AL HAMNIK: Bears' toughest loss squarely on Trestman's shoulders

2013-11-10T18:15:00Z 2013-11-11T02:26:06Z AL HAMNIK: Bears' toughest loss squarely on Trestman's shouldersAl Hamnik Times Columnist
November 10, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Marc Trestman has been labeled a savior of sorts in hopefully bringing the Bears, particularly Jay Cutler, back to the NFL forefront.

He has football smarts, is a sharp game tactician, fierce competitor and an unrivaled judge of talent.

Or so we're told.

Sunday, the first-year coach was solely responsible for his Bears' 21-19 loss to the now-NFC North leading Detroit Lions. And Trestman will feel the wrath of fans for most of this week for one of the worst coaching decisions of his career.

Cutler, the often-injured quarterback now in his contract year, had missed one game with a serious groin pull, tear, strain, inflammation, or whatever, depending on who you talk to within the organization.

Cutler didn't look right from the beginning. He appeared slow-footed, his throws lacked velocity, he didn't run the football at all (I wonder why) and he got up slower with every hit.

The first half, tied at 7-7, Cutler managed to get by.

The second half, he was struck in the groin area by blitzing linebacker DeAndre Levy and moved around even slower after that, the painful expression on Cutler's face saying it all.

The Bears were in this game until the end, and possibly could've pulled it out had Trestman gone with fan favorite Josh McCown, a very steady backup, instead of waiting until the final 2:18 of play.

The reason then? Cutler had hurt his ankle.

"I just didn't feel I made some of the throws I wanted to make. I couldn't move around, couldn't be as mobile as I wanted to be," said Cutler, who wasn't in sync long before the ankle gave out.

"Normally, I want to run out there but couldn't do it. It just kind of limited us."

You don't enter the ring and not throw a punch until the final round, if you last that long. Trestman waited too long to insert McCown, who has been flawless this season.

Instead, Trestman chose to show his deep respect for Cutler by not giving him the hook earlier.

"It meant a lot," Cutler said. "I just asked him at one point: 'Do I look OK and am I still getting it done' because I really feel restricted in the pocket with what I was able to do."

I wonder if they went out to dinner afterward and Trestman had Cutler autograph the menu? C'mon, people. This is the NFL. Coaching jobs often are lost with such faulty reasoning.

Trestman, naturally, wasn't apologizing for staying too long with his starting QB.

"The trainers felt Jay was good to go out there and wouldn't be in a situation where he could hurt himself," Trestman said. "We took his 'movements' out of the game plan."

And the Bears lost.

And when Cutler hurt his ankle, Trestman had no other choice.

This loss is on you, pal, no matter how you look at it.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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