LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The hard part about benching your franchise quarterback on an off day is that the team isn’t around to share the news with.
Of course, why the Bears weren’t practicing Wednesday on a short week when they were planning on playing a quarterback who hasn’t started a game since 2010 is puzzling too, but that’s a different issue.
Bears head coach Marc Trestman said he informed Jay Cutler and Jimmy Clausen Wednesday of his decision to sit Cutler Sunday against the Lions and by about 5:30 p.m. CT the news had been leaked to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported it. Not surprisingly, the shocking news flooded Twitter, where most of the Bears players found out about it.
“I found out just like everyone else found out and that was through social media,” left tackle Jermon Bushrod said. “Obviously (Trestman’s) plan was to tell the team first, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Bushrod was among a number of Bears players irked by how they were informed their quarterback was benched. Leaked information is a touchy subject around Halas Hall these days given that just last week offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitted to making unflattering comments about Cutler to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
“We would like for everything to come from in-house first, but at the end of the day it didn’t work out like that,” Bushrod said. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out like that and we just have to deal with that.”
Trestman, who intentionally misled reporters Wednesday when asked directly about possibly benching Cutler, tried to explain the timeline of how it all unfolded.
“Yesterday, during the day, I met with Jay and Jimmy to tell them my intentions and walk them through the process of how this was gonna be handled,” he said. “Later in the day, I met with (general manager Phil Emery) to talk to him about my decision and finalize it in our staff meeting last night as we talk about players and how we’re gonna start the week.”
“Last night” is a vague term, but it’s certainly interesting to hear Trestman say it was finalized in the evening, considering the news broke publicly by 5:30 p.m. CT.
Thursday, once players returned to Halas Hall, Trestman finally shared the news with the rest of the team in a meeting.
“Well it was to cover-up what got out yesterday,” Bushrod said.
Meanwhile, right guard Kyle Long also said he found out the news via Twitter, which he admitted was “not ideal.”
Safety Ryan Mundy found out while he was doing a live radio interview on 87.7 The Game.
At least tight ends coach Andy Bischoff gave tight end Martellus Bennett a heads up, but it’s unclear if that was before or after the news broke on Twitter.
“My coach texted me so I ain’t really trippin’,” Bennett said.
That seems to be the minority opinion around the Bears’ locker room, however. Chalk it up as just another situation poorly handled by Marc Trestman.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for 87.7 The Game and TheGameChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.