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The Bears Den: December 19, 2014 - Week 16 Chicago Bears news & notes

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Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Bears season crashes at intersection of distrust and poor performance - Matt Bowen: When trust between coach and players is broken, then the players are going to check out. They don't believe in the program, and that's been the case for the Bears for a long time.

Action louder than words in expanding Trestman-Emery split - David Haugh: Apparent GM/head coach split on Cutler benching the latest sign changes are coming for Bears.  Moon MullinTrestman does not come off well in many of the myriad scenarios.

Trestman’s best-laid plans fail Bears again - Mark Potash: The coach means well and has some good ideas, but he has a difficult time with implementation and his offense seemed to put more pressure on Cutler to be something he’s not, instead of playing to his strengths.

Players: Cutler, Kromer discipline unequal - Jeff Dickerson: A portion of the locker room feels confused and uncomfortable over how Trestman handled Cutler's benching compared to the minor discipline Kromer received last week, further magnifying the distrust between Trestman and the locker room.  Adam Hoge: Players not happy to learn of benching on Twitter.

Follow WCG on Twitter; like us on Facebook (& click on 'Follow').  Romanes eunt domus.  Den pic in hi-res.

Previewing Bears-Lions: Jimmy Clausen to start

[Video] - Trailer for the Bears match-up with the Lions at Soldier Field.

Clausen replaces Cutler as starting QB - Larry Mayer: With their offense continuing to struggle, the Bears will start Jimmy Clausen in place of Jay Cutler Sunday when they host the Lions at Soldier Field.

Clausen excited to make first start - Larry Mayer: After two years as a backup and one on IR, Jimmy Clausen is excited to make his first NFL start Sunday since 2010 when he was a rookie with the Panthers.  Mini-LarryPlayers supportiveMichael Silver: Some players believe Clausen will 'light it up.'

Clausen relishes ‘great opportunity’ - Patrick Finley: Jimmy Clausen is in the same position as most of his teammates as they stare down the final two games of a lost season: he’s auditioning, either for this team or someone else.   Dan Wiederer: Family, fiancee's visit to Chicago now more exciting.

View from the enemy - Michael Rothstein: Golden Tate happy for former college teammate Jimmy Clausen's second chance.  Chris Emma: A rare second chance to rewrite his story.

Cutler benched for a QB who has a 1-9 career record - John Breech: Jimmy Clausen has a 1-9 career record as a starter. Here are the three worst games of his career.

[Video] - Jeff Joniak previews his four Keys to the Game for this Sunday's match-up with the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Mini-Larry: In coach Jim Caldwell's first season at the helm, the Lions have transformed into a team that is on the brink of securing a spot in the postseason.  Michael Rosenberg: Lions arrive as contenders with Jim Caldwell at helm.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Dan Wetzel: As free agency nears for Suh, the Lions feel sense of urgency. Now is the time to seize an opportunity a long time coming.

Photos - 10 noteworthy players who have worn uniforms for both the Bears and Lions, listed in chronological order from when they made their debut.

Jay Cutler benched; reaction and fallout for Marc Trestman, Phil Emery

Bears starting Clausen over Cutler this week - Jeff Dickerson: Marc Trestman said he personally informed both QBs of the switch Wednesday prior to meeting with Phil Emery, insisting the call to send Cutler to the bench was "ultimately my decision."

Cutler 'shocked' to lose starting job - Larry Mayer: Jay Cutler said that he was "shocked at first and then disappointed" when informed he was being replaced, but he still hopes to return to the team next season.

Cutler hopes to remain with team despite being benched - Michael C. Wright: Jay Cutler expresses a desire to remain in Chicago but admits the franchise may not be as committed to the QB as it once was.

Cutler accepts demotion but ponders future - Adam L. Jahns: The Bears wouldn’t have much leverage in any trade, but don’t underestimate the strong desires of QB-starved teams.  Brad BiggsPotential landing spots.

Cutler acknowledges his days with Bears may be numbered - Rich Campbell: QB expressed a desire to stay and work with Marc Trestman, but both seem beyond his control.  Brad Biggs: Cutler takes what little there is of a high road amid Bears' troubles.

Cutler poised with media after demotion - Bob LeGere: Jay Cutler wasn't critical of the play-calling or anything except himself, and didn't agree that he was being used as a scapegoat for a dysfunctional situation at Halas Hall that has held the franchise up as a national laughingstock.

