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updated: 9/5/2014 10:52 AM

Bears will fall short of playoffs again

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  • Mike North isn't convinced yet that Marc Trestman can make the tough decisions required of a head coach in the NFL.

      Mike North isn't convinced yet that Marc Trestman can make the tough decisions required of a head coach in the NFL.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

This Bears team appears to be a mixed bag, which means they are only somewhat ready to take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Soldier Field.

They have a dynamic offense with some very skilled players such as Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall. They also have an improved offensive line and a quarterback who has yet to deliver on a big scale, but expectations are high for Jay Cutler this year.

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If all things click, the Chicago Bears will put up some big numbers.

The defense, however, is a different story.

The Bear have experience, but with Jared Allen and a bolstered defensive line, the they are hoping for a pass rush to help a mediocre backfield of linebackers and defensive backs.

To me, Lance Briggs is on his last legs -- mentally and physically. The same applies to the underrated and great Charles "Peanut" Tillman. These two graybeards might feel the effects of the 16-game season, but the defense cannot afford to lose either one of these players, just like the offense can't afford to lose Cutler.

Special-teams will struggle without Devin Hester, and retired long snapper Patrick Mannelly is a huge loss. Special teams failed to impress anyone during the preseason, except for Robbie Gould, whose quality play can cure what ails you.

Unfortunately, I see a bigger problem. Bears head coach Marc Trestman just isn't tough enough, which may be why it took so long for him to land a head coaching job in the NFL.

Look, I know times have changed -- none of the teams practice as much as they previously did, but when I saw the Bears' first and second teams not play in the fourth preseason game, I was distressed.

Maybe the first team didn't need to play, but how about the second? Soft serve!

Then Trestman allowed Briggs a personal day with no explanation needed six days before the season opener.

The coach should have at least asked him why.

Trestman is a great offensive coach, but is he head coach timber?

Remember, he wasted no time last season when the Bears were heading for the playoffs to replace Josh McCown with a rusty Jay Cutler, who was coming back from an injury.

How did that work out?

Trestman couldn't make the tough call, but it should have been an easy one.

I'm not sure what the Bears' record will be, but I doubt they will make the playoffs. I hope I'm wrong, but some other teams in the NFC North division seem to have a better sense of urgency.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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