The Bears were 10-6.
That 2012 Bears team became the first team to miss the playoffs after starting 7-1 since the Redskins in 1996. After going 3-5 down the stretch and seeing the offense manage just 12 touchdowns in the final eight games, new General Manager, Phil Emery decided it was time for a change.
The Bears had only missed the playoffs by a divisional tie breaker, but the offense continued to lag behind the defense despite all the shiny new toys to play with. Lovie Smith had a long run, but he failed to ever find a competent offense to go along with his ball-hawking defense.
There was much debate whether or not Smith deserved the axe, but the Bears had a team ready to win with a coach who could bring the offense into the 21st century. This is not a should Lovie have been fired piece. He ultimately failed as the Bears head coach and just because his predecessor ending up being even worse, doesn’t mean it was a mistake giving him his walking papers.
This a Bears have been an embarrassing joke of a franchise these last three years piece after it was announced Monday in the least surprising news of 2014 that Phil Emery and Marc Trestman were fired.
It all started when the Ted Phillips errrrrr the Searching Committee decided to name Wonderboy Scout, Phil Emery the new General Manager. It was a unique situation. The Bears decided they would stay with the same team president and head coach, but find a new GM in the hopes that he would close the talent gap between Green Bay through the draft.
I suppose it was a good plan in theory, but while the first draft produced a Pro Bowl caliber wideout in Alshon Jeffery, it also gave us first round bust Shea McClellin and two guys already out of the league in Brandon Hardin and Evan Rodriguez with three of the first four picks.
In Emery’s three drafts he has had two big hits in Jeffery and Kyle Long and everything else the jury is still out on or has rendered the verdict of massive bust. The 2014 class has shown promise, but it was far too late to save Emery’s job.
The real failure of Emery is of course not the missed draft picks or free agent busts like Lamarr Houston or Jared Allen, it is the massive swing and a miss with Marc Trestman. In a case where a GM appeared to be trying to prove how smart he was, Emery brought in Trestman from the CFL to bring a real offense to the Bears for the first time, well ever.
Emery had a choice of fantastic candidates, Bruce Arians or Mike McCoy anyone? He decided to go with a like minded weirdo named Marc Trestman who he could talk for hours with about the process of growing the football. I am convinced Emery found a goof that was on the same strange wavelength as him and it was love at first sight. Arians never had a chance even though the Bears were probably number one on his list.
Trestman was a colossal failure here. There was no accountability until week 16 of year two from the quarterback who statistically was having one of his best seasons despite the turnovers. Trestman looked like he was going to set a standard in Training Camp when Martellus Bennett was suspended for giving Kyle Fuller a rock bottom, but discipline was inconsistent at best. Marshall did and said whatever he wanted including holding his own press conferences and challenging fans to fights. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer kept his job after thrashing the quarterback to an NFL reporter and Robbie Gould had no fear of going on the radio to call out the entire team.
From the rearranging of the lockers in his first season to not naming captains before this season, Trestman never had a hold of his locker room. It was an uphill battle with the Lovie supporters that held over on defense, but Trestman did himself no favors trying to win them over.
It took all of one year for the defensive coordinators around the NFL to figure out his offense and shut down the big plays. When Brandon Marshall and Jeffery weren’t out there snagging jump balls on deep plays, this offense couldn’t do anything.
If you look back at Trestman’s history, things went sour in year two. His schtick was figured out every where and the same thing happened here. You could argue it’s a Jay Cutler problem, but Trestman was supposed to be the quarterback whisperer.
With the cleaning house on Black Monday, the Bears have signaled they are ready to take off their clown shoes and become a real NFL organization again. Dan Bernstein is reporting that Virginia McCaskey has become embarrassed.
She should be, everyone at Halas Hall should be embarrassed. This was a team with Championship aspirations that took a knee in the fourth round. Hopefully the days of search comittees and restrictions on new hires are a thing of the past. It’s time the Bears take a play out of the Blackhawks and Cubs’ playbook.
It’s time for a football guy to be in charge of making football decisions. The NFL is a league where fortunes can change almost overnight, but the Bears need to find someone competent at the top to make these decisions.
We can hope that the Bears have learned their lesson and this time it will go better. We can hope that Black Monday is the day the Bears stop being a punchline and become a franchise competing for Super Bowls.
We can hope.