Trestman's task: Succeed with Cutler where others have failed

Bears QB now has authority figure he must embrace or career consequences could be dire

  • Pin It

(Part 2/2) Chicago Tribune sports editor Mike Kellams discussed the Bears' hiring of Marc Trestman as new head coach with Vaughn McClure, Steve Rosenbloom, and Matt Bowen on Thursday, January 17, 2013.

Sitting there listening to Marc Trestman elucidate at his introductory news conference at Halas Hall, the vision appeared.

Jay Cutler, career year in 2013.

Yes, I saw it. Of that I am certain.

OK, so I've seen purple elephants before. Trestman wasn't coaching those elephants.

This is what Trestman is going to do.

He is going to break down Cutler, take him back to the beginning. Strip all the layers of paint. Sandpaper away the roughness.

Then he is going to build him back up again, one fundamental at a time.

On the first day of training camp, this former quarterback will tell Cutler, "This is a football."

At some point, he also presumably will explain to him what a back-foot throw is.

"The fundamentals and techniques are the most important thing to help our team win," Trestman said. "The quarterback has a big job. He has to protect the ball. He has to live for the next play. He does it a number of different ways. At the snap, in the running game, in the confines of the pocket, locating the ball and outside the pocket."

To most people in this town, that sounds better than "Bear Down, Chicago Bears" after a touchdown bomb.

We've seen this approach with Cutler before. It was taken by Mike Martz, another outstanding quarterbacks coach and offensive mind. Trestman reminds me of him in some ways.

But there are some differences. Trestman is more flexible in his approach. And he is more likely to demand that his protections make his quarterbacks look good as opposed to vice versa.

From where we sit now, we can say Martz and Cutler never were a good match. Martz's system calls for his quarterback get rid of the ball quickly and on time and that he do precisely what the play sent in from the sideline calls for him to do.

That's not Cutler. Or at least it has not been Cutler.

Trestman probably cannot make Cutler something he never has been, but he can minimize his weaknesses and accentuate his strengths.

He can do that by getting in his grill and staying there. Trestman will be hands on. He talked about going "hip-to-hip" with the quarterback and called the coach-quarterback relationship "the No. 1 marriage in all of sports."

Even Cindy Trestman, his beaming better half, could not object from her seat in the first row.

Ostensibly, Trestman is the new head coach/offensive coordinator/play caller/quarterbacks coach of the Bears. Too much on his plate?

It wasn't too much for Mike McCarthy. Or Sean Payton. Or Jon Gruden. Or Mike Holmgren. Or Mike Shanahan. Or Bill Walsh.

  • Pin It