As last season spiraled down from its 7-1 start into a series of disappointing losses, communications in and around the offense reached a point where backup quarterback Josh McCown was pressed into the role of liaison between quarterback Jay Cutler and then-coordinator Mike Tice, a source told CSNChicago.com.
Tice is gone, and whether he or Cutler was the source of the scratchiness doesn’t really seem to matter as the pre-training-camp portion of the offseason enters its final days. At least in the early going, even as players work at assimilating a new offense and making good first impressions on coaches, the sun is shining at Halas Hall again.
“I was just talking to McCown this morning and one of the things we said is it’s so cool to come to work where it’s not one of those things where it’s dreadful,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said this week.
“And it’s not just coach [Marc] Trestman and the new guys here. It’s just the organization, period. When you could come in and just do what you’re supposed to do and you don’t have to worry about all of the other fluff and the business side of things, it’s cool.”
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It was cool last offseason when Jeremy Bates was brought in as quarterbacks coach, having worked with Cutler and Marshall in Denver. And cool with Cutler when the Mike Martz tenure began. A key to the franchise future, short-term and even longer-term, is achieving a more lasting “cool.”
Marshall is convinced that will be the case.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “I’ve never been around better coaches. Lovie [Smith]: amazing coach, amazing man. Coach [Mike] Shanahan: amazing coach, one of the gurus of the game. Josh McDaniels: One of the gurus on offense. But what we have here in coach Kromer and coach Trestman, their leadership on offense is amazing. I’ve never been around it.”