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SportsMonday: Trestman, Goat

Marc Trestman apparently started to figure it out at some point in the 14 hours or so after his postgame press conference.

"If we had to do it all over again, maybe it would be one series before the 2-minute drill," Trestman told WBBM-AM Monday morning when asked if he regretted not bringing Josh McCown into Sunday's 21-19 loss to the Lions sooner.

At least. Others must have helped him understand that his decision to keep playing an obviously limited Cutler in the second half was met with universal disgust in Bear Nation. It COULD, NOT, HAVE, BEEN, MORE, OBVIOUS to everyone even slightly invested in the game that the Bears would have been better off with Josh McCown at quarterback after the injured Cutler struggled mightily with basic movements right off the bat in the second half.

So thank goodness, really, that Trestman has at least started to understand. Because otherwise fans would be forced to have doubts about his basic competence.

And it must also be pointed out that in this day and age, which would of course be the day and age of hyper-awareness of concussions, football coaches must not allow an injured player back on the field even if that player desperately wants to keep playing.

Part of a coach's job is to not only protect his team from the ill effects of playing an injured player who still wants to play but to also protect the player from himself. Continuing to send an injured Cutler into the game was an abdication of one of Trestman's most basic responsibilities.

But way beyond that there is simply no denying the Bears would have played much better offensively with their proven, more-than-competent backup quarterback in there.

In case there were any doubts about that, the coach capped off this nightmare half of football by finally putting McCown in for the Bears' last possession and watching him march his team down the field and score on a play made possible only by McCown's mobility.

It shouldn't have come down to that. Everybody saw Cutler grabbing his groin shortly after halftime - at least everyone who was watching on TV.

"[F]rom the second drive, he had all kinds of things going on with him from his waist down," Brandon Marshall told reporters after the game.

Even from the outset, Bears coaches mostly kept Cutler in the pistol or shotgun from the outset, in an apparent effort to spare him from having to get under center and then drop back five or seven steps, putting pressure on his groin.

In the second half, Cutler struggled to do basic quarterback things like make handoffs and pitches. Yet Trestman left him in there for series after series after series - despite what should have been read as a cry for help.

"Cutler's ankle stiffened as the second half progressed," Rich Campbell reports for the Tribune. "His athleticism diminished, and he sensed increased limitations in a close game with first place in the NFC North at stake. Between series, Cutler sought evaluations from Trestman.

"I just asked him at one point, 'Do I look OK? And am I still getting it done?' Because I felt really restricted in the pocket with what I was able to do," Cutler said. "(The ball) wasn't getting out as quick. Some of my throws didn't have as much on them as I wanted. I knew Josh was ready to go, and I just didn't want to get to a point where I was hurting us more than I was helping us."

That point was sooner than Trestman realized - and not just one series sooner.

The Ugly View From Detroit
"Want to pick apart the Lions, despite Sunday's 21-19 victory over the Chicago Bears?" Pat Caputo writes for the Oakland Press. "It's easy enough.

"What were Nick Fairley and Willie Young doing on Chicago's last drive? When are the Lions going to get over taking such foolish personal foul penalties? Ever?

"The Lions, absolutely, were fortunate the Bears decided to play quarterback Jay Cutler nearly the entire game despite a groin injury, which limited him in many ways. It played right into the Lions' hands.

"How can a QB, as proficient overall as Matthew Stafford, make such a poor pass, like on his second-half interception with the Lions protecting a precarious lead?

"The Lions' victory would have been easier if David Akers made his second-half field goal attempt. Kickalious would have made it (just kidding).

"The point is, why?"

Yes, why? Click through for the rest.


See also:
* Wiederer, Trib: Cutler Confusion Clouds Picture For Bears.

* Campbell, Trib: Bears Unable To Control Line.

* Detroit Free Press: A Scout's Take: Lions Shine On Defense.

* Hoge: Lions Knew Run Was Coming On Two-Point Conversion.

Note: In his postgame press conference, Trestman said they called a run-pass option, and the Lions defense game them run, so that's what McCown called.


Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

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