PRO FOOTBALL

New coach Marc Trestman is 'the compass' and eager to lead the Bears

2013-01-17T22:00:00Z 2013-01-23T16:09:17Z New coach Marc Trestman is 'the compass' and eager to lead the BearsAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
January 17, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

LAKE FOREST | At age 57, a balding Marc Trestman looks more like an accountant than a newly-hired NFL head coach.

And when he speaks, you'd swear you were talking Bears football at the neighborhood sports bar. So straightforward, down to earth and humble.

Thursday's news conference at Halas Hall proved quite revealing as fans and media got an up close look at the former Montreal Alouettes skipper after he received the call from Bears' General Manager Phil Emery at 2:30 Wednesday morning.

"I do feel the passion. I do feel the sense of urgency. And man, do I feel the commitment to win," said Trestman, who spent 17 seasons as an NFL assistant and the last five in the Canadian Football League.

"I get to be the team's compass and road map. I'm the GPS. Every day, the team will know where we are and where we're headed."

Trestman beat out 12 other candidates.

"The evidence is there," Emery said. "Excellence as a QB coach. Excellence as an offensive coordinator and part of two high-level offenses (49ers, Raiders) when he left the National Football League in 2004. Excellence as a head football coach -- two Grey Cup Championships and being in a third.

"That's a candidate I want to be in the room with. I want to be working to win championships with that individual."

Trestman received a four-year contract and brought along Joe DeCamillis (Cowboys) as his special teams coach and Aaron Kromer (Saints) as the new offensive coordinator.

It's no secret Trestman was hired to turn the inconsistent Jay Cutler into a productive, franchise quarterback. He is credited with refining the games of Rich Gannon and Bernie Kosar at the height of their careers.

The 10-6 Bears were woeful on offense — ranked 31st on first-down yardage, 10th in rushing, 29th in passing and 28th overall.

Cutler was sacked 38 times and finished with an 81.3 QB rating.

"We all have to understand that the quarterback must play at an efficient level," Trestman said. "I'm gonna be responsible for keeping Jay and our quarterbacks safe in the pocket.

"Hopefully, we can give him some direction and some protection to allow him not to waste a play, give him time to make a throw, and get the ball to the right guy."

Cutler had 19 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions.

"The No. 1 marriage in every sport is the marriage between the quarterback and his coach. And then everything proceeds from that," said Trestman, who did not call Cutler a franchise quarterback.

"He wants Jay to earn that in his eyes," Emery said. "That's OK. I'm good with that."

Trestman touched on other subjects as well.

• He will be calling the offensive plays.

• He was non-committal on the future of aging eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.

• He will "maximize" the skill set of running back Matt Forte.

• Impressed by Brandon Marshall's 118 receptions, he wants opponents to have to defend the entire field.

• He agrees the tight end has become an integral part of today's offensive schemes.

• Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is gone and Trestman will bring a few of his assistant coaches from Montreal to fill other staff vacancies.

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