AL HAMNIK: BEEP! BEEP! Step aside for Bears' coach Marc Trestman

2013-07-26T19:30:00Z 2013-07-27T15:01:04Z AL HAMNIK: BEEP! BEEP! Step aside for Bears' coach Marc TrestmanAl Hamnik Times Columnist
July 26, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

BOURBONNAIS | Former coach Lovie Smith was the wooden Indian on the Bears sideline, arms folded and staring into space.

Occasionally, a pigeon would land on his cap.

New coach Marc Trestman is the Road Runner by comparison. BEEP! BEEP! Step aside.

Trestman probably changes position every 30 seconds when he sleeps at night.

He was cruising around the practice fields at Olivet Nazarene University on Friday morning as the Bears opened training camp. He traded high-fives with his receivers, slapped linemen on the backside, conferred with assistants, advised his quarterbacks and yelled encouragement to the rookies.

Simply put, Marc Trestman coached.

What he saw, albeit no tackling, was newly-acquired tight end Martellus Bennett, receivers Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Joe Anderson and Earl Bennett snag bullets from Jay Cutler, while a much improved offensive line actually blocked and protected.

Devin Hester chased down and hauled in Adam Podlesh's booming punts almost effortlessly. Backup QB Matt Blanchard showed plenty of heat and accuracy on his throws, while the secondary went for the pick as if this were a playoff game.

"We spread the ball around to our guys and got off to a good start (offensively)," Trestman said. "I thought Jay was extremely sharp throughout the middle portions of practice."

Cutler's first pass of the camp was picked off by Chris Conte, and the defense nearly carried him off the field.

"Special teams was locked in," Trestman said.

Cutler didn't speak to media after practice. He is only available July 31, Aug. 6 and Aug. 13. It's like trying to see the doctor when his calendar is full.

"As I told the defense, two turnovers and a stripped ball will win games," Trestman said. "I told the offense we played very well throughout most of the practice but those pre-snap penalties and turnovers will hurt us."

Trestman won't knock you backwards with his quotes or double you up with laughter, but you have to admire and welcome his child-like enthusiasm.

"This is Day 1, and there's a competition going on," he said of first-round draft pick Kyle Long and James Brown at the right guard position. "It's going to play itself out."

We learned Hester is not No. 1 on the depth chart for kick returns, with that honor going to Eric Weems at the moment.

Earlier in the week, Trestman and General Manager Phil Emery announced there would be no talk of new contracts or extensions until after the season and everyone -- Cutler included -- was basically playing for their jobs.

How refreshing was that?

Sunday's practice will tell a little more about this team when the hitting starts. It's what the crowds and media at Olivet Narazene want to see, after all. Who's tougher? Who has that "nasty" gene.

"As I told the defensive guys, it's really not football until there's a pass rush and you can see how things unfold," Trestman said.

Think bears in a trout pond, with the clock ticking.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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