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Emery, Trestman Gone After Disappointing Bears Season

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 29, 2014 3:30PM

Photo credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

A season in which the Bears were expected to at least contend for the NFC North crown instead found the NFL's charter franchise at the bottom of the division standings after a 13-9 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The loss gave the Monsters of the Midway a non-threatening 5-11 record and has already resulted in GM Phil Emery losing his job. Pro Football Talk broke that news this morning and WSCR-AM confirmed the news.

Head coach Marc Trestman is following Emery out the door. Both Emery and Trestman were informed of their fates this morning, which must have come as a surprise for Trestman. After the game, Trestman continued to view his glass as overflowing and said he expected to return next season. Given how he and his staff have lost the faith of the players, that mindset is delusional, at best.

The Bears have scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference where Emery's and Trestman's firings are expected to be made official and players will meet with media while cleaning out their lockers.

The Good

Matt Forte - Forte wound up being the main bright spot of a disappointing Bears offense all season long. Forte's stats for the day: 17 carries for 51 yards rushing and eight receptions for 23 yards. For the season, Forte rushed for 1,044 yards and set a new NFL record for receptions by a running back in a season with 102.

George McCaskey - The Bears team chairman listened to fans and responded to an obvious disaster the only way that needed a response. He looked at Trestman's 13-19 record in two seasons as head coach, the cognitive dissonance between Trestman's news conferences and the play on the field and the disconnect between Trestman, Emery and players and made what, for the McCaskeys, was a bold decision. What McCaskey does next will determine the immediate and longterm futures of the team. Can he hire a general manager who can rebuild the team who can hire a coach to maximize the talent on the roster, while shunting team president Ted Phillips into more of the bean counter role that suits him? McCaskey has long admired how Rocky Wirtz, John McDonough and Stan Bowman have built the Blackhawks into a perennial Stanley Cup contender. A winning Bears team is good for the NFL and the McCaskey family's coffers. McCaskey has some more bold decisions to make in the upcoming weeks.

The Bad

Jay Cutler - The quarterback's performance this season and his enormous contract has made him the lightning rod for angry fans all season. Cutler didn't do anything to turn the tide of public opinion Sunday but he didn't inspire his teammates to victory, either. Cutler played it safe with 172 yards on 23/36 passing. Cutler didn't turn the ball over but he couldn't get the Bears' offense going. Chicago only mustered 264 total yards of offense. With Emery and Trestman gone, will the Bears make another bold move and cut Cutler?

The Ugly

Penalties - The Bears have played undisciplined on both sides of the ball all season. They had eight penalties for 50 yards Sunday, three of them came on the final failed scoring drive where Forte set his receptions record.

Team Morale - The new GM/coaching tandem has a lot of work cut out for them. Not only will they be tasked with overhauling a train wreck of a team, they'll have to rebuild trust in the locker room. It's conceivable to believe that Trestman and Emery would return for 2015 if offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer wasn't revealed to be the source who spoke with's Ian Rappoport about the team's offensive struggles and exasperation with Cutler. Keeping Kromer on staff instead of firing him for cause sealed Emery's and Trestman's fates. (Kromer was also fired Monday. Expect defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special teams coach Joe DeCamillis to be clearing off their desks today, as well.)