draft picks. They’re not playing for the Bears. I think Emery deserves more time at building the Bears. He whiffed on Shea McClellin, but he also drafted Alshon Jeffery, Kyle Long, and Kyle Fuller. He landed Brandon Marshall for two third-rounders.
There are some fans who also think Emery won’t fire Trestman because Emery picked Trestman. And if Emery fires the coach he handpicked to replace Lovie Smith, then why should Emery get another chance at picking another head coach? Especially after Emery passed on Bruce Arians.
The way I look at it, Emery knows his seat is getting warm. He knows that he might not survive another season like this one. I also don’t think there’s any way Emery thinks Trestman can get the job done in 2015. And if Trestman doesn’t get the job done next season, then Emery will join him on the unemployment line. That’s why I think Trestman and his staff are going to be gone in January. If anything, the Biggs article just outed the Bears as an incredibly dysfunctional organization. I just don’t see a way Emery can let Trestman have another shot next season.
Anyways, it’s now 1:21 a.m. And I’m in the middle of finals. So, like I hope Trestman is in January, I’m out.