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Marc Trestman has no regrets over kicking on second down

trestman AP

In the face of significant criticism in Chicago, Bears coach Marc Trestman is standing by his decision to attempt a 47-yard field goal on second down in overtime on Sunday — an attempt that missed and set up the Vikings’ game-winning field goal.

Most coaches would have had the offense try to get more yardage on second down and make the field goal easier, but Trestman said he thinks he made the right call at the time.

The decision is not anything that I regret,” Trestman said, via the Chicago Tribune.

That’s hard to believe: Although the Bears have an excellent kicker in Robbie Gould, a 47-yarder isn’t a chip shot for anyone. And although it’s possible that another offensive play would have resulted in lost yardage or a turnover, it’s much more likely that it would have gained at least a couple yards and made the field goal a little bit easier.

But Trestman says he has so much confidence in Gould that he didn’t think he needed to make the field goal a little bit easier.

“I didn’t do it from an analytics standpoint,” Trestman said. “I did it from being around Robbie.”

Having confidence in your kicker is fine. But Trestman should have had some more confidence in his offense.

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51 Responses to “Marc Trestman has no regrets over kicking on second down”
  1. trumb1mj says: Dec 3, 2013 12:11 PM

    I really don’t get how you couldn’t regret this decision? He missed the kick and your season is over. Had you run it one more time, he may have made the kick…

  2. chinahand11 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:17 PM

    “The decision is not anything that I regret,” Trestman said, via the Chicago Tribune.

    There is enough regret from Bear fans to go around so don’t worry about it coach.

  3. doe22us says: Dec 3, 2013 12:20 PM

    Aha, and that is why you lost.

  4. bsizemore68 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:20 PM

    Perhaps he had no confidence in his offense to gain a few yards, or perhaps he didn’t watch the Alabama game. Bill

  5. lovethelions says: Dec 3, 2013 12:24 PM

    Neither do I…LOL!

    Go LIONS!!!

  6. steelersaregodsteam says: Dec 3, 2013 12:25 PM

    Gould is one of the most consistent kickers in the league. You can’t really fault him too much.

  7. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Dec 3, 2013 12:28 PM

    With the benefit of hindsight Trestman is obviously lying.
    I bet 10-6 Lovie Smith is looking pretty good to you guys right now.

  8. lionsfan2014 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:28 PM

    I believe Tressman, it was a 47 yard kick and Gould is usually automatic from inside 50 but he shanked it and it probably would have missed from 43-44 yards too had they run the ball one more play.

  9. Talk football or shut your pie hole... says: Dec 3, 2013 12:32 PM

    It’s easy to say he should have run on 2nd down… heck even on third down to gain more yards. Who’s to say that doing so would have gained more yardage and not lost yards… afterall speculating on something that never happened and can’t be substantiated is nothing but fools gold.

    The theory in kicking on 2nd or 3rd down is to enable the holder to secure a bad snap and take a “sack” rather than the kicker being thrown off and missing. It’s a solid theory and one that lots of teams practice. So the coach was following a solid strategy.

    Had he ran on 2nd and 3rd down and then tried a field goal on 4th and a bad snap happened the same people who are bitching about the 2nd down attempt would be bitching that he waited until 4th to try the kick.

    See the problem isn’t the down the kick was attempted… the problem is the kicker missed. It happens and I believe it is the first missed field goal against the Vikings all year. So by the theory of someone’s gotta miss sooner or later, the kicker would have missed no matter how close the kick was.

    Hey, don’t blame the messenger… it’s as good a theory as he should have ran on 2nd and 3rd down, because you’ll never know what might have happened on something that never happened. Never… so give it a rest already.

    The coach made a decision and without the missed kick, no one, absolutely no one would care.

  10. ravenswhat says: Dec 3, 2013 12:33 PM

    Bears fans, tell us again how Lovie was the problem!

