Trestman shows strong faith in Bears defense on odd day
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter November 17, 2013 10:01PM
Updated: November 17, 2013 11:05PM
Bears coach Marc Trestman did a little bit of everything during the 1-hour, 53-minute weather timeout at Soldier Field on Sunday.
There was a game of catch with receiver Brandon Marshall, a sit-down chat with cornerback Tim Jennings on the floor of the locker room, a walk-through to oversee the offense and just a lot of hanging out with his team.
‘‘I just moved around and kept busy,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘I met with the coaches and made sure we reinforced what we were going to do and managed how we were going to get it done.”
Whatever Trestman and his staff did, it worked. The Bears were down 10-0 against the Baltimore Ravens when powerful storms came pounding through but ‘‘managed’’ — to use Trestman’s wording — to come out with a 23-20 victory in overtime.
Trestman, whose decision-making had been under the microscope after last week’s many mishaps against the Detroit Lions, talked at length about his decision-making when it came to handling the inclement weather, especially the wind.
‘‘At different times [it] was different things,’’ he said. ‘‘It was play-by-play, series-by-series.’’
But there were other decisions to discuss, whether it was three straight pass plays on first-and-goal from the 2 in the second quarter, opting not to go for it on fourth-and-short on the Ravens’ 44 in the fourth quarter or deciding against calling timeouts in the hopes of another offensive possession when the Ravens were on the verge of scoring in the final two minutes.
‘‘I just wish everybody could see the progression that goes into the winning game like this,’’ Trestman said.
When it came to not calling timeouts in the final minutes of regulation, it was a case of Trestman, the offensive mastermind, showing faith in the Bears’ maligned and injury-riddled defense. How many times can you say that this season?
Trestman said he was going to call a timeout with the Ravens driving, but only to rest his players.
‘‘They called timeout instead of us,’’ he said. ‘‘We were going to use the clock there just to rest our team. We didn’t see the value of calling a timeout.’’
Things got interesting when the Ravens moved into position for the victory after Zack Bowman was penalized for a horse-collar tackle and quarterback Joe Flacco made a laser-like throw to tight end Dallas Clark for a first down.
‘‘On the fourth-and-one [where the Bears punted], based on the way our defense had been playing and being up by three points, I thought we didn’t want to lose the field position with them going again into the wind,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘And [the Ravens] did a nice job of moving the ball all the way down the field. . . . [Bowman’s penalty and Flacco’s throw] were huge plays on that drive, and we were so close to hitting Flacco and getting it done.’’
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bears made the goal-line stand in regulation, and Trestman’s trust paid off in overtime when another stop was needed.
‘‘We were playing good,’’ defensive end Julius Peppers said.
Trestman knew it.