Chicago Fire: The Marc Trestman dynasty begins!
By Shawn Gallagher – DFW Writer
Optimism is high in Chicago for the 2013 version of the Bears, as brand new Head Coach Marc Trestman brings a new attitude to the team! A Bears offense that was already highly talented and skilled is now paired with a real Offensive guru as their new coach! Trestman was recently a Championship winning Head Coach in the Canadian Football League, leading the Montreal Alouettes to 2 Grey Cup titles in 5 years. NFL fans are also probably familiar with Trestman, as he has a very long resume of working in the NFL as an Offensive Coordinator and Position Coach for many years, dating all the way back to the 1980’s. In this article here, we will attempt to figure out how Chicago Bears players will be impacted by the Marc Trestman hiring, and how dynasty owners of these Bears players should also share in the optimism that Bears fans have thanks to Marc Trestman. Here is a brief video of the Bears introduction of Marc Trestman, and the beginning of a new era in Chicago.
The Marc Trestman Bio
Marc Trestman’s football career started many years ago, as he was a former college quarterback for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the late 1970’s. When it was determined that Trestman wasn’t going to become an NFL Quarterback, he decided to pursue a law degree, and became a volunteer coach at the University of Miami. After a few years of service, Trestman was promoted to Quarterbacks Coach of the Miami Hurricanes in the year 1983. Success followed upon this promotion as the pairing of Trestman and Quarterback Bernie Kosar helped lead Miami to a National Championship, and Kosar passed for several school records while ultimately becoming a Heisman finalist! The success shared by Kosar and Trestman at Miami would not end up being the only success that the two share together during their careers.
Next Stop: The NFL
Trestman’s success at Miami helped bring him to the NFL as a coach a few years later in the mid 1980’s. After a couple of brief assistant coaching jobs with the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bucs, Trestman would find himself reunited with quarterback Bernie Kosar in 1988 with the Cleveland Browns. Success came once again for both Trestman and Kosar as the Browns went to the AFC Championship game, and Kosar was one of the top passers in the NFL during this time. Various disagreements with Browns Head Coach Bud Carson ultimately led to Trestman leaving the Browns, but his reputation as an innovative offensive mind was now well known in NFL circles. Here’s a picture of Trestman as Offensive coordinator of the Browns back in the late 1980′s:
Later on the mid 1990’s Trestman resurfaced as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Trestman and starting quarterback Steve Young led the 49ers to league highs in passing yards and points scored during his time there in 1995 and 1996. Trestman’s once again had led the league in several offensive categories, and success was achieved with another quarterback. Trestman’s remarkable trend continued later on in 1997 as quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, where quarterback Scott Mitchell had a career passing year, and later on in 1998 with the Arizona Cardinals as then quarterback Jake Plummer had a career year under Trestman and the team made the playoffs for the first time in quite awhile. Multiple coaching stints followed for Trestman, most notably in 2001 and 2002 when Trestman was Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach for the Oakland Raiders, a time in which Oakland Quarterback Rich Gannon became NFL MVP, led the Raiders to a Super Bowl appearance, and led the NFL in several passing and offensive categories. Other stops with the Miami Dolphins in 2004 and North Carolina State in 2005 gave Trestman a rather decorated coaching portfolio, but it wasn’t until 2007 that he’d actually become a Head Coach somewhere.
Marc Trestman eventually was able to score his first Head Coaching job in the year 2007, in the Canadian Football League. Trestman coached the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL for 5 years through the 2012 season, and quickly became one of the greatest coaches in the history of the Canadian Football League. In 5 seasons as Head Coach of the Montreal Alouettes, Trestman compiled a 59-31 record and made the playoffs each season. It was during this 5 year time that Trestman’s Alouettes won 4 division titles and 2 Grey Cup Championships. Much like the rest of his coaching stops, a quarterback had great success under Marc Trestman, and in this case it came from little known quarterback (in the U.S.) named Anthony Calvillo. The Montreal combo of Trestman and Calvillo turned out to be a great match, as Calvillo shattered many passing records in the CFL, won multiple MVP awards, Grey Cups, and ultimately became the all time leading passing yards leader in professional football history!!! Here are a couple of highlight videos of Montreal Alouettes football under Marc Trestman, the first shows highlight of Montreal’s Grey Cup win over in 2010, and the 2nd video highlights a 2012 game where Montreal had a real offensive explosion in a victory over Calgary.
2010 Grey Cup – Montreal vs. Saskatchewan
2012 – Montreal vs. Calgary
Concerns about Trestman??
