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Bears Get Their Man In Trestman

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 16, 2013 2:30PM

Marc Trestman (Photo via Trestman's website)
While you were sleeping the Chicago Bears settled on hiring Marc Trestman as their new head coach. The Tribune's Brad Biggs broke the news overnight and the Bears made it official with a press release shortly after 4 a.m. A news conference has been set up for 10 a.m. Thursday to introduce Trestman. So Jimmy Johnson was right after all.

Trestman led the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes to a 59-31 record and two Grey Cups in five years as head coach, but he earned his NFL stripes as an assistant coach and quarterback guru. Under Trestman, quarterbacks such as Steve Young, Rich Gannon and Jake Plummer had their best seasons. He also helped quarterbacks such as Jason Campbell, Tim Tebow (okay, maybe not Tebow) and Jay Cutler prepare for the NFL Draft. Bears GM Phil Emery clearly hopes Cutler can realize his full potential under Trestman.

Already the phone lines for both local sports talk radio stations have been filled by Bears fans either praising the decision as out of the box thinking or blasting the decision, based on Trestman's CFL experience on his resume and the fact he hasn't coached in the NFL in eight years. He wouldn't be the first CFL coach to make the jump. Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant and Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy crafted Hall of Fame careers—they both came to the NFL from the CFL.

So sober up, meatheads, and stow the criticisms of Trestman until OTAs, at least. Besides, Trestman has to hit the ground running and start making some tough decisions, like which of Lovie Smith's coaching staff he plans to keep. In particular, the spotlight is on defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who would seem like an ideal coach to keep, given his experience with Smith's version of the Tampa 2 defense. Emery said during the press conference where he announced Smith's firing that the Bears don't have the personnel on the defensive side of the ball to move to the 3-4 defensive scheme currently popular in the league.