  11. 3yardsandacloud says: Dec 3, 2013 12:34 PM

    This is ridiculous. How fans are on this man about kicking the ball on 2nd down is beyond me. At most he could of run 1 more play. To say it is “likely they would have gained a couple yards” is pure speculation and conjecture. 1) Minnesota would have played to stop the run; 2) Robbie Gould from 47 yards is as automatic as they come. I understand if he sent him out there from 55 yards, but not from inside 50.

    What, was a 44 yard kick going to make the ball fly straighter? It’s a ridiculous claim. He pushed it. It happens.

  12. blacknole08 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:36 PM

    It was a stupid call that could potentially cost them a playoff berth. Jeffrey was having the game of his life! Vikings couldn’t cover him or Marshall. Forte had over 100 yards.

    And you kick on 2nd down? Stupid decision.

  13. puntonfirstdown says: Dec 3, 2013 12:36 PM

    Hmmm, Canadian football has three downs. Brain fade?

  14. eatitfanboy says: Dec 3, 2013 12:37 PM

    The only reason I think he should have run another play is because it shows his offense that he has no faith in them not to do something stupid.

    But the people saying he cost them the game because the 4 or 5 yards could have made the difference are being a little ridiculous.

    First of all, the statistical difference between making 42 yard field goals and 47 yard field is not that great.

    Secondly, Gould had not missed from inside 50 all year and the game was indoors.

    There was no reason at all to believe that they needed to get closer.

  15. dadawg77 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:39 PM

    Question should be was the process for that decision sound out not? Not did it work out not. While a closer field goal would have been easier, you could have a higher probability by kicking it as soon as you get in range. Simple math (only using chance that second and third are successful plays) but haven’t calculated it out using probabilities of gaining or losing different yards on those plays.

  16. conormacleod says: Dec 3, 2013 12:41 PM

    He is either lying or an idiot. Gould missed. You lost. Making this statement is the same as saying; “I have no regrets that we lost”. It was 2nd down! But, coaches just can’t say the words “regret” or “sorry”. Well, I would bet if faced with the same 2nd down in the future he doesn’t send out his kicker from 47 yards.

  17. channelguy says: Dec 3, 2013 12:42 PM

    The criticism here is silly. It was the right PERCENTAGE move, and that’s all you can ask the coach to do, take the option with the best chance of success.

    He had 1) the most accurate kicker in league history, statistically, 2) who has made the clutch kicks in the past 3) in a controlled dome environment. Of COURSE you make that choice. It didn’t work out, but it was still the most logical choice to make.

  18. ravenswhat says: Dec 3, 2013 12:46 PM

    3yardsandacloud says:
    Dec 3, 2013 12:34 PM
    This is ridiculous. How fans are on this man about kicking the ball on 2nd down is beyond me. At most he could of run 1 more play. To say it is “likely they would have gained a couple yards” is pure speculation and conjecture. 1) Minnesota would have played to stop the run; 2) Robbie Gould from 47 yards is as automatic as they come. I understand if he sent him out there from 55 yards, but not from inside 50.

    What, was a 44 yard kick going to make the ball fly straighter? It’s a ridiculous claim. He pushed it. It happens.

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    Sure, except for one thing…NOBODY KICKS ON 2ND DOWN IN THAT SPOT!! You won’t find an expert alive that thinks that was the right move.

  19. dougy1970 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:46 PM

    NFC Central has degenerated into the division where an 8-7-1 team gets the 4 seed and then waxed in the first round at home by the 49ers. You read it here first.

  20. pdennis33 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:48 PM

    I completely agree with the call.

    This is a classic example of “If it works it’s a great call, if it doesn’t, it’s a bad call”. Gould is close to being the most accurate kicker in NFL history, was just a few yards short of a 66 yard field goal earlier in the game (while being right down the middle on that kick), and any number of weird things can happen to the offense out there to be messing around when you don’t have to. It’s not about having confidence in your offense or not, it is just about whether you kick in that situation or not. If a team is on the 15 yard line in OT, do you question a coach for kicking a field goal from there if it wins the game rather than going for a TD? It’s the same thing to me. You can question that coach and say he doesn’t have confidence in the offense, but why risk anything?

