JIM PETERS: Trestman will drag Bears offense into the 21st Century

2013-01-16T17:00:00Z 2013-01-17T02:06:09Z JIM PETERS: Trestman will drag Bears offense into the 21st CenturyJim Peters Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 16, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

Defense wins championships, at least that's what they used to say.

Last weekend's record number of points for the NFL's divisional playoff round only goes to further show that it's all about prolific offenses now.

Sure, it's great to have a shutdown defense, but if you're not running some kind of spread, no-huddle, five-wide, vertical offense straight out of PlayStation, then you've fallen behind the times.

Of the final four teams left in the chase for the Super Bowl, only San Francisco rates at or near the top of the defensive rankings, and they probably wouldn't be still playing if it wasn't for the injection of Colin Kaepernick into the 49ers' formerly pedestrian offense.

Baltimore's defense showed its age this season, but it was able to go to Denver and win because it was able to burn the Broncos with the deep ball and outlast the top seed in a high-scoring game.

In that vein, Bears fans should be happy/borderline giddy over the hire of Marc Trestman as coach. You wanted an offensive-minded coach? You got him.

If you're under 25 years old, you probably had to go to Google to find out who he is. In case you haven't done your research at this point, Trestman was on the 49ers staff in the mid-90s when Steve Young was quarterback and he helped turn Rich Gannon into an MVP in 2002 when he was running the Raiders offense. Yeah, Rich Gannon.

He was coaching most recently in Montreal, where he led Les Alouettes to a couple Grey Cups, Canada's equivalent of the Vince Lombardi trophy. Chicago will be his first foray into head coaching in the NFL, but that's no reason to worry. It didn't stop the Browns (Rob Chudzinski), Bills (Doug Marrone), Chargers (Mike McCoy) and just yesterday, the Eagles (Chip Kelly). In case you didn't put the pieces together there, all four are known for offensive thinking. The same goes for Andy Reid, who didn't need long to find work in Kansas City after being let go in Philadelphia.

Trestman will drag the Bears offense into the 21st Century. They won't have to depend on defense and Robbie Gould to produce points. The whole Monsters of the Midway thing? It's a cool moniker and all, representative of the rough and tough tradition of the organization, but this isn't your daddy's NFL. It's all about matching scores now and getting a stop once in a while.

That said, a coaching hire isn't a magic elixir that solves the existing woes, problems that couldn't all be attributed to a conservative coach. The offensive line remains a revolving door. The quarterback possesses the physical skills, yet remains prone to poor decisions and costly mistakes. Those issues have to be resolved too, but the hiring of Trestman was a a big and necessary step in the right direction.

At 10-6, the Bears certainly weren't broken, but like everything else these days, if you're not adapting, you're falling behind.


This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at jim.peters@nwi.com.




















































































































































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