9:25 AM CST, December 3, 2013
Dear Bears offense, your coach doesn’t trust you.
We already knew he didn’t trust his ridiculously bad defense, but he doesn’t trust you. He showed that in overtime in Minnesota on Sunday. No matter that you had just blasted down the field in overtime, opening up holes for Matt Forte and gaining yards that seemed like they would be cashed in for a victory.
But no. Your coach didn’t trust you. Your coach didn’t trust your technique. Your coach didn’t trust your poise. Your coach didn’t trust your professionalism in the clutch. Your coach didn’t trust you to gain more yards on second down at the Vikings 29 even though you had gained 24 on the ground in the last five plays.
Trestman’s explanation Sunday for sending out Robbie Gould for a 47-yard field goal on second down was this: “I didn’t want to risk a penalty . . . or a fumble or something unique.’’
Risk a penalty -- there’s the head coach questioning the technique of the guys on his side of the ball.
Fumble -- there’s the head coach questioning the ability of the guys on his side of the ball.
Something unique -- there’s the head coach questioning the poise of the guys on his side of the ball.
Worse, the coach based a chunk of his reasoning on a penalty committed by the Vikings that wiped out an apparent game-winning field goal.
Wait, the coach is hurrying to kick a field goal because the Vikings committed a penalty on a field goal? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.
OK, now the coach is insulting his offense. Bad enough that he didn’t trust his guys, but now he’s comparing them to players on a team that came in 2-8-1. The Bears hold playoff hopes, but the coach has no faith his team can execute a couple plays against a team so bad that it might fire its coach. Shouldn’t you expect your Bears to perform better than the woeful Vikings?
I’ll hang up and listen for palms to foreheads.
Forte had run for 120 yards at that point. He and the offense had two bad moments with a couple minutes left in regulation, failing to gain one yard on second or third down, plays that could’ve iced the game.
Actually, the Bears offense had a lot of bad moments, starting with going 2-for-11 on third down and including erratic Josh McCown being further exposed as just a backup and hurry up, Jay.
Anyway, you could argue that the coach had reason to doubt his offense’s technique, ability and poise at that point.
Except at that point, the coach’s offense was taking over the game. His offense owned the line of scrimmage when it mattered most. They had run on five straight plays and averaged nearly 5 yards a carry. The Vikings' defense had nothing left after the Vikings' special teams choked.
But the Vikings' defense got a break from the Bears' coach. The coach said Monday he worried that running another play or two might’ve lost the middle of the field. Another play or two also might’ve gained 10 yards or led to a TD or at least gotten Gould into his 90 percent success range. The coach said he didn’t use analytics in his decision. He said he based it on watching Gould all season.
But wasn’t the coach watching his offense chew up the Vikings on that drive? He seemed to ignore the game-changing moment that was playing out in front of him when he sent out Gould on second-and-7.
It’s not that the coach helped cost his team the game. The coach had a lot of company there. It’s not just that the coach forced Gould to kick from 47 yards instead of showing faith in the offense to give Gould an easier attempt.
No, it could be bigger than that. It could be potentially longer-term than that. It could be potentially more damaging if this becomes something that loses an entire side of the ball.
Dear Bears offense, can you still believe in a coach who doesn’t trust you?
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