Will Players-Only Meeting Refocus Bears?
I know a lot of Chicago Bears fans feel like the team has hit rock bottom after losing in embarrassing fashion in consecutive games to the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints, but trust me when I tell you, it could get worse.
We've seen worse just a few years ago in the second, and final, season of Marc Trestman's tenure in Chicago. Players openly sniping at each other through the media, assistant coaches leaking inside information, and an aura of distrust surrounding the entire franchise that ultimately led the Bears to completely clean house. Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were both sent packing after the team finished 5-11.
I don't think it'll come to another house cleaning with these Bears, but stranger things have happened in the NFL. General manager Ryan Pace has his fair share of misses during his time running the team, but his hits are going to keep his job safe unless the wheels completely fall off, and there's too much talent on this team for that to happen.
And it's up to that talent to ultimately turn things around, and since they've held a players only meeting, it appears they're fully aware of their failings so far this season. But will this be one of the rare instances where a players only talk results in a refocusing and better play?
Whenever you hear about a team having a players only meeting, it's rarely a good thing. Sure some grievances can be aired away from the eyes and ears of the coaches, but this is how teams usually start to crack. The culture created in Chicago, thanks in part to head coach Matt Nagy, needs to be strong to overcome his players wanting to talk amongst themselves.
I'm guessing the main topic at hand was the struggling offense, and in particular the play of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. As long as the meeting was more, 'here's what WE need to do to get things back on track,' and less finger pointing, then I feel this group can come out of the meeting with a renewed and positive energy. Sure their 3-3 record this year feels MUCH different than the 3-3 record from last year, but this has been a close knit group that will need to learn to fight through adversity together. And with the way this roster is currently constructed that’s the only option these players have.
Nothing cures a down locker room better than picking up a victory, so finding a way to knock off the equally struggling Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday can re-open Club Dub and build some confidence. And since no one needs a confidence boost more that Trubisky, facing a Charger defense that is allowing opposing quarterbacks to compile a combined passer rating of 108.5 (28th worst) could be just what he needs at this time.
But it's not just the Bears passing game that is struggling, because if Nagy decides to actually run the ball this week, then attacking the Chargers 22nd ranked run defense could get tailback David Montgomery and the Bears offensive line some confidence too.
On defense, the Bears are still without Pro Bowl defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, but with the Chargers putting Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey on injured reserve, Chicago should be able to get a push up the middle. Basically everything is falling in place for the Bears to get a win and jump-start their 2019 season, but the same thing was said last week in facing the undermanned Saints.
A few Bears players met the media on Wednesday, including Trubisky, and the change in attitude was picked up on by all in attendance. Chicago’s QB had an edge to him during his press conference and we’ll find out on Sunday if that translates to Soldier Field.