After seeing Marc Trestman’s long resume, which included quite a few stops on different teams and in multiple leagues, one may wonder why the guy never stayed in one place too long, or never received a Head Coaching job until recently. My feeling on this is that professional football has so many regime and coaching changes, that it is quite possible that a coach like Trestman to bounce around between different teams without settling somewhere. Coaches and General Managers change much more frequently nowadays, and it could be easy for teams to overlook someone like Trestman who is now older and may not be fresh, or the “next big thing” like many of these younger coaches may appear to be to NFL franchises. Certain Head Coaches also may have felt threatened by having Trestman on their staff, as he always seemed to be a popular head coach in waiting wherever he went. The success in Montreal really helped to ease many concerns about Trestman, as he achieved great success as a head coach in professional football, not quite the NFL, but close. Many former NFL star coaches and players spent time working or playing in the CFL, so it isn’t like the CFL is terribly far behind the NFL as far as talent goes. Bears fans still are Bears fans however, and as you can see in this cartoon, it will still take some work to convince some fans about the hiring of Marc Trestman. J
2013: Chicago Bears
Despite a 10 win season in 2012 and an overall winning record with the team, The Bears fired Head Coach Lovie Smith after the 2012. Concerns over the offensive direction of the team seemed to play a large part in the firing of Smith and eventual hiring of Trestman, as the Bears finished rather low in NFL ranking in most offensive categories during this season. With a roster that included offensive impact players like Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall, a low offensive ranking and missed playoff appearance became too much for Lovie Smith and his staff to survive . The pressure immediately goes on Marc Trestman, as expectations are high for Trestman to bring the Bears back to the playoffs and contend right away. Here is a quick look at how I see the dynasty values of key Bears players changing under new head coach Marc Trestman.
Quarterback – Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler has frustrated many Bears fans and dynasty owners throughout the years, as most seasons he’s seemed to fall below expectations, while there seems to be quite a bit of potential in Cutler and his arm. Trestman has immediately stressed greater pass protection for Cutler , and the team has upgraded the offensive line in several positions. Cutler finished in the bottom half of the league in several passing categories last season, and a lack of pass protection can certainly be blamed for some of his struggles. Trestman’s remarkable track record working with quarterbacks at many different levels has me very excited about Cutler’s potential as a dynasty fantasy quarterback. I’d expect Cutler to improve in many areas, and move closer to the QB1 status that he was earlier in his career. Considering how many quarterbacks that Trestman has gotten career years out of, the odds are good that Cutler will join that group. Buy low on Cutler and don’t be surprised if you see him as a QB1 once again.
Running back – Matt Forte
Matt Forte owners have to be very optimistic about Marc Trestman, as we keeping hearing Trestman praise Matt Forte as being the featured back, but in addition Trestman keeps talking about how Forte should expect an increase in receptions this coming season. Trestman has stressed how Forte could be seeing a lot of short, high percentage passes, and he could threaten his career high in catches this coming season, which was 63 catches back in 2008. While Michael Bush is still a threat for goal line carries at times, Forte owners should still be very happy with his increases presence in the passing game and increased receptions. At the age of 27, dynasty owners could still expect a few RB1 or high end RB2 caliber seasons from Matt Forte.
Wide Receivers – Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Tight End Martellus Bennett
Brandon Marshall has remained an absolute stud, top-tier receiver, even when his team’s total offense has been down. Optimism should remain high that Marshall maintains his WR1 status during the Trestman era, as Jay Cutler has always had a great connection with Marshall throughout their years in Chicago and Denver. One big thing to watch for this coming season is the development of 2nd year Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery had a rough rookie season in Chicago, as he battled injuries and concerns over his conditioning, but seems to have a much better outlook going into the 2013 season. Conditioning and injury issues seem to be behind him, and Brandon Marshall has started to serve as a nice mentor for Jeffery, as he matures. Jeffery is expected to start at WR2 for the Bears this season, and appears to be ready for a breakout in this pass-happy offense. Finally, new Tight end Martellus Bennett signed a 4 year deal this offseason with Chicago, and hopes to build on a career year last season in New York. Trestman has talked about stretching the field vertically with Martellus Bennett, hoping to create mismatches, and become another top receiving threat. The Bears will give Bennett every chance to succeed and become a top –tier receiving option in this offense.
Looking at the different trend s we’ve seen from Marc Trestman’s coaching career leaves a great sense of optimism about his offense in Chicago. Trestman coached teams have a reputation of scoring a lot of points, totaling a lot of yards, and especially doing well in the passing category. With playmakers like Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and others already in place, Trestman should have no trouble improving their numbers on a disappointing 2012 campaign. I’d suggest that any dynasty owners buying these core Bears players will be rewarded for their investment as the thought of this Chicago offense realizing its potential could make Bears fans and dynasty owners very happy. In Marc Trestman we Trust!!