In “Love It or Hate It,” “D and Davis Show” co-host Ken Davis breaks down the most controversial topics in the sports world.
Big boy pants. That’s what the Chicago Bears just put on a pair of — BIG BOY PANTS!
Around this same time two seasons ago, Lovie Smith was let go with money still on his contract. Mind you, I was ready for Lovie to go by that point — he is a good coach, just not a great one and his time had come and gone in Chicago. In general, the Bears’ fan base had grown tired of the Bears not making the playoffs on a consistent basis under Lovie.
Most general managers bring in their own guy and Phil Emery — fired today, right on time — was forced to keep Lovie for his first season under control. Lovie not making the playoffs at the end of the 2012 campaign, regardless of his 10-6 record, gave Emery an out and he took it. Hate to say it, but looking back on it, this was the start of Emery’s ending.
Emery placed his desires over the best options available and acted impatiently in the process. Lovie should have coached in Chicago in 2013, it would have been the equivalent of franchise tagging a player you’re not sure of committing to long-term (more on that coming up..) and it would have likely led to a smoother transition once you eventually show Lovie the door.
It’s clear at this point that Emery jumped the gun on Lovie, that stood a a mere gamble, not necessarily a job-risking decision, except it was because he screwed up so much with his next head coach.
Emery — in the worse case of sleuth syndrome since its name-sake Jerry Krause arrogantly drafted himself and the Chicago Bulls into that franchise’s post-dynasty horrors — brought in Dudley Do-Right to run the Chicago Bears, mining the ever-rich coaching training ground of the CFL (because Marv Levy did such a great job with the transition… 40 years ago).
A bevy of coaches were available, the one most available to the Bears — Bruce Arians, who proved in 2012 he could be a winning coach in the NFL — only won eight more games than Trestman since their respective hirings, building a team in Arizona that made the playoffs this year with Ryan Lindley (yeah, that’s right, who?), meanwhile our supposed QB whisperer could do little more than join the ever-expanding list of coaches who should curse Jay Cutler’s name.
Not that Emery’s draft game was much better…I’d hate to not mention that Chandler Jones was on the board in 2012 and Emery drafted Shea McClellin instead… the now ex-GM’s been on the clock with me ever since. But reason for patience in Emery’s grand plans did exist in 2013 — Trestman, in spite of his Triple AAA credentials, exhibited offensive know how in his first season as coach. Josh McCown isn’t special, but Trestman got the most out of him and McCown got his best NFL payday this past off-season to join the belated Lovie in Tampa Bay.
In the sporadic time we got to see Trestman with Cutler it even seemed like he got the most out of Jay, until Emery backed up the Brinks truck to the Cutler/Cavallari residence and Jay realized that he got rich by being mediocre and uninspiring at his job, there was no reason for him to stop at this point.
The Cutler deal..why, oh why, oh why. Emery’s inability to realize the leverage he had in dealing with an inconsistent and often banged-up supposed franchise quarterback may be the most obvious reason for his firing. To make Jay Cutler the highest paid offensive player in the NFL made absolutely no sense and it was officially when Emery lost me.
Like most in Chicago, I still believed the Bears would be a good team this season, in spite of the reasonable assumption that with more game tape out on Trestman’s play calling teams would catch up to the Bears offense, but with their pieces the Bears should have been better than most NFL offenses and good enough to make plays on most defenses. they’d be better than most NFL offenses. I was wrong, you were wrong, but the truth is we were only partially wrong.
We put our trust in this latest Bears brain trust thinking they set themselves up to win but they never really did. Trestman was not head coach material, but if you had a head coach whose strongest talent is teaching QBs, so why not let Cutler go and start off with a cheaper option, utilizing the money you threw at him to fill more holes on the D.
So, because the Emery-Trestman-Cutler trio was so unable to, someone finally had to put on the big boy pants and resolve a problem that had a simple solution. Neither George McCaskey or Ted Phillips hid from the obvious embarrassment their franchise suffered this year, they didn’t act like this was a bump in the road, they knew that this was a full-on derailment and so they called their personal car service and got back on the road, leaving at least two of the deadweights behind with no long trousers of their own to keep them warm.
Today we saw part of what well-run businesses and franchises do — see a problem and solve it right away, rather than let it play out to inevitable conclusions. Now comes the hard part, yet again.
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