Last week, two-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Jimmy Johnson tweeted the following:
Looks like 2 of my guys getting NFL jobs..Chud Cleveland and my QB coach at U Trestman to ChicagoJohnson later tweeted to clarify that he said "it LOOKS like" Rob Chudzinski and Marc Trestman would be getting NFL jobs (he meant head coaching jobs) with the Browns and Bears.
— Jimmy Johnson (@JimmyJohnson) January 11, 2013
Chudzinski had already been reported as the Browns' new coach, but this was the first news from any sort of reputable source (Johnson currently is an NFL analyst for Fox and was Trestman's quarterbacks coach at the University of Miami) on Trestman as a (basically) done deal to the Bears.
Well, Johnson took plenty of criticism for the apparent false, or at least 'jump-the-gun' report, but it turns out in the end, he was right on the money.
The Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs reported late on Tuesday night that the Bears have hired Trestman to be their new head coach:
An NFL source just told me #Bears will hire Marc Trestman as the next head coach.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) January 16, 2013
If for some reason you doubt Biggs' report (and you shouldn't; he's as good as there is in the business), here's official word from the Bears' Twitter account on the hiring of Trestman:
LM: It's official: Marc Trestman has been named the 14th head coach in Chicago #Bears history.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 16, 2013
According to Adam Oestmann of Chicago Bears Huddle, the Bears have scheduled a 10 AM CT news conference on Thursday at Halas Hall to introduce Trestman as head coach:
#Bears will hold a press conference on Thurs., Jan. 17 at 10:00 A.M. CT in the Mugs Halas Auditorium to announce Trestman as head coach.
— Adam Oestmann (@adamspeaks) January 16, 2013
As I wrote on Monday night, Trestman had emerged as the "heavy favorite" for the job, so the the hiring is hardly a surprise (and that's even if you put aside Johnson's tweet).
Trestman was one of the three reported finalists for the job, along with Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. The three candidates were to go through a second interview earlier in the week with general manager Phil Emery, president Ted Phillips, and chairman George McCaskey. Phillips and McCaskey were not present for the first interviews each candidate had.
Trestman, who actually turned 57 on Tuesday (not a bad birthday, right?), is known for his offensive mind, and especially known for his work with quarterbacks:
He was Bernie Kosar's quarterback for the 1983 national champion Miami Hurricanes.
He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 and 1996, and the 49ers led the NFL in points scored and passing yards in the '95 season.
He was the Raiders' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during Rich Gannon's 2002 NFL MVP season in which the Raiders made the Super Bowl.
He made Scott Mitchell look like a competent quarterback while quarterbacks coach with the Lions in 1995.
He helped Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals win their first playoff game in 51 years while offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 1998.
He's also worked as a quarterbacks coach for prospects entering the NFL Draft, including one Jay Cutler.
And certainly, one of the main things Emery had in mind with this hire: getting the most out of Cutler and his tremendous talent. Here's what Gannon, currently an NFL television and radio analyst, had to say in regards to Trestman as a coach, and with Cutler in mind:
“One thing about him that is a strength is his ability to listen,” Gannon said. “He takes feedback. Marc has always been the type of guy who can sit down with you and talk about things. What do you like about this? What don’t you like? His feedback is excellent. And he has an ability to be honest with you. Somebody needs to be honest with Jay Cutler.”Source: Chicago Tribune
Trestman has been away from the NFL for eight years, but served as head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes for the last five years. With the Alouettes, Trestman put together a 64-34 record over five seasons, and won back-to-back Grey Cup championships. Simply put- he's been tremendously successful up north.
Now, obviously people will have concerns about the transition from the CFL to NFL, and many of the meatballs out there will just make lazy, uneducated complaints simply referring to Trestman as a CFL coach. But Trestman has 17 years of NFL coaching experience, and it seems the main reason he never got a chance to be a head coach in the NFL wasn't because didn't have the resume or football knowledge, but because people were unsure if he'd be able to handle and lead an NFL team. What he did with the Alouettes has greatly cooled much of that doubt. Many, many people have come forward saying he's now ready to be an NFL coach.
Anyway, as I write this, it's past 4:30 freaking AM my time (mountain) and I need to get some sleep. I just wanted to make sure to have a post up about this obviously huge news that broke late on Tuesday night.
I'll have much more on Trestman, and potentially corresponding moves to the coaching staff (for example: will Rod Marinelli be kept to be defensive coordinator?), so stay tuned.
UPDATE: The press conference to introduce Marc Trestman as the head coach of the Bears has been moved from 10 AM CT to 11 AM CT on Thursday. So, one hour back. Maybe that's the Bears' way of saying, "Sorry you got little sleep on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning because of us. Here's an extra hour."
Tomorrow's press conference introducing Marc Trestman as the #Bears' head coach has been moved to 11am CT. Watch here: chicagobears.com/live.html
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 16, 2013
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