Cutler handles benching with the utmost professionalism - Jon Greenberg: Second straight week in which he looked a lot more professional than Trestman, who has been reduced to a defensive, mournful soul who is likely seeing the end of his professional dream.

[Video] ESPN - Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson discuss why Marc Trestman ultimately made the move to start Jimmy Clausen against the Lions on Sunday, and whether Jay Cutler will be in Chicago next season.

Is Cutler the culprit or victim? - Is-Hub Arkush: In presiding over one of the worst teams, dysfunctional locker rooms and inept offenses in the league, Marc Trestman and Phil Emery have found a way to make Jay Cutler a sympathetic character.

Benching Cutler solves nothing - Tim Baffoe: Jay Cutler gives his all. He often fails, but he’s not mailing anything in. Making him a scapegoat for the mess he has nothing to do with in other facets of the team only furthers the laughingstock image this franchise has cultivated for itself.

One stat that largely defines why Cutler is having such a bad season - Pete Prisco: Only three of Cutler's 18 picks have come in the first quarter. Seven have come on attempts 30+ in games, when he's pressing to make up for the doormat of a defense. Trestman is blaming Cutler and sitting the QB to show that his system works, but it doesn't.

Chicago’s first scapegoat: Jay Cutler - Bill Barnwell: Regardless of what happens versus Detroit, this is basically an act of war against Cutler that will likely bring his Bears career to a close despite the fact that his stats are not out of line with those that earned him his contract. [Hat tip to skibummin1 and madcow256]

Cutler’s run with Bears comes to disappointing end - Rick Telander: The dark days of the QB hunt — the days of Rick Mirer, Steve Stenstrom, Moses Moreno, Craig Krenzel, Rex Grossman, et al. — seem nigh.

[Video] - Dave Wannstedt on why Jay Cutler was benched and what lies in his future: What is Trestman doing?

[Video] - From Halas Hall, Not-Hubs Fishbain and Arkush wrap up an interesting set of news conferences.

[Video] - Moon Mullin, Chris Boden analyze Cutler, Trestman press conferences ... What to make of a wild 24 hours at Halas Hall.

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Reaction to QB switch. [KAPCON: 4]

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Is Cutler trade on the horizon? [KAPCON: 5]

[Video] SportsTalk Live - Will Phil Emery be back in 2015? [KAPCON: 5, worth it just to see Hub shoot down Kap when the latter starts to cite PFF.]

Time to boot Emery out the door - Mike Imrem: Phil Emery gave Jay Cutler a big contract under the false premise that Marc Trestman still could turn him into an elite QB at age 31.  Adam Hoge: Many big moves to come.

Could Mike Holmgren be on Bears' list? - Is-Hub Arkush: There have been calls for a "football czar" type to help right the ship, and the McCaskeys have a relationship with Holmgren.

Bears need to clean house from top to bottom - Mike North: "From my view, Cutler's sideline demeanor has been unacceptable from day one." [Then he references Mike Florio... yeah, that's when I stopped reading. - Den]

Say thanks for Jay Cutler's benching, Bears fans - Steve Rosenbloom: Not only did Trestman guarantee his firing and that of his coaches by naming Jimmy Clausen to start against the Lions, but he also fired his boss and the franchise's highest-paid player.

Jay Cutler is now a comic book hero - (CBS): Former Bears D-lineman Israel Idonije was the one who launched the Sports Heroes property, with the plan presumably created before the Bears’ poor season.


Team notes - Fred Mitchell: Bears players regroup, vow to back Clausen and Cutler; Kyle Fuller to face brother Corey for second time in less than a month; injury news.

Chris Conte is just being honest - Dan Bernstein: The awful truth is that for football to survive in anything close to the current form that has given it hegemony over televised sports, it needs an unending supply of those who think like Chris Conte.

Polish sausage

QBs, play-callers and the most important relationship in sports - Tom Pelissero: Aaron Kromer criticized Jay Cutler for, among other things, not checking out of bad run plays. Marc Trestman, who calls the plays, ended up benching Cutler this week. Just look at the mess with the Bears to see what happens when the QB and his coaches aren't on the same page.

Being an NFL QB is a thankless job - Will Leitch: Even being a starting QB for an NFL team is a breathtaking accomplishment. Yet we treat these men like dogs. We do not praise them for whatever got them to this rarified point in their lives: We mock them for not being Joe Montana.