Chicago Bears: Was Eddie Jackson right to call team lazy?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Following the Chicago Bears disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers, Eddie Jackson called out his team for being “lazy.” Was he right to do so?

If you’re anything like me, you still have not recovered emotionally from the Chicago Bears crushing loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Their performance in the first half was in such stark contrast to their second-half performance.

The Bears jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead, and they were set to receive the second-half kickoff. Just before they did, Aaron Rodgers emerged from the tunnel and appeared set to return to the game after being carted off to the locker room late in the second quarter. Nevertheless, the Bears took the ball downfield on their opening possession of the third quarter, chewing up nearly six minutes of clock before kicking a field goal to take a 20-0 lead.

Unfortunately, everything fell apart after that. The Bears were outscored 24-3 from that point forward, giving the Packers a one-point victory. Following the game, many attributed the loss to a number of things. Some argued it was Matt Nagy’s abandonment of the run game and Jordan Howard. Others pointed to some missed opportunities by Mitch Trubisky to find open wide receivers for would-be touchdowns.

However, one player that was on the field offered a different take as to why the Bears collapsed in the second half. Free safety Eddie Jackson, the second-year player out of Alabama, had a simple explanation. The Bears got “lazy.”

In an article from the Chicago Tribune, Bears’ writer Colleen Kane offered the entire quote from Jackson:

"“The whole team got lazy,” Bears safety Eddie Jackson said. “We got too complacent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We didn’t finish. We came out the first half swinging. The energy was there. The second half I felt like the energy was low. Everybody got complacent, and we lost focus that we still had a game to finish.”"

While unclear whether he counted himself among those who got lazy and complacent, he didn’t specifically include himself in that statement. To be fair, he didn’t call out any player in particular. However, the fact that he called out anyone publicly, to the media, after the first game of the season, shouldn’t have happened.

Perhaps Jackson was simply trying to assert himself as a leader on the team. If he was, he gets an ‘A’ for effort, but a ‘D’ for execution. If he truly felt there were players on both sides of the ball who got lazy during the game, that is an issue a leader takes up with those players behind closed doors. You simply don’t put the entire team on blast to the media one game into the season.

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Hopefully, this is not indicative of a deeper issue festering in the locker room. Divisiveness within the locker room can be incredibly destructive. However, this locker room is filled with veterans who understand comments are made in the heat of the moment. No doubt this was handled internally, and the players have all learned from this and moved on accordingly.