    For the comments about wishing Lovie Smith was back, I couldn’t disagree more. This team, from the top down, is vastly more organized than last year. The offense was pretty bad basically every year Smith was the coach, and in his first year coaching, the offense is on pace to set a franchise record for points scored. The defense needs to play much better, but when you have some of your very best, core players out because of injury, it’s understandable for them to struggle. The offense under Smith, when completely healthy, never gave me confidence they could drive the field and score if they needed to. The 10-6 record last year was caused in a big way by the defense getting an insane amount of turnovers and returning lots of them for TDs.

    Trestman has as detailed a plan for every part of the team as any coach out there I’m sure, based on everything I’ve seen and heard.

    It’s really easy to start second-guessing or panicking when something doesn’t seem to be working as well as it possibly could, but that to me is just focusing on the negatives rather than looking at the whole picture. If you want to get in better and you start working out, it’s like looking in the mirror in a week and expecting to have a six pack, and when you don’t, wanting to change everything up. Give it a little time and see what changes take place before panicking.

  21. whitepotatolake says: Dec 3, 2013 12:50 PM

    how about the time factor. 4 mins left in game they could of got a first down and ran the clock and forced Minnesota to burn timeouts. All-around not thought out well

  22. aldante66 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:51 PM

    First lets put it in context. Trestman called three runs right at the center of an 8 man line. His counterparts said, hey lets call plays that run wide and shoot the gap with Pederson. No Trestman thought they could go right up the middle and that didn’t work, over and over again.

    His call on second down showed clearly, his mindset was to play to not lose, not play to win at all costs.

    He was desperately hoping the Vikes would make the mistake and they would capitablize on it so stay conservative. Bad decision, bad thinking.

    Conservative guys like him get eaten alive by GM’s.

  23. vicnocal says: Dec 3, 2013 12:52 PM

    Forget about calling another RUN play on 2nd down – after all, a 44 yard field goal is just about the same as a 47 yarder – that would’ve been the perfect spot to call a PASS play. Go play action with Forte and try to hit a quick slant to Alshon Jeffery or something (AJ was killing them all day). Worst thing that happens is an incomplete and then you can go ahead and kick the FG on 3rd down, best case scenario you pick up another 8-10 yards.

  24. TheDPR says: Dec 3, 2013 12:52 PM

    What exactly is “the statistical difference between making 42 yard field goals and 47 yard field” goals, eatitfanboy?

    The old cliche is that this is a game of inches, and a coach’s job is to take EVERY POSSIBLE advantage, even small ones. That’s what separates good coaches from bad coaches. That’s why Belechick took the wind in overtime and won versus Trestman kicking on 2nd down and lost.

  25. rodh32340 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:53 PM

    Trestman has always been an Offensive coach thinking about his next play…he needs an old pro assistant to mind the small stuff …like the rules or what down it is…or percentage of success getting closer before attempting a kick.

  26. asublimeday says: Dec 3, 2013 12:53 PM

    Gould is the best of all time, but Trestman is in the wrong on this one

  27. aldante66 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:54 PM

    I watched Gould over many years and he just looked antsy to me. I almost knew he would miss the kick and he never misses the kick. He kind of that that pre nap hop of his, and he was just standing straight, different that he usually does.
    Coach should have seen that and called time out.

  28. phinatic29 says: Dec 3, 2013 12:55 PM

    Look Gould is tremendous, but to expect every 47 yd FG attempt to go through is insane.

    Trestman, c-mon man, own up to this one. Man up! You made a horrible decision.

    This is something I would expect from “the stache” Dave Wannestedt.

    Nice killer instinct!

  29. pillowporkers says: Dec 3, 2013 12:59 PM

    So with Lovie, the Bears offense is terrible and one of the leagues worst. Now with Trestman, the Bears DEFENSE is now historically bad (for the Bears) and one of the leagues worst. Maybe Lovie should get hired on as a defensive coordinator (he would never do that haha) and they’d have the perfect team!

    Pick your poison Bears fans, all I know is that as down on the Vikings as I am, addressing the QB in the offseason literally puts us right back in the divison title race in this division of chokers.

