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  • New Monster of the Midw-eh

    The most exhaustive search for a coach in the NFL has come to an end. After interviewing everyone from the hottest coordinator candidates to the Water Distribution Engineer of the Ohio Glory, the Chicago Bears announced the hiring of football-lifer Marc Trestman, now the former coach of the Montreal Alouettes.

    Trestman's first job in the NFL was during the Bears Super Bowl run in 1985. He saw the 46 defense first hand as Running Backs Coach for the Minnesota Vikings during that season and the next. The rest of Trestman's career would be more like it began at the University of Miami; surrounded with great quarterbacks. In southern Florida, Trestman was the QB coach for Bernie Kosar and was affiliated with the team when Jim Kelly played. After the Vikings, he spent one year in Tampa Bay with Vinny Testaverde, Steve DeBerg and future NFL coach Jim Zorn. Then he met up with Bernie Kosar in Cleveland for a couple of seasons. After that, he went back to Minnesota to coach Rich Gannon before leaving football for a few years only to return as OC and QB coach for the 1995-96 San Francisco 49ers helmed by Steve Young on the field. In 1997, he helped Scott Mitchell pass for 3,484 yards. In 1998, Trestman was the man behind Jake Plummer's upset of the Cowboys in the playoffs. After a horrible Plummer season in 2000, Trestman moved on to coach the best Rich Gannon years of 2001 and 2002, including a Super Bowl appearance. After Gannon faded, Trestman had one year in Miami dealing with the Feeley/Fiedler/Rosenfels disaster before moving back to college and moving to the most northern country of North America. Up north, Trestman has gone to three Grey Cups in five seasons, winning in 2009 and 2010.

    Detractors of Trestman are going to wonder why he did not get a head coaching job in the NFL after 1996 or 2002. Some people have said that he was not deemed to have the personality needed for it at the time.

    Former players from Steve Young to Jarrett Payton all extoll the greatness of the man. Young has had a few long interviews on ESPN 1000 in Chicago about Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman. The Hall of Fame BYU product said that Jay Cutler needs to rebuilt from the ground up due to what has happened in Chicago and think Trestman is the man to do it. He gave credit to Trestman for some of his own success. Trestman has coached three recipients of MVP awards. That is high praise.

    There are also going to be questions about Bears GM Phil Emery being too cute with his search and that this move is another one about him showing off about how good of a scout he is. That was the feeling of the average Bears fan when Shea McClellin was selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. If the Bears draft an unknown Alaskan fisherman in the first round this season, then maybe those people will be right.

    Perhaps the move toward an offensive mind is something much bigger. Perhaps it is a microscope being put on the career of Jay Cutler. The Vanderbilt quarterback has one year left on his deal. Emery has admitted that the Bears will be agressive in free agency for offensive line help. (Ryan Clady?) He also was honest in that he wanted to make sure the Bears offense finally had weapons around Cutler. During an interview after firing Lovie Smith, he took 3-5 minutes to describe the reasoning behind drafting Alshon Jeffrey and ingoring more offensive line help in 2012. Now the Bears have the first offensive-minded coach in the lifetime of most Bears fans. That coach with new thinking is also a guy with a history of making quarterbacks great.

    This move may simply be the ultimate push of the chips towards the middle of the felt. Emery may have looked at the team and seen a defense that was aging and that the only possibility to contend quickly was to actually commit to an offensive team in Chicago. There is no word yet on if the Bears can finally get FieldTurf installed at Soldier Field.

    Overall, the change in philosophy is a possible career-defining moment for Phil Emery and Jay Cutler. For Bears fans, things have changed. Things feel different this morning. Different doesn't always mean good and it doesn't always mean bad. Future success for the Bears is not known, but the future for the Bears is a name from the NFL past. Somehow, that does make things still seem more like the same at Halas Hall.

    Comments 12 Comments
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      I like the move. Seems like fresh thinking, and the guy is an aknowledged QB guru who has adapted to a lot of different situations. Cutler's talents have been criminally under-utilized by his OCs so far. He is a pretty good throwe on the move, yet unlike every other OC in the game with a QB who can move, they barely rolled him out. Matt Schaub get's more play fakes and roll outs than a more athletic CUtler.

