PRO FOOTBALL

Bears' Trestman 'regrets' having to be accountable in Gould FG fiasco

2013-12-02T19:15:00Z 2013-12-03T23:49:05Z Bears' Trestman 'regrets' having to be accountable in Gould FG fiascoAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 02, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

LAKE FOREST | Marc Trestman's critics figured after he slept on the issue Sunday night, he'd change his mind and be almost apologetic the following day.

He wasn't, and that only turned up the heat from those questioning his crucial game decisions in recent losses to the Redskins, Rams and Vikings — who are a combined 11-24-1.

Sunday's overtime loss at Minnesota was particularly hurtful to the rookie coach's credibility after he summoned Robbie Gould for a 47-yard field goal on second down in OT.

Gould missed and social media lit up like the White House Christmas tree as Trestman was vilified by Bears fans.

But he appeared at his Monday news conference with a clear conscience.

"The reason behind the field goal is very simple," Trestman said. "Once we got inside the 30-yard line, we were going to kick it. We were sitting there at second and seven and the ball in the middle of the field, well within Robbie's range.

"With all the things that had happened throughout the game, including Minnesota's failure to make a (57-yard) field goal to finish the game ... that was a decision I made in the best interests of the team.

"I told the team we didn't lose the game because Robbie missed the kick. We had different ways to win the game throughout and didn't and that starts with me," Trestman continued.

The first-year head coach was reminded that though Gould is among the most accurate kickers in NFL history, he entered the season 59-of-83 from between the 40 and 49-yard lines, the range he's weakest in.

"Having been around Robbie the entire year and knowing how he kicks the ball and watching him kick in practice, I had no doubt he was going to make the kick," Trestman said.

This season, Gould was 6-of-6 from 40-49.

"Again, we were in the middle of the field, well within Robbie's distance," Trestman replied. "The decision isn't anything I regret. I regret that I have to take accountability for it, but I do."

Gould didn't address the media Monday but after Sunday's game, accepted the blame entirely.

"I didn’t come through for my teammates in the end. I had two chances today to get it done. It’s very unlike me, but there are no excuses for it," he said.

"I just didn’t do it. I didn’t have it. I missed it. I wasn’t nervous, I just missed."

The Bears blew a 20-10 fourth quarter lead, a key play being Matt Cassel's 20-yard completion to Jerome Simpson on a fourth-and-11 at the Vikings' 8 that set up the tying field goal with 20 seconds remaining.

Trestman said linebacker James Anderson just missed nailing Cassel on his game-saving completion.

"James was on the line of scrimmage and got off just a click late," Trestman said. "If we had gotten off just a split second quicker, Cassel would not have been able to deliver that ball.

"He made an incredible play. James was running right at him. He threw it right around James. He could not have seen the receiver."

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