When the Chicago Bears watched general manager Phil Emery fire their beloved head coach, Lovie Smith, earlier in the year, many wondered why such a drastic measure was taken. There were a fair share of fans on both sides of the move. Some loved it, others couldn’t believe Emery would do such a thing.
When Emery brought in former CFL coach of the Montreal Alouettes, Marc Trestman, to replace Smith, there were even more questions from the fans as to what was going on at Halas Hall.
For those who had no idea who this guy was, it seemed like an odd move at the time. But, as time passed and more of the fan base did some research they began to understand.
Trestman has been widely known as a quarterback guru, working with several notable names in some of the best years of their career — i.e. Rich Gannon in his MVP and Super Bowl season and Joe Montana during the year Jerry Rice set the all-time single-season receiving record.
The 57-year old first time head coach has also been one of the go-to guys for young quarterback prospects entering the NFL Draft. Trestman’s knowledge of the position and offense as a whole was a great tool for many draft prospects heading into the combine and on into draft day. He even had a chance to work with the Bears’ own Jay Cutler.
Aside from the long list of accomplishments, Trestman can now also say that he has left his mark on his former team. Thursday, the Alouettes announced the firing of his replacement, Dan Hawksins — five games into the season.
Under Trestman, Aloette quarterback Anthony Calvillo excelled. His average quarterback rating with the new Chicago head man was 104. This year through five games, he’s put up a measly rating of just 79.5. Calvillo has also been sacked an average of twice the amount he was sacked last season under Trestman.
Calvillo was also named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player for the third time in 2009 as he and Trestman took the Alouettes to a Grey Cup victory — the CFL’s championship game.
Without Trestman at the helm, Calvillo is struggling and so is the offense as a whole. It’s interesting to note how drastic of a change their team has underwent now that their former head coach is with the Bears.
Several NFL GM’s have noted that Trestman’s opportunity to coach has been long overdue and many believe he will enjoy success at the position. Emery seems to believe that if anybody can get the most out of Cutler and the offense, it’s Trestman, who will also be calling the plays for the Bears this year.
As Chicago approaches the regular season, training camp will be watched closer than it has in recent memory. The team has a brand new offense to learn but it looks as though Cutler has been doing great so far. Bears fans have a right to still be a bit nervous. But, if Trestman’s history along with the news of Hawkins’ firing have any indication of what’s to come, the Bears are in good hands.