A report yesterday citing unnamed sources said Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman has, in essence, lost control of his team. The article states unnamed sources said the players have tuned out Trestman and the sources feared for his job during the by week. The unnamed sources also said players and coaches alike have questioned the team’s dedication.
If the speculations of these unnamed sources are true, then surely Trestman’s seat is piping hot right now.
At 3-5 and with a road contest against the Green Bay Packers next on the schedule, Chicago’s season could be finished by this time next week. There has been fighting amongst the players dating back to OTAs and the lack of effort put forth during last week’s 51-23 blowout loss has put into question the team’s desire.
Yet, according to Trestman, he’s received nothing but support from the team’s front office.
“The support in this building has been outstanding. That’s all I can say,” Trestman said today. “Everybody upstairs has been extremely supportive of the way we’re handling things. Our team has been unbelievably compliant in doing everything that we as coaches and myself have asked them to do. That’s evident on the field. It’s evident in the locker room. It’s evident in the meeting room that these guys are an amazing group of men that have been extremely compliant and the support has been there.”
Trestman also said he’s seen no signs of the players tuning him out.
“The only sense I have is how they respond to the things that we’ve asked them to do and the level of their work ethic and energy on the practice field. I haven’t seen any of that dissipate at all,” said Trestman. “I haven’t seen it in our coaches’ ability to coach these guys. What we haven’t seen is the production on Sundays. We felt very good and we told our team when we did our analysis that we are practicing hard. We are practicing with a purpose.
“There are some things we’ve asked them to do in practice to get more out of them. But in terms of energy, effort and compliance, I couldn’t ask any more of this team than I’ve asked of them here, not just the last two weeks but over the course of time.”
Trestman said the players have taken ownership and accountability for the team’s current record. He believes everyone is dedicated to righting the ship.
“I think one of the things that the players have said is they have a responsibility, too. They have a sense of accountability in this as well,” said Trestman. “What we try to do here is to create the environment for them to be able to be at their best each and every day and a level of discipline, timeliness and itinerary on the coaching side of it, that’s demanding enough that they know they have to be accountable. We have to be clear and concise in those areas when we talk to our players, particularly in meetings, that they know exactly what we expect of them. It’s something that we as coaches professionally know that they can handle.
“We’re not going to go outside of ourselves and start demanding things that are unreasonable. But we are going to be, and have been, demanding on things that are based on standard of performance in everything that we do.”
Trestman doesn’t have team captains. Instead, he rotates captains each week of the regular season. The team’s poor start has led him to question his philosophy on captains.
“I had moments where we did talk about it, and I did think about it. But I felt that it’s in the best interest of the team to move forward in this way. As I told them at some point about later in the season when the time is right, there will be a time where we can possibly elect captains for the year. But I think it’s still a fluid process with our team. We have so many new guys, a lot of young guys in a lot of different places. I felt collectively it’s in the best interest of the team to continue to make it a fluid process week in and week out. We’ve got a lot of guys working to help this team get better.”
Regardless of the support Trestman has received from the front office, there’s no doubt the team’s season is on the brink. If the players are still behind him and believe in him as a head coach, we’ll see it on the field during the second half of the season. But if they don’t, and things continue to spiral out of control, don’t be surprised if Trestman is replaced this offseason.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.