I don’t know if they should be called fights, scuffles or skirmishes, but these dustups involving Bears players the last few days in training camp are stupid.
Stop it. Stop it already. Stop it right now.I know the Bears want to become tougher. Mel Tucker used that word immediately in the offseason. It has been echoed. Tougher. Tougher team. Tougher defense.
Just stop the stupid. Stop the undisciplined garbage. The Bears were an 8-8 team last season. They obviously pulled enough stupid to miss the playoffs. A ridiculous tough-guy act is just piling on the idiocy.
I have the Bears contending for the Super Bowl based on the improvements on the defense, specifically the defensive line. Except they can’t have their defensive line going stupid the way Lamarr Houston did last week when this burst of silliness started.
I believe Houston is a particularly sensitive case when it comes to discipline. Houston and Willie Young, another new defensive lineman. They came from perhaps the two dumbest organizations in the NFL -- the Raiders and Lions, respectively -- so it’s likely neither has learned what tough really is. The Raiders act like they earn bonuses for stupid play, while the Lions under Jim Schwartz were unanimous winners in the Village Idiots race.But guess what: It’s a lot tougher to display discipline than lash out with fists. So the Bears fights or scuffles or skirmishes fail the tough-guy test.
You want to be tough, you beat a guy on the next play. And the one after that. And so on. You don’t throw a punch at a guy wearing a helmet with a facemask. Talk about stupid.Fans always get a kick out of it at camp. Big roar, same as at a hockey game. I get it. You’re entitled to be one of those fans who’s roaring, but you also should know you’re a meatball for doing so.
You’re also cheering a losing proposition. Fights in both sports are not only useless, but they work against you.Research by NHLnumbers.com last year revealed that teams whose goon wins a fight were more likely to give up the next goal. So much for the stupid momentum argument.
In the NFL, the penalty isn’t five minutes in the box, it’s an ejection.Marc Trestman verbally slapped around Houston and Jordan Mills for their scuffle last week. Trestman said the players were contrite and they knew they would’ve been ejected from a game for their dustup.
But there have been a couple more skirmishes since then. Maybe not mean-spritired, but certainly undicsciplined. That’s disturbing. Is anyone listening to the head coach?Trestman believes you play as you practice. He coaches practice the way he coaches games. He wants speed and execution. But has he backed off coaching discipline? Enforcing it?
Everything’s on the table with Trestman, so someone inside ought to be asking how come players continue to waste time and lose discipline after he made it clear he hates that stuff and it hurts the team.Tough and nasty is fine. Stupid kills your January.