Chicago Bears

Trestman should be a serious candidate for Bears

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Trestman should be a serious candidate for Bears

The coaching career of Marc Trestman deserves a look from Phil Emery because its littered with success. Born just north in the land of 10,000 lakes, Trestman has served as head coach of the CFLs Montreal Alouettes the last five seasons while taking part in the cottage industry of preparing quarterbacks for the NFL Draft.

He taps into his great understanding of the position as Trestman played quarterback for the University of Minnesota Gophers before transferring his senior year to Minnesota State University Moorhead.

MOON: Thoughts on Dennison, Trestman and why no Lovie?

Timing more than anything else, has been Trestmans biggest nemesis in the NFL, not his ability to coach. Everywhere Trestman has been hired to correct offensive issues, the head coach was fired. Through his travels, Trestman has tutored some of the NFLs greatest quarterbacks like Bernie Kozar, Steve Young and Rich Gannon.

Trestman even brought productivity to average quarterbacks like the Lions' Scott Mitchell who threw for 3,500 yards under Trestmans guidance or rookie quarterbacks like Arizona Cardinals' Jake Plummer, who burst onto the scene under Trestman.

For good measure, Treastman was so fed up with the NFL he went to Canada to finally call his own shots as head coach of the Montreal Allouettes, who have three Grey Cup Championship appearances in Treastmans five seasons.

Treastmans Allouettes have won two of those three Grey Cup Championships plus his quarterback Anthony Calvillo won back to back CFL MVP awards during the process.

Many who do not know, will downplay the CFL claiming it is not NFL caliber. Its simply not true because at the end of the day, its still football. Six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian spent time in the CFL winning Grey Cups also.

If anything, it improves Trestmans resume, as he is a championship head coach who can build a team while being heavily involved in the decision making process of a winning organization. Furthermore, for Trestman to adapt to the CFL style of play under a different set of rules is impressive.

These are all strengths for Trestman, not weaknesses. Plus two of Trestmans pre-draft protoges were on the Bears' roster at the end of the season. Both Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell utilized Trestman during pre-draft workouts before both were selected in the first round of the annual NFL Draft.

Lastly, I talked with one of Trestmans former quarterbacks, Gannon, who spent two stints with Trestman during his NFL career. One stop was in Minnesota, where Gannon spent two years with Trestman stating, "It was young in Trestmans career where he did not have the ability to be more hands on. He couldnt call the shots."

The other stop was in Oakland, where Gannon went on to win the NFL MVP award while the Raiders marched to a Super Bowl appearance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trestman was seasoned at this point in his coaching career from all of his prior coaching stops. Gannons analysis of Treastman was glowing when he said, He was smart, innovative, quarterback friendly and pass protection-conscious.

In summation, Treastman is a serious contender to be the Bears' next head coach. Gannons last statement alone will perk up many Bears fans, when pass protection is mentioned as a priority.

Treastman is an quality coach who should be coaching in the NFL, but as many know, timing is everything and it has not been in Treastmans favor. He has worked well with every quarterback hes coached and productivity has followed.

Lastly, Treastman may even be able to work his own contract as hes been a member of the Florida Bar since 1983 when he graduated from the Miami School of Law while coaching Bernie Kozar and the Hurricanes to the National Championship.

Can Markus Wheaton fix what ails the Bears’ offense?

Can Markus Wheaton fix what ails the Bears’ offense?

Markus Wheaton was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and wasn’t on the Bears’ injury report Thursday, signaling that the 5-foot-11, 189 pound speedster will make his Bears debut Sunday against his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s not the solution for the Bears’ offense, but he could be part of it. 

For an offense that’s woefully lacked someone who can reliably stretch the field, Wheaton can at least provide the threat of going deep. Two years ago, while with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wheaton averaged 17 yards per reception. Mike Glennon’s longest completion this year went for 22 yards. 

“It definitely adds another dimension,” Glennon said. “It’ll be great having Markus back.”

But Wheaton only played in three games last season (four catches, 51 yards) and, at his best, averaged 48 catches, 696 yards and four touchdowns a year from 2014-2015. Is it fair to expect Wheaton to be a big part of the Bears' offensive solution given he hasn't played much recently, and was limited to only a handful of reps in training camp and preseason practices due to a pair of freak ailments?

Maybe not, but with the Bears 0-2, he's the best hope they have at a skill position. 

Wheaton needed an emergency appendectomy the first weekend the Bears were in Bourbonnais — “I thought I had to poop,” Wheaton said, maybe providing too much information, before realizing the excruiating pain in which he was in was something worse. Shortly after returning to the practice fields at Olivet Nazarene University, Wheaton fractured his pinkie finger in gruesome fashion (he said the bone was sticking out) when he was awkwardly grabbed while trying to catch a pass. 

That Wheaton broke a finger wasn’t only significant for his ability to catch passes. Consider what his former quarterback — Ben Roethlisberger — had to say about what makes Wheaton an effective deep threat:

“He’s got a very good ability of using his hands,” Roethlisberger said. “When you’re trying to stretch the field, you’ve gotta have some little techniques to help you get open because DBs can run as much as receivers can. So you gotta be able to use your hands to swim, kinda, get some swiping, get the hands off, I thought that he really had some good technique when it came to the deep ball and getting away from DBs.”

Roethlisberger and Wheaton shared a good rapport in Pittsburgh, with the quarterback clearly communicating to the receiver what he expected timing-wise in his routes. It’s been a challenge to develop something similar with Glennon given the lack of practice time, but Wheaton said putting in extra work after practice has helped. 

If Wheaton and Glennon can get on the same page, perhaps that can lead to at least some deep ball attempts. The Bears have to find a way to prevent opposing defenses from stacking the box and focusing on stopping Jordan Howard, who only has 59 yards on 22 carries this year. 

“We're going to face overpopulated boxes, we know that,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “There's going to be seven, eight guys in the box every time and we have to execute better and it comes down to that.”

According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, only three of Glennon’s 85 pass attempts have traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The only completion of those was Sunday’s garbage-time touchdown to Deonte Thompson, which was caught near the back of the end zone. 

The threat of Wheaton going deep won’t be enough, though. Glennon still has prove he can complete those deep balls — the last time he completed a pass of 25 or more yards was on Nov. 2, 2014 (though he’s only attempted 96 passes since that date). 

But Wheaton feels ready to go and is confident he can do his job — which, in turn, could, in a best-case scenario, help his other 10 teammates on offense do their jobs, too. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” Wheaton said. “I’m excited and hopefully this is the week.”

Kris Bryant is all aboard the Mitch Trubisky bandwagon

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AP

Kris Bryant is all aboard the Mitch Trubisky bandwagon

Count Kris Bryant among the Chicagoans who are calling for Mitch Trubisky to start at quarterback for the Bears.

OK, that may be a bit extreme as Bryant simply said he would supporting giving Trubisky a "shot", but still:

After a rough game for incumbent starting QB Mike Glennon last week, most of Chicago has been clamoring for the No. 2 overall pick to get some snaps under center.

Why wouldn't the crown prince of Chicago baseball get in on the noise?