Watch CBS News

Emma: Bears Closer To Crumbling Than Finding Identity

By Chris Emma-

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Bears' ugliness on the field in their 27-14 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Soldier Field was only topped by the scene in the postgame locker room.

Players were yelling and pulled out of the room. Brandon Marshall -- who previously had distributed T-shirts to teammates reading "No Noise" -- went on an emotional rant, using the word "unacceptable" 16 times in three and a half minutes. Kyle Long used the same word in venting on the fans' boo birds at Soldier Field.

Through it all looms one important, unanswered question: Who are these Chicago Bears, and what's their identity?

"I don't know," quarterback Jay Cutler said.

Nobody really does. The Bears are 3-4 on the season and 0-3 on their home field. Their offense and defense have become equally inept. But Chicago's poor play only partially reflects its problem.

Coach Marc Trestman prides himself on building team chemistry -- growing the man, as he says -- even rotating player lockers in training camp so they can draw connections. But with adversity striking, players were chirping at each other and escorted out of that locker room.

"It's a team matter," Marshall said when asked about the feuds heard from outside the locker room. "This has nothing to do with (outsiders)."

Bernstein: Bears debacle on Trestman

Incidents like what occurred Sunday reflect what's wrong with a Bears team loaded with talented players. That chemistry isn't clicking the way Trestman envisioned, the same way that offense, defense and special teams aren't functioning.

Whether it translates to the field is a different argument. Perhaps crumbling chemistry is responsible for posting just 224 yards of offense, or maybe it's just not a very good team.

Led by Trestman's offensive mind, the Bears couldn't muster up any offense. Cutler threw for only 190 yards and added an interception, and Matt Forte had just 49 yards on 12 carries. Chicago had three turnovers, turned the ball over on downs once and punted three times.

How can one diagnose the problems?

"I'm pretty smart, but I'm not a rocket scientist," tight end Martellus Bennett said. "I'm not John Madden, either."

Added Trestman: "It was totally disappointing."

Durkin: There's noise inside the Bears' bunker

Along with chemistry, offensive firepower was supposed to be one of the Bears' greatest strengths. Instead, it became their Achilles' heel in another miserable loss.

Answers were few and far between in a locker room filled with tension and frustration. The same Bears who cruised to wins at San Francisco, New York and Atlanta looked vastly different on their home field.

"We still don't know who we are," cornerback Tim  Jennings said. "We win on the road, we lose at home. That's the most frustrating thing, we have no identity, we don't know who we are yet."

The search continues. Disastrous losses are piling up on Chicago, and team feuds add a whole different dimension of issues. The Bears are much closer to unraveling than they are finding that identity.

Blowups in the locker room only tell part of the Bears' sad story.

Chris Emma covers the college sports scene for Follow him on Twitter@CEmma670.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.