“Where did this guy come from?” Trestman sparks curiosity

After Marc Trestman was introduced as the new head coach of the Chicago Bears, the question many fans understandably asked was, “Who is this guy?” A football-crazed town like Chicago is accustomed to big names and top-flight experience, and at first glance, Trestman has neither.

Trestman isn’t your typical candidate for an NFL head coaching gig. He bounced around the league as a coordinator in the mid-1980s and into the 1990s, but spent the last five years as a head coach for the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League.

His recent pedigree as a coach in another country has failed to impress a large portion of the fan base, much of which was expecting a candidate with name value and a battle-tested NFL resume.

“I wasn’t necessarily expecting someone well-known, but definitely someone in the NFL or at least from college football,” said DePaul freshman Tony Cruz. Undoubtedly, a lot of Bears fans were expecting something similar, especially after a year in which Chicago became the first team since the 1996 Washington Redskins to start a season 7-1 and fail to make the playoffs.

But fans that did their research realize that Trestman might actually be the perfect man for the job. First of all, he wasn’t a pushover in Canada – he led the Alouettes to two consecutive Grey Cup championships and was CFL Coach of the Year in 2009.

In addition, Trestman made a name for himself in the NFL early in his coaching career as someone who could get the most out of his quarterback. In his 17 years as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, he worked with stars under center like Bernie Kosar, Steve Young, Jake Plummer and Rich Gannon. In Chicago, Jay Cutler is the player under the biggest spotlight, and Trestman might be the cure for what ails the Bears’ talented but wildly inconsistent signal caller.

“I know he’s a good offensive-minded coach. I think he’s the right fit, because we need a guy like that,” said DePaul freshman Joey Diaz. “The offense has really stunk for the last couple of years, so I’m hoping he can help Cutler and fix whatever is wrong.”

If there’s been one constant for the Bears over the last nine seasons, it’s the lack of consistent offensive success. No one doubted Lovie Smith’s ability to coach defense – the Bears forced the most turnovers in the NFL during his tenure and typically finished in the top half of the league in yards allowed per game. But on offense, the Bears were dreadful for pretty much the entire time Smith paced the sidelines. From 2004 to 2012, the Bears’ offense ranked, respectively, 32nd, 29th, 15th, 27th, 26th, 23rd, 30th, 24th, and 28th in the league. It was an issue that simply never got better over time.

That’s why fans should be excited about Trestman. He’s a proven coaching mastermind who could finally solve the riddle of the Bears’ perpetually mediocre offense. In addition, Trestman seems to have taken his role in stride, showing up to his interview with a calendar that laid out the foundation for how the Bears could have a championship parade in 2013.

“I read that he had a whole detailed calendar set up, showing how he could take them to the Super Bowl next year,” said DePaul junior Stephanie Arroyo. “I just hope everything goes as well as planned and he and Cutler can work together to make the team better overall. Hopefully, we can see some results sooner rather than later.”

Cruz remains hopeful as well.

“I didn’t know who the guy was when they hired him,” said Cruz. “But I hope he can make it all better.”

Regardless of what people think about Trestman, the fact is that he’s probably the best man for the job. A fan base starved for success must now wait and see if this rookie head coach can finally bring another championship to the Second City.