Alouettes GM confident Bears made right choice with Trestman

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Alouettes GM confident Bears made right choice with Trestman

Marc Trestman's former boss has no doubts the Bears found the best candidate possible.

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp joined the Jarrett Payton show on Wednesday to discuss the Bears' hire and how Trestman's performance as the head coach of the CFL team prepared him for his new position in Chicago.

"What you have with Marc Trestman is a very good human being who wants to see everyone do well. He's about working hard and he's about preparation," Popp said. "He's going to be a gentleman that will get your attention, be a friend to the veterans and get the most out of them. He prepares for a game like he's going into a courtroom. He leaves nothing unturned and he's going to coach the hell out of the players."

The main focus of those preparations will be centered around quarterback Jay Cutler. Trestman's offensive mindset differs from the way Lovie Smith coached the team, and Bears general manager Phil Emery felt Trestman's system is what the Bears need in order to achieve their goals next season and well into the future.

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"He will take Jay Cutler and he will get the best out of him, but the entire system will be built around Cutler," Popp explained. "There are some great quarterbacks that can do great things athletically, and what I do know is the Bears have a quarterback in the pocket to make all the throws. Jay's capable of that. Marc will devise something for Jay and they'll be successful in the offensive end."

That plan was music to Emery's ears, as the Bears GM was said to have executed a highly-detailed interview process to fill the team's head coaching position. Up until Trestman was offered the job, Popp played a major role in his former coach's interview process.

"I was contacted by the Bears up until last night," Popp explained. "We had very extensive talks. I think one of the things the Bears can say they did was throughout background investigations and I think Phil Emery will be the first to tell you Marc was well-prepared and well-organized for this job and probably is more experienced than others he interviewed for the job."

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee

6'3" | 259 lbs.

2016 stats:

56 tackles, 19 TFL, 13 sacks, INT, 5 PD, 2 FF

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."