  30. wannabear says: Dec 3, 2013 1:05 PM

    I am still in shock. I feel badly for my son too. He is still miserable and I’m still explaining why we lost.

  31. ocdn says: Dec 3, 2013 1:07 PM

    Gould at 47 yds had made 100% up to that kick. The decision was right…the execution was wrong.

  32. iowahbr says: Dec 3, 2013 1:20 PM

    A bad call but not the main Trestman issue. The Bears running game and all the holes on defense are the big problem. Josh throws a great number of yards but in the red zone the Bears have trouble getting two yards on a running play for most of the year whether its Jay or Josh at QB.

    All this noise about missed play-offs by Bears fans means that most Bears fans must not watch many Bears games. They are a long way from being a decent play-off team and a better offense than last year won’t help a team that would have problems stopping Lane Tech.

  33. eatitfanboy says: Dec 3, 2013 1:27 PM

    TheDPR says:
    Dec 3, 2013 12:52 PM
    What exactly is “the statistical difference between making 42 yard field goals and 47 yard field” goals, eatitfanboy?

    The old cliche is that this is a game of inches, and a coach’s job is to take EVERY POSSIBLE advantage, even small ones. That’s what separates good coaches from bad coaches. That’s why Belechick took the wind in overtime and won versus Trestman kicking on 2nd down and lost.

    =======

    I’m not sure exactly what it is, look it up yourself. I’d bet my house it’s not much.

    Was the kick short?

    Was there any reasonable expectation that Gould would miss?

    Again, I wouldn’t have done it. But it didn’t cost them the game.

  34. rkelly13 says: Dec 3, 2013 1:27 PM

    There are 2 major things I find wrong with Trestman’s statements.

    1. When discussing the decision not to use timeouts against Baltimore he went into a deep explanation about statistics and he made his decision based upon that. Now you’re making your decisions on gut feelings? Seems very contradictory.

    2. Robbie Gould’s wife had a baby the previous night and on no sleep he chartered a private plane to Minnesota after his child was born. Do you really want to trust a kicker going on zero sleep and had to be exhausted?

  35. dirtyjerzy says: Dec 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    You play to win the game-Herm Edwards. What coach kicks on 2nd down in overtime, especially on the 47. Trestman says he believed in his kicker, but did you not believe in your RB or Qb for that matter. It wasn’t like the Vikings weren’t going to get the ball back even if the kicker did make it? No regrets either…okay(rolling eyes). You’ll regret it when your looking for a new coaching job next year.

  36. kingpel says: Dec 3, 2013 1:48 PM

    If don’t trust Matt Forte enough to run him twice in that situation then you need to get out of coaching because you are scared of your own shadow.

  37. marktroy says: Dec 3, 2013 1:52 PM

    Marc Trestman, you sir, are a liar.

  38. theboondoggles says: Dec 3, 2013 1:53 PM

    This article needs a “no regerts” tattoo instead of the obligatory Trestman/Frazier photo.

  39. unprovenprophet says: Dec 3, 2013 1:58 PM

    Talk about all you want about a missed FG. The Bears had the Vikings at 4th & 11 at the Vikings own 8 yard line, and down by 3, in the 4th quarter and this happens –

    4th and 11 at MIN 8 (Shotgun) M.Cassel pass deep middle to J.Simpson to MIN 28 for 20 yards (C.Conte).

    So complain all you want about a FG, but when you give up a 4th & 11 at a team’s own 8 yd line, the football gods just don’t like you on that particular day.

  40. wnstonchill says: Dec 3, 2013 1:59 PM

    That is ver troubling, hearing that come from Trestman. I think he brings alot of potential to the Bears, but to not admit to making a bad decision is alarming. The man spends too much time over thinking things. Have faith in your offense coach! They earned it on that last drive! Give your kicker the best odds for making that kick!!!

  41. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 3, 2013 2:00 PM

    This guy is a complete idiot and doesn’t understand basic statistical probability. Pathetic.

