Jay Feely: Bears lacked leadership with Marc Trestman, Jay Cutler

Wednesday January 28th, 2015

Jay Feely, who signed with the Chicago Bears in December, said Wednesday that former coach Marc Trestman and quarterback Jay Cutler lacked leadership abilities during the season.

Speaking with Mad Dog Sports Radio on SiriusXM, Feely, who was brought in to Chicago as a temporary replacement kicker for Robbie Gould, was complimentary of Trestman's skill as an offensive coordinator and his welcoming personality but critical of him as a motivator.

"I think that was the disconnect, because I do think he's a very smart offensive coach," Feely said. "I think his track record proves that as an offensive coordinator.

"There's a big difference between being a smart coach and a coordinator, and being a head coach. Rex Ryan, for everything that New York said about him, when he gets in front of a team, that team believes in him, and I think he'll do a great job in Buffalo because guys enjoy coming to practice. When he speaks, the guys trust what he's saying, they believe in what he's saying.

"I think with Marc Trestman, he was a little awkward when he spoke, and so he really didn't connect with guys."

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Trestman was fired in December after two seasons with the Bears, who finished 5-11 in 2014 and missed the playoffs for a fourth straight season. He was later hired by the Baltimore Ravens to be their offensive coordinator in January.

Regarding Cutler, Feely said he thought the nine-year veteran "doesn't like to lead."

"Other guys can fill that role, like in Baltimore with Ray Lewis, when somebody can step up and fill it," Feely said. "But when a quarterback is not a leader, there's always going to be a vacuum there. Jay Cutler can win on the field, but he would be so much better, and the team would be so much better, if you're a leader off the field as well. I never saw him lead verbally."

Cutler threw for 3,812 yards last season, his most in six seasons with the Bears and the second-most of his career, but tied for the league lead with 18 interceptions.

Mike Fiammetta

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