The Bears are in a state of crisis, according to several sources with knowledge of the locker room, with a leadership void further fueling their downward spiral. Players are tuning coach Marc Trestman out, according to numerous sources, there has been increased in-fighting in recent weeks and the team’s dedication has been called in to question at times by players and coaches alike, sources said.
Numerous sources pointed to lack of leadership and accountability as key factors in the team’s awful first half after expectations of a possible Super Bowl, and if anything the situation has gotten worse in recent weeks. After a humiliating defeat at New England last week, in which the Bears trailed 38-7 at halftime, several member of the organization feared for Trestman’s job, sources said, and later in the week ownership ended up putting out a vote of confidence for Tretsman and general manager Phil Emery. The GM chose Trestman over Bruce Arians, who has become a perennial Coach of the Year candidate in Arizona.
The construction of the team has also come under criticism, particularly after signing embattled quarterback Jay Cutler to an $18 million-a-season extension after last season, and Cutler’s ability to lead and galvanize a team has continued to come under question inside the Bears locker room. Longtime leaders like Brian Urlacher are gone, and veterans like Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman have been hurt almost all season, mitigating their ability to assuage the situation.
Trestman, a bright offensive mind who was hired away from Montreal of the Canadian Football League, has resonated with players more like a coordinator than a head coach, sources said, and that dynamic coupled with the issues in the locker room has created a toxic environment. At 3-5 the Bears face an uphill climb to reach the playoffs and tensions could remain high there for the duration of the season.
There remains a lack of top personnel on the defensive side of the football, with many of the team’s assets sunk into a spiraling offense that has suffered from infighting. Chicago is on its bye this week and play at the Packers in Week 10.