His team has bought into the plans, ideas and most of the little things Marc Trestman has implemented to change not only the offense of the Bears but also some of the culture.
But this has all been offseason and preseason, and now Trestman has to do some proving at a whole different level.
“I know I’m very curious to see how once the season starts how he reacts when the pressure gets going and the bullets start flying,” said cornerback Tim Jennings. “Everything’s starting to be real. So I’m real curious to see how he can manage the offense and manage the whole team as well.
“We all bought into the system. We believe in him, and so we’re just excited to get this thing going.”
“This thing” will get going in earnest around noon on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, arguably the best team on the Bears’ 2013 schedule, with apologies to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers or the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens.
Trestman as an NFL head coach is an unknown. Doubters have pointed to his never having gotten a head-coaching job despite an impressive body of work as an offensive coordinator, which is a ticket to the next level for most.
Whether Trestman ultimately is overwhelmed by the moment, only Sunday will begin to reveal. And the magnitude of the moment isn’t lost on him.
“I plan on taking a deep breath and taking a moment to appreciate what's going to happen on Sunday but not during the game,” Trestman said. “We'll be focused on doing our job, but it will be a very appreciative moment sometime on Sunday, but it will be a focused time in the best interests of the team obviously.”
His quarterback is an unknown, in another system and with his fifth offensive coordinator in the last six years, including Denver.
His offensive line is an unknown, with four new starters from last year and two of those being rookies.
His tight ends are unknowns, with the first two on the depth chart playing their own first games as Bears.
The head coach has never been an NFL head coach before. The offensive coordinator (Aaron Kromer) has never been an offensive coordinator before. Indeed, the offensive coordinator has more NFL head-coaching experience than Trestman, having served as interim head coach for six games last season with the New Orleans Saints.
“I think there’s so much unknown,” Trestman acknowledged. “You know there’s unknown in our offense; there’s unknown in terms of where we are with our offensive line. Where we really are? You know we’ll find out on Sunday.
“On Sunday, we’ll get a good base on Sunday, and I’ve said it a long time ago: We’ve shown signs that we can be a very good offense. Certainly we want to taper our thoughts because we know we haven’t done it on a seasonal game, and I think we’ll find out a lot more on Sunday.”
About the offense. And about Trestman himself.