Trestman whiffs on chance to make point

Chicago Tribune sports columnist Steve Rosenbloom explains why the Bears depth on defense is a problem. (Posted on: August 12, 2013)

No, Marc Trestman, wrong answer.

You don’t say the demotion of J’Marcus Webb was part of the plan to look at other players. You say the demotion was performance-based and Webb’s performance in the opener was unacceptable.

Now, how difficult was that?

Besides, it has to be true. I mean, if Webb was the answer and had played well, then Trestman wouldn’t be moving him from starting right tackle to backup left tackle to try out a fifth-round draft pick.

Jermon Bushrod isn’t getting shuffled, is he? No, because he can play. Because he can do his job. Because he wasn’t voted Most Likely To Get Jay Cutler Concussed.

Webb has been a liability since he got here, and there he was, allowing a sack in his first game. In fact, he was beaten twice on the same play. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

So, not much has changed after the Bears’ new administration moved Webb from left tackle to right. Say it.

The guy didn’t perform well enough to keep his job this week. How tough would it have been for Trestman to say that?

Instead, Trestman confused the issue with some double-talk. The rookie head coach came out of the exhibition opener saying Webb has competition at the position, but then Trestman downplayed a move that reflects that competition. Huh? What? Why?

The rookie head coach muddled his original message for no good reason, unless Phil Emery is trying to trade him and told his coach to avoid explaining how lousy the guy is.

It can be argued Trestman blew a chance to answer a big question about his ability to command a room. Jerry Rice raised the issue last week with CBSSports.com. He played for Trestman in San Francisco and Oakland, and had big seasons under him. But the Hall of Fame receiver questioned whether the non-confrontational Trestman could command the locker room.

This Webbisode was scripted perfectly for proving Trestman could do it without screaming, threatening and cartoonish behavior. That’s the thing about commanding a room: Your speakers don’t have to go to Ditka’s decibel levels to make a point about expectations if you’re quick and decisive.

I’d say demanding that players engage in a padded practice two days after a game sent a message about unacceptable performances. We’re not at Club Lovie anymore, Toto.

Trestman didn’t say that, but he should have. He also should’ve said he demoted Webb for performance-related issues.

Or if the plan indeed was to look at other players, then extend the thought to explain that you’re looking at options only where starters aren’t playing well enough. It’s not tough love. It’s the truth. It has to be the truth for the entire roster.

Don’t downplay expectations. Don’t soft-pedal a right decision. That’s part of what Trestman did here, too, and that’s wrong.

Listen, the Bears are here to play football. It’s their job. Doing a bad job isn’t acceptable. Period. Bang. Next.

How difficult would it have been for Trestman to say that? How much more powerful and productive would that message have been for a new coach under scrutiny?

CHICAGO