      Any word on Marinelli and the Tamap 2 staying?
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      In my mind, the CFL is a completely bush league.

      Having said that, Trestman clearly is the best coach the league has seen in a long time. In 5 seasons, his teams won the division 4 times and made it to La Coupe Grey 3 times. and any coach who can make Jake Plummer look really good has some skills.

      A good hire - he is an older guy who has a lot of experience and has experience as a winner.

      Now, as long as he remembers that in the NFL, there's no such thing as a rouge, I think he'll be fine.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      I'll be just fine with the Bears getting first downs in two downs every time.
    1. DaBearsFan's Avatar
      I'm intrigued by the hire. Based on what he said in the press conference, I'm willing to give Emery the benefit of the doubt, for now. It seems like he's got a lot of things I was hoping for in a head coach (offensive mindset, knows how to work with QBs, not Norv Turner). We will see, this certainly is a gamble.

      iwatt- According to Jeff Dickerson on twitter, it sounds like Marinelli will keep his job as DC if he wants it. If that happens, I gotta imagine others on the staff will stick around as well.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Excellent article, Rich. Love it.

      Saw this great quote from Steve Young on what Cutler needs to do (and by extension, what every QB needs to do.)

      "Jay's now old enough to see. I've got to believe that if someone came in and, in a resonant way, could speak to him & that he would respond to that," Young said. "Why wouldn't you respond to that? I think he's ready for it.

      "Part of it is just work. Part of it is really boring. It's like going to law school or med school: a lot of study. What I'm saying, to make the transition, and this is the most difficult part is you've got to turn the TV off. You've got to stay inside. You've got to put up your white board. You've got to memorize things.

      "You have to get so you have reflexive recall. When you have reflexive recall, and you own all the data, you become Peyton Manning and Tom Brady."
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      "You have to get so you have reflexive recall. When you have reflexive recall, and you own all the data, you become Peyton Manning and Tom Brady."
      You get to own half the COlorado Pizza John's or bang a supermodel?
    1. Docta's Avatar
      From what I've read from someone who actually watches the CFL, it's not a great hire.

      Steve Young and Rich Gannon had nothing but good things to say about him, but what do you expect them to say? The 49er offenses were good even before he came, and Young still had 2 of his worst seasons with him as the OC/QB coach. On the Raiders, Trestman used most of the passing plays Gruden implemented. Explains the 5 INTs Gannon had against Gruden's Bucs.

      He does seem like he's a student of the game though, so I'll think he'll be willing to adjust (glares at Mike Martz).
    1. biggittyb's Avatar
      I like the move. Gotta have an offensive mind in today's NFL
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      I really don't get what you need an "offensive mind" to be a coach in today's NFL. To me, a successful coach knows how to manage the team and push the right buttons. The league is more pro-offense than in the past. But how much of an imprint does the coach have on the offense? Ultimately its up to the coordinators to execute the offense and defense anyway.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by hobbes27 View Post
      I really don't get what you need an "offensive mind" to be a coach in today's NFL. To me, a successful coach knows how to manage the team and push the right buttons. The league is more pro-offense than in the past. But how much of an imprint does the coach have on the offense? Ultimately its up to the coordinators to execute the offense and defense anyway.
      I agree.

      Bill Belichick, defensive genius: Patriots of the last few years, offensive powerhouse.
      Brian Billick, offensive expert. Ravens Super Bowl team, defensive studs.

      We've talked about this before. The skills of a successful coordinator aren't necessarily the skills of a good head coach. Even more interesting, head coaching skills often seem to be situation-dependent. The Big Tuna never won the SB outside of New York, despite all the power and wealth he could want. Joe Gibbs couldn't come home again. I'm not so sure that Bill Cowher would be a good hire. Nor Brian Billick.

      Sorry, I'm blathering. Long way of saying that hiring good people is a real skill.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Excellent article, Rich. Love it.
      Thank you.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Marc Trestman was booed out of San Francisco in large part because of his Cameron'esque ability to completely forget the running game. At a press conference following the 1996 season a reporter asked about Trestman's future with the team. Eddie DeBartolo grabbed the mic and said "He's gone".

      In hindsight that was a classless move by Eddie. At the time 49ers fans cheered and laughed.