16 January 2013

Why Marc Trestman is a good fit for the Bears

Early this morning, the Bears concluded what had been a wide search for the replacement of Lovie Smith as head coach by hiring Marc Trestman, formerly the head coach of the Montrael Alouettes. Yes, the Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. Naturally, there are some skeptical of an NFL team hiring a coach from the CFL but I ultimately this it is a very good fit and here is why.

Trestman may be coming from the CFL but he has 17 years of NFL experience and in those years, he showed a talent for working with quarterbacks. From working with Bernie Kosar at the University of Miami and with the Browns, Steve Young with the 49ers, Jake Plummer with the Cardinals and Rich Gannon with the Raiders, Trestman has a strong resume of doing good things with his quarterbacks. His track record played a key part in his hiring as Jay Cutler has been up-and-down with the Bears and Trestman could be the guy that gets the most out of Cutler.

Now when the University of Miami was reportedly looking at Trestman to fill their coaching vanacy a couple of years ago, I pooh-poohed a Trestman hiring because I was not certain about a coach coming from the CFL but over time, I have come to realize that it is not as big of a deal as I once made it out to be. There's no question that the Canadian game is different than the American game but it's not as if there is an impenetrable barrier that prevents CFL coaches from having success in the NFL. In fact, there are two coaches in the Hall of Fame that got their starts as coaches in the CFL in Bud Grant and Marv Levy. And one cannot deny how successful Trestman was with the Al's, winning over 65% of his games and winning two Grey Cups.

I applaud Bears GM Ray Emery for going through a wide search with up to 13 candidates because I have no problem with looking through many candidates in order to try to find the right one (although we all know Mike Singletary never had a chance to be hired). And I applaud him for going outside the box in hiring Trestman, a hiring that definitely comes with some risk but also has a lot of reward, particularly if he gets Cutler to reach his potential, finally build an offensive line and keep the defense rolling forward.

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