  42. eaststsfb says: Dec 3, 2013 2:02 PM

    wannabear says:Dec 3, 2013 1:05 PM

    I am still in shock. I feel badly for my son too. He is still miserable and I’m still explaining why we lost.
    _________________________________

    Tell your son to get over it – it’s just a game. Be miserable for those people who lost their lives and homes due to tornados. Get some perspective.

  43. mizzousooner says: Dec 3, 2013 2:07 PM

    Meh, this Bears team isn’t going anywhere anyway.

    Trestman may end up being a good head coach, but his squad is sorely lacking in talent.

  44. tangledupinblue12 says: Dec 3, 2013 2:08 PM

    johnelwayishorsefaced says:
    Dec 3, 2013 12:28 PM

    With the benefit of hindsight Trestman is obviously lying.
    I bet 10-6 Lovie Smith is looking pretty good to you guys right now.

    ~~~

    The only people that Lovie Smith is looking good to are teams that need a defensive coordinator. Lovie was a respectable guy, a great defensive coach, and a so-so head coach. He had numerous seasons to get something out of the Bears offense, and never could.

    Meanwhile, in less than a season, Trestman has taken an offense that was ranked 28th last year, and turned them into the 8th ranked offense this year. He has been excellent so far. It’s not his fault that the defense is old, slow and injured. They need some new talent on that side of the ball. The future with Trestman is far better than anything Bears fans could have hoped for with Lovie.

    As for the specific decision to kick on second down: I wish he had run one more play, but Gould has just missed a 66-yard attempt by about 2 feet, and is the second most accurate kicker in NFL history. He’s about as automatic from 47 yards as they come. He just happened to miss this particular kick. It’s not like it was some insane decision to just kick the damn thing and try to win the game.

  45. purpwalk says: Dec 3, 2013 2:13 PM

    upon returning home, a distraught robbie gould informed his wife that he was naming his new-born daughter ‘missy’

  46. beardown1 says: Dec 3, 2013 2:49 PM

    Gotta love the MMQB!

    Trestman has generated one of the highest scoring offenses in the league with almost half of the games QB’d by a guy who was coaching HS football a year ago!

    When you are missing six of your seven best defenders, it’s hard to win. If Lovie was still here with the next soon-to-be-former OC, we’d be 3 – 9.

    Do I like every call he makes? No (especially the 2 point conversion against Detroit).

    But, this is a GIANT leap forward. If we can keep our aging defense mostly healthy (or replace them), things are looking up.

    BEAR DOWN!

  47. isuhuskie says: Dec 3, 2013 3:06 PM

    From what has been said on the radio here – between the 40-49, for every yard you gain the chance of making the kick goes up about 1.5%. So 5 more yards makes a bit of a difference. But there are other factors.

    Gould, even with being 6-6 this year is only a 72% kicker from the 40-49 for his career. So prior to this little hot streak, he was under 70% from this range. Who knows why? But the thing is the coach should have known. Also one of the radio stations noted there has been ZERO or ONE fumbled (I can’t recall which one it was) snap when a team kicks on 3rd down in the last 13 years (a pretty big sample size). So the Bears could have run two more plays, safely. And for all of you saying “how big a difference could two plays make?” Who knows? You have AJ having the game of his life & Matt Forte who had run for 120 yards – maybe they break a play and score a TD, if he had a little faith in his guys. I didn’t want to keep Lovie, but I’m not sure this guy is an upgrade.

  48. trollaikman8 says: Dec 3, 2013 3:28 PM

    Their best player over the past 10 years (Gould) failed them. Simple as that.

  49. fwippel says: Dec 3, 2013 3:46 PM

    Egads, give it a rest already. Gould makes that kick 95% of the time. Trestman took the odds and lost.

    If I were the press (and Trestman), I’d be more upset about giving up a 4th and 11 from the Viking 8 yard line.

  50. isuhuskie says: Dec 3, 2013 4:03 PM

    Gould DOES NOT make that kick 95% of the time – that’s the POINT!

  51. larryboodry says: Dec 3, 2013 5:23 PM

    “I bet 10-6 Lovie Smith is looking pretty good to you guys right now.”

    No, he isn’t.

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