Trestman Says Getting Cutler Right Is Job One.............
New Bears coach Marc Trestman: QB Jay Cutler is Job One
Posted: 02/05/2013 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated: 02/05/2013 12:15:31 AM CST
http://extras.mnginteractive.com/liv...estman_400.jpgChicago Bears NFL football team new head coach Marc Trestman poses in the lobby of Halas Hall after being introduced as the teams new head coach during a press conference Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Lake Forest, Ill. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)
Marc Trestman, the Chicago Bears' new coach, grew up in St. Louis Park and played football at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Moorhead before becoming a coaching nomad who specialized in working with quarterbacks.
After starting out as an assistant at the University of Miami, where he tutored Bernie Kosar during a national championship run, Trestman had two stints with the Vikings and coached with eight NFL teams. Through it all, he always wanted to become a head coach in Minnesota and was interested when both the Vikings and Gophers had openings.
It never worked out here so he went to the Canadian Football League in 2008. In five seasons with the Montreal Alouettes he won two Grey Cup titles -- the CFL's version of the Super Bowl -- and caught the attention of NFL owners. The Bears, in need of a coach who could coax better results out of quarterback Jay Cutler, hired Trestman last month.
I talked with Trestman on Monday, Feb. 4, about his new job and about the game he ultimately would like to win -- the Super Bowl.
BS: What were your impressions of the Super Bowl?
MT: I thought it was a fantastic game. Sometimes, the way you start games can affect the whole game. The 49ers had a penalty. They had a delay. But I thought it was a great game -- a very interesting game from the fake field goal right up to the end of the game.
BS: You coached with the Cleveland Browns (1988-89) before they moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens quarterback coach and you were the offensive coordinator with the 49ers (1995-96). Were you pulling for either team?
MT: I really respect both coaches, but I worked with Jim (Harbaugh) in Oakland (with the Raiders) and we stayed pretty close over the years. I was pulling for them, I guess. Jim was the quality control coach and he became quarterbacks coach in 2003. We worked together two years there.
BS: Do you watch the game as a coach or a fan?
MT: I think you always have the coach part in you -- what they're doing strategically. You subconsciously ask yourself questions. I was there with family, hanging out and watching the game.
BS: Ever find yourself saying, while watching a game you're not involved in, "What the heck did you make that call for?"
MT: Probably not. I know a lot goes into making that call.
BS: Were you wondering if becoming an NFL head coach was going to happen?
MT: Once I got to Montreal, I focused on being the best coach I could be and serving the players. I think there were quiet times I thought about it.
BS: Is it exciting to take over a 10-6 team or is there additional pressure to improve on that?
MT: You always want to improve each and every year. I went through a similar situation in Montreal. There was a good owner and general manager and good players. It's very similar here. I'm very excited about it. I'm not thinking about what happens not going right. I'm excited. A lot of good things are in place. It's a very supportive environment.
BS: As you look at the team you're taking over, are there many pieces missing to be in position to make a Super Bowl run?
MT: I think it's too early for me to say that. We're just in the process of getting the coaching staff to examine our team from inside out. We're in the evaluation process of our coaches getting to know players and communicating with them.
BS: Will you have a great deal of impact on drafting players?
MT: I won't be in charge of personnel. That's (Bears general manager) Phil Emery's job. But I will be with him every day in meetings and at the draft combine.
BS: Are you excited to have Cutler and (wide receiver) Brandon Marshall to build an offense around?
MT: Just looking at tape, there's a nucleus for a very good football team.
BS: Did you know Cutler before taking the job?
MT: I spent a couple of days with Jay coming out of Vanderbilt. We had some meeting time and played a little catch. That was about it. I spent about 90 minutes with him during the interview process and enjoyed the time. I can say this: "I'm very excited about the opportunity to get to know Jay better and create resources for him to excel. It's undeniable the talent is there. We'll work with him and help him grow."
BS: You're not exactly joining the easiest division in football. The NFC North can be highly competitive.
MT: No doubt about it. The whole league is tough. You can probably go through every division and say the same thing. (Vikings coach) Leslie Frazier did a wonderful job bringing the team around. Certainly, (quarterback Christian) Ponder is going to improve. There are four teams with the ability play at a high level. It's going to be challenging and terribly exciting.