Big-talkin' Marshall didn't talk big enough

Chicago Tribune sports columnist Steve Rosenbloom on how Bears' Brandon Marshall didn't go far enough.(Posted: Dec 20, 2012)

After another miserable performance against the Packers on Sunday, Brandon Marshall said everyone on offense must be accountable, “even if that means jobs.’’

A day after his team lost for the fifth time in six games, Bears coach Lovie Smith said everyone at every position has been accountable all season and there would be no coaching changes this week.

So now we see the kind of communication that requires the offense to waste so many timeouts.

On Wednesday, Marshall was admitting his comments rubbed some people the wrong way, but said he also saw some positive response.

“You’re hearing the word ‘accountability’ thrown around,’’ said Marshall, and like a lot of things thrown around with the Bears, it was intercepted.

Marshall wouldn’t say whether he got called into the principal’s office, but it sounds like that was the case.

“The comment that I made I should have kept to myself and kept in-house,’’ said Marshall, but I believe I saw Smith’s mouth moving as he said it.

If Marshall thinks he’s a Bears leader with such public statements, he’s playing for the wrong coach. He might not have to worry about it in another two games, but for this month, Smith wants players to shut up when it comes to placing blame.

As we’ve seen, when it’s time to blame someone, Smith will fire his handpicked offensive coordinator and hope that the wonks at Halas Hall don’t notice the cover-your-butt pattern.

Smith wants vocal unity among players and coaches, and what a coincidence: Such a policy hides the truth. If Smith wanted the truth out there, he wouldn’t offer a clown statement like Brian Urlacher cares about the fans.

That was the bummer Wednesday. Smith muzzled Marshall’s opinion, which denied us the chance to hear Marshall detail who should lose what job. That would’ve been the good stuff. Naming names always is. I think it would be revealing to see who the best player on the offense believes is preventing the offense from becoming productive.

Offensive coordinator Mike Tice? There’s your first suspect. The offense stinks, Tice is a rookie playcaller, Marshall’s BFF Jay Cutler is frustrated, so I think we can conclude that Smith actually muzzled Cutler’s words as performed by Marshall.

Or maybe Marshall was talking about wide receiver wannabe Devin Hester. It’s not just that Hester still looks lost trying to play the position, it’s that Hester represents the continuing idiocy of a head coach who puts a player in a position to fail and takes the quarterback with him. The speculation about who Marshall thinks should be fired always comes back to the quarterback.

Or maybe Marshall would've fingered tailback Matt Forte. Two cracks from the 1, and the guy fails on both. That’s $8.5 million per miserable, embarrassing snap.

Or maybe Marshall meant half the offensive line and both tight ends. Can’t lose pointing to those spots because the Bears can’t win a Super Bowl with them.

But no. Didn’t happen. Marshall pointed out his own failures, and that was that. No names named.

And you know what? It probably wouldn’t make a difference. That’s the painful thing. Given the way the offense has played, it almost doesn’t matter who loses a job because the next guy can’t possibly represent a big dropoff except Marshall himself and Cutler -- as long as it’s not the Packers or any other good team.

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