5 Questions for Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman
Five Questions For Chicago Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman
After a disappointing end to a season in which the Chicago Bears started 7-1 in 2012, Lovie Smith was axed in December 2012, leading to the hiring of Montreal Alouettes’ head coach Marc Trestman. In his first year of NFL coaching, Trestman led the Bears into the 2013 season with the feel of a team rebuilding. Aside from bringing in a new coaching staff, 2013 was the first time since 1999 that linebacker Brian Urlacher wasn’t on the roster. While the roster had enough talent, success in 2013 would ultimately come down to putting all the pieces of the puzzle together for the Bears.
Some predictions had the Bears finishing the season anywhere from going 7-9 or 10-6. After starting the season 3-0, there was optimism throughout Chicago that this was going to be a playoff season, despite winning by just three points against the Cincinnati Bengals and one point against the Minnesota Vikings.
Unfortunately, the Bears were bit by living on the edge more than they would have liked. Despite Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall burning defenses throughout the season and Josh McCown stepping in for an injured Jay Cutler, it was not enough to get the Bears into the playoffs.
The Bears showed repeatedly their age, injuries and defensive restructuring would hold them back from a season over .500. The Bears showed time and time again that they could not be counted on down the stretch. This culminated in the season finale to win the NFC North against the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers where he found Randall Cobb to score the game winning touchdown on fourth down.
These five burning questions could use some answers from the Bears head coach.
5. Is Jay Cutler The QB For The future?
Ever since his arrival in Chicago, Jay Cutler has had his doubters. Whether it be people questioning his toughness because of injury or fans wondering if he has the drive and desire to win a championship. After signing a seven-year contract extension this January, it sure does seem that the organization has a lot of faith in him.
But what if these injuries keep adding up? The Bears don't really have a solid backup on their roster. Will they find one in the 2014 NFL Draft? I think they should. The Bears don't want to be left on the outside of the playoffs looking in just because of an injured QB, especially with the amount of talent on their offense.
4. Who Will the Bears Select at No. 14 in NFL Draft?
The most immediate question for Marc Trestman will be whether or not he will get the Bears to draft Kony Ealy with the No. 14 overall pick. The Bears' needs include several positions on defense, particularly at defensive end. With Julius Peppers' future in doubt, the Bears need a big, strong pass rusher from the edge
Ealy is one of the best choices for the Bears if he is still available. The DE out of Missouri has been killing it at the combine so far, only behind the freakish athletic abilities of Jadeveon Clowney. Even if Peppers stays in Chicago, Ealy's length and explosiveness will be a welcomed addition to the Bears' defense in 2014.
3. Was the 2013 Season a Success?
Coaches that can go 8-8 in their first season usually consider the season a success. Really, what was Trestman expecting in his first season being a head coach in the NFL? Given the overhaul of the coaching staff and a few names not on the roster anymore, I think Trestman a did decent job with what he had.
Despite scoring 27.8 PPG, the Bears' defense let them down in the long run, giving up 29.9 PPG. Aside from the stats, the Bears lacked emotion in a lot of their games and it appeared to be just going through the motions. I know they had a lot of injuries, but come on. The bottom line is they didn't get the job done in the situations that mattered most.
2. Who is the Front-Runner to Win the NFC North Next Season?
The biggest problem the Bears had at the end of the season was capitalizing on other teams' misfortunes. Aaron Rodgers was out of with a broken collarbone and the Packers didn't win a game while he was out. Meanwhile, the Vikings weren't ever really in playoff contention last season and the Lions had a typical Lions meltdown.
Aaron Rodgers will probably come back with a vengeance and the Lions have a new head coach in Jim Caldwell who will not stand for the lackadaisical effort the team put together under Jim Schwartz. This leaves the Bears as the X-factor in the division. They started out good last season, but will they have enough to put it together for the entire season?
1. What is the 3-5 Year Plan for the Bears?
There is no doubt that the NFL is a win-now league. If you don't believe me, look at the Cleveland Browns' decision to fire Rob Chudzinski after just one season on the job. That leaves Trestman in a difficult position with management. Trestman needs to win, plain and simple. With an expensive and aging roster, specifically on defense, the Bears are finding themselves in unfamiliar territory.
The identity crisis within the organization needs to come to an end in the 2014 season. Trestman is a great offensive coach, and the points per game show that. However, it is the defense that fans are most worried about in Chicago. Unless the defense can get figured out, Trestman will be gone in just a few short seasons.