LAKE FOREST, Illinois (AP) -- The Chicago Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman on Monday, making sweeping changes after missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.
Trestman is out after going 13-19 in two seasons while Emery lasted just three years. The Bears went 5-11 in a mostly miserable season, never challenging for the NFC North lead after the first few weeks as quarterback Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense struggled mightily.
"This job was an opportunity of a lifetime. My only regret is that we didn't win enough games for that opportunity to continue," Emery said in a brief session with reporters.
He also thanked the organization and borrowed a lyric from singer Carrie Newcomer, saying, "We stand breathless on the clean edge of change. It's time to change and move forward."
Emery did not take questions from reporters.
Trestman, in a statement issued through the team, thanked the team-owning McCaskey family for the opportunity to coach the Bears.
"I also want to thank all the coaches and players who gave us everything we asked over the past two years," he said. "I have tremendous respect for this organization."
The new GM and coach could have a big decision to make with quarterback Jay Cutler. He tied Philip Rivers for the league lead with 18 interceptions after signing a huge, seven-year contract at the end of last season.
The house cleaning was certainly not what the Bears envisioned with a prolific offense returning intact and a rebuilt defense in tow. But little went right for Chicago this season.
There were distractions throughout the year, whether it was linebacker Lance Briggs being allowed to miss practice to open a restaurant in California the week of the opener or offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitting he was the NFL Network's source behind a critical report of Cutler late in the season.
Trestman, who was hired to get the most out of Cutler, benched the highly paid quarterback in favor of Jimmy Clausen for the second-to-last game of the season against Detroit. Cutler wound up starting the final game after Clausen suffered a concussion against the Lions, adding another chapter to a season-long soap opera.
Trestman also surprised some by allowing star receiver Brandon Marshall to fly to New York on a weekly basis to record Showtime's "Inside the NFL." Marshall, who is open about his struggles with borderline personality disorder, had an off year and at one point gave a rambling news conference over past allegations of domestic abuse. He also challenged a Detroit fan on Twitter to a boxing match for charity, and reporters standing in the hallway overheard him screaming in the locker room after a loss to Miami at Soldier Field in October that raised all sorts of questions about where the team was headed.
The answers came right after that.
The Bears joined the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in back-to-back games while dropping the next two at New England and Green Bay. Trestman's meek response after defensive end Lamarr Houston suffered a season-ending knee injury celebrating a late sack against the Patriots -- "I'm disappointed for Lamarr," he said twice -- only fueled doubts about his leadership.
In recent weeks, it was clear changes were coming. The question was how far up the ladder they would go.
"At the end of the day, we didn't get the job done," tight end Martellus Bennett said. "It's not just coaches. It's everybody. We didn't have a successful year as players. So the coaches didn't have a successful year. I think everybody has their hand in the pot. And the gumbo doesn't taste that great when everybody's hand is in the pot."
Emery, who replaced the fired Jerry Angelo, was hired with a mandate to work with former coach Lovie Smith for at least one season. He fired Smith after the Bears missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record in 2012, ending a nine-year run that produced three playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.
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