Jay Cutler spent time with Marc Trestman when the quarterback was preparing for the 2006 NFL Combine. Now he will be working with Trestman preparing for something considerably more important.
Trestman was selected to become the 14th head coach of the Bears, a decision in no small part based on Trestmans demonstrated ability to work with quarterbacks. Rich Gannon became the NFLs Most Valuable Player in 2002 while working with Trestman, then the offensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.
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More important, with GM Phil Emery stating as his first stipulation that the new coach must have a record of excellence in whatever role he worked, Trestman has 17 years of experience as an NFL assistant. In those years his teams have gone to postseasons eight times.
That record, plus two Grey Cup championships in five years as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, was built on successful offense. Alouette quarterback Anthony Calvillo was Canadian Football League MVP in 2009 and 2010.
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Emery did not specify offensive excellence as a job requirement but the failures on that side of the ball are why Lovie Smith is no longer in the corner office at Halas Hall.
On the clock
The Trestman hire puts Cutler squarely on the clock. It puts Emery there as well, as the defining move of his young tenure. General managers rarely hire second head coaches. And the Bears now have a head coach and general manager hired on the watch of chairman George McCaskey.
This marks the first time since George Halas re-hired himself that the Bears have hired a head coach who has been a head coach. Not in the NFL in this case, but Bud Grant and Marv Levy were CFL head coaches before coming to the NFL and their Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills, respectively, went to multiple Super Bowls.
That also was a stipulation of Emerys: championships (plural). That clock is now ticking.