On the field, the Chicago Bears are a mess, as the team’s 5-8 record shows.
Yet off the field, it’s apparently even worse.
The Chicago Tribune revealed last night that offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was the source who told the NFL Network the team has “buyer’s remorse” on Jay Cutler and that he was almost benched earlier in the season.
On one hand, it should surprise no one that Kromer is frustrated with the offense. Cutler is on pace for career-high numbers but that’s been mainly the result of lopsided play calling and constantly playing catch up in second halves. In reality, Cutler has struggled all season, with the offense failing to post 30 points in any contest.
On the other hand, the last person who should be undermining the quarterback is the offensive coordinator, whose job it is to protect and shield his players from criticism. Instead, Kromer has caused an uproar in Chicago by venting to a national reporter following a frustrating loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football.
As a result, Kromer held a meeting with his players yesterday in which he explained his side of the story and apologized to the team. It was, reportedly, a tearful apology, one that caused Cutler to “shake his head.”
The situation is just one more example as to the level of dysfunction under head coach Marc Trestman. Questions have surrounded Tresman all season as to how much control he has in the locker room, as there have been constant distractions on this team dating back to OTAs.
This includes numerous on-field fights in practice, suspending Martellus Bennett for body slamming Kyle Fuller, Lance Briggs calling Trestman the “offensive coordinator” then leaving the team to open a BBQ restaurant on the opening day of the regular season, and Brandon Marshall continually lashing out with his words – to his teammates in the post-game locker room, to the media about Cutler, about Brian Urlacher’s kids, threatening a Lions fan on Twitter – without repercussion.
And now Kromer, who has a long history with Trestman dating back to their days together in Oakland from 2001-2003. If Kromer is willing to undermine the team’s leader, what’s to stop anyone from doing the same going forward?
Plain and simple, this team is in absolute shambles and there are few people at Halas Hall who respect Trestman. He does not have control of the team at any level.
Why was his offensive coordinator even talking to the media following that game? Local media aren’t allowed access with coaches following the game, so why was the offensive coordinator talking to a national media member right after a loss that knocked the team out of the playoffs?
Would Bill Belichick allow that to happen?
Before this incident, the odds of Trestman keeping his job were better than 50/50. Yet at this point, it’s obvious he doesn’t have the support of anyone working underneath him, and the inmates are running the asylum. It’s almost impossible to foresee GM Phil Emery retaining Trestman following one of the most embarrassing campaigns in franchise history.
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.