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Last night the Chicago Bears ended their injudicious coaching search with a hire. Phil Emery’s exhausting interview process, which didn’t include the horrible ‘what’s your biggest weakness’ question, culminated in the hiring of Marc Trestman.
Aside from the Jimmy Johnson equals prophet comments, the commentariat at PFT were surprisingly sensible. I believe tangledupinblue12 said it best (kill me): “Oh no! Not an offensive innovator with a track record as a successful head coach!”
Trestman’s resume is impressive. The Minneapolis native became the quarterbacks coach at the University of Miami in 1983, after joining the school as a volunteer coach. From there he went to the NFL, coaching in Minnesota, Tampa, Cleveland, San Francisco, Detroit, Arizona, Oakland and Miami over the course of 19 years. After heading back to college — North Carolina State, also known as the Harvard of Raleigh — he came to Canada.
The stigma associated with coaches — players as well — who move north needs to end. Trestman’s rap, if he had one, was that he wasn’t a motivator. He wasn’t a rah-rah guy that could enliven a locker room with a stirring pre-game speech. That logic is idiotic.
Trestman is the first coach to go directly from the CFL to the NFL in 30 years. In 1981 Frank Kush left the Hamilton Tiger Cats for the Baltimore Colts. It wasn’t a shot in the dark, Kush coached Arizona state for 22 years prior to his arrival in Hamilton. Brief side note — Kush was a major asshole. At ASU, he punched his punter after a bad kick. The brain dead few that are Sun Devils supporters targeted the punter’s dad and attorney(?). The whole storyis ridiculous.
Anyways, Trestman is not Kush. He helped Scott Mitchell, Jake Plummer and Rich Gannon resmble compentent quarterbacks. The skeptics –not without merit, mind you– will say his tenure in Montreal was aided by the presence of Anthony Calvillo, an all time great. While this is true, Trestman’s track record indicates his play calling savvy coupled with an ability to identify his signal caller’s strengths will lead to success in Chicago.
Lovie Smith’s record in Chicago was great. Not only that, his players loved him as well. His demise was created by Jay Cutler’s inability to ascend to the ‘next level’. Trestman was hired because of Jay Cutler. He made Marcus Stone and Jay Davis look competent at North Carolina State. He has a history with Cutler, having worked with him before the NFL combine in 2006.
I’m hearing the same crap re: Trestman as I do re: Hue Jackson. “If he’s so good, why didn’t he get better NFL jobs?” Because many are dumb
— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) January 16, 2013
Chicago went bold –after days of second guessing– with their next head coach. Whether Trestman will be able to cope with the pressure that comes with being an NFL head coach remains to be seen, but this move will facilitate an end for their current arc. Cutler succeeds and the team enjoys success, great. He doesn’t, Trestman is axed and the Bears start over. Chicago isn’t a city for mediocrity. Phil Emery & Co. are taking a calculated risk. Good on them.