Firing line -- Brandon Marshall in Palos Heights hours after Bears fire coach and GM

  • Written by Jeff Vorva




Photo by Jeff Vorva

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall was in Palos Heights on Monday, hours before finding out coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were fired.

On Monday morning, Bears coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery were the headliners  fired in Lake Forest.

On Monday afternoon, controversial Bears receiver Brandon Marshall was fired up in Palos Heights.

Marshall hosted his ESPN radio show at Trio Restaurant and Bar and before he even talked about the carnage at Halas Hall, he was busy challenging WMVP announcer to a boxing match and calling him a “clown.’’

Then he got serious and said that this year’s coaching staff featured “some of the best coaches I’ve ever been around” and that going to Halas Hall Monday morning was like “Going to the hospital to see someone who was dead. It was like a funeral. It was sad…really sad.’’

A couple of hundred people – many wearing Marshall jerseys – crammed into the bar to hear the outspoken words of wisdom from the wideout. Not too many of them were somber about the departures.

“This is a phenomenal day,’’   said Orland Park’s Ed Griffin. “It was a disappointing season for diehard fans. We’re ready for next year.’’

Griffin said he would have loved it if former Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh would have taken Trestman’s place but Harbaugh is heading to the University of Michigan. Griffin said he will settle for Mike Shanahan. A pal at his table, Palos Heights’ Mike Krol said he would like to see former Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren as the new GM with Arizona defensive coordinator Todd Bowles taking over as head coach.

Palos Park’s Rick Griffin, Ed’s brother, said he wants Mike Ditka back as the head coach. He said he was serious. But he sounded like a “Saturday Night Live’’ Da Bears character when he gave his reasoning.

“If’s Ditka versus God, [the score is] God 3, Ditka 478,’’ he joked.  “But this is a great day and a fresh start for the team.’’

Trestman was sacked after two seasons. This year, the team finished 5-11 this year and finished the season with five straight losses. The more galling losses of the season included a 51-23 setback to New England, a 55-13 defeat at the hands of Green Bay and a 41-28 loss to Dallas.

Trestman, whose background is specializing in offense, watched a team that had weapons Marshall, Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery score 17 or fewer points seven times including no touchdowns in Sunday’s 13-9 loss to Minnesota in a battle for last place in the NFC North.

Off the field, the Bears had their share of troubles as well including offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer – who was also whacked on Monday -- ‘fessing up to being an anonymous source ripping Cutler to the NFL Network.

Marshall also had his share of controversy off the field, including challenging a Detroit fan to a fight in the ring for money in November. He also called Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola a “dirty player and he’s a worse human being.’’

On the field, Marshall caught 61 passes for 721 yards and eight touchdowns but missed the final three games with rib and lung injuries.

Like most fans, Marshall is wondering what the future with hold for the so-called Monsters of the Midway.

“Some of these coaches are amazing coaches and they might not get jobs again,” Marshall said. “The NFL is ‘what have you done for me lately?’ There are a lot of changes coming and that’s what sucks for me. This is my fourth time going through this. Anyone can get fired – myself included. I could be traded. The new regime could come in and ‘you know what? We need to rebuild this thing and we have value in Brandon.’ Players go, too.

“We’re in the best sports market in the world. Ownership is awesome. Get it right. Get it right.’’