"WE WANT GRUDEN! COWHER! REID!" Seemed to be the Bears' fans' cry of the offseason after long-time Head Coach, Lovie Smith was fired. Among the attributes and characteristics that Bears' fans were demanding from General Manager Phil Emery are as follows:
- It is IMPERATIVE that the new head coach have a strong, offensive background.
- The coach MUST be a proven winner.
- Preference for a FIERY coach to bring a new spark to the veteran team would be ideal.
Marc Trestman is the Chicago Bears' new head coach and has all ready started to fill out his coaching staff, hiring Aaron Cromer as his Offensive Coordinator and Jim DeCamillis as the new Special Team's/Assistant Head Coach. He has gotten high praise from the likes of Steve Young, Jimmy Johnson, and Bears' Wide Receiver, Brandon Marshall.
But does Trestman pass the Bears' fans' seal of approval?
So the background is there, but there's this one discrepancy that Bears' fans will probably won't overcome: his most recent gig was coaching in the Canadian Football League. Kudos to Emery for thinking outside the box and not limiting himself in this hire, but the same fans who were screaming for "GRUDEN! COWHER! REID!" are the same fans who will be asking, "Does this Testaman or Tressnan--or however the hell you say it--know the American game? What the heck are Da Bears doing hiring a Canadian?" So far, Trestman has gotten mighty endorsements from paramount NFL minds who cite his success in the collegiate, NFL, and CFL levels.
Ok, but is he a winner?
How does a 59-31 record along with 2, CFL Grey Cups sound?
And the final hurdle he must pass: will he bring the fire and brimstone that desperate Bears' fans still seek, even long after former coach Mike Ditka roamed the sidelines?
How does this pregame speech sound to you (or fast forward to the 12:00 minute mark on the video below)?
So the Chicago Bears hired a "great offensive mind," a proven winner, and Bizarro Lovie Smith--the offensive version of Smith, if you will.
Many fans were tired of Smith's lack of personality and emotion during press conferences, interviews, or simply him just standing on the sidelines not doing much of anything, but...head coaching--It drove them nuts! They wanted to see an animated coach, who chewed out his players when they did something wrong, and who can come up with pep talks, before, during, and after the game to inspire and motivate his players to perform beyond optimal level. They wanted the reincarnation of Ditka. Or at the very least "GRUDEN! COWHER! Or REID!"
Trestman is simply not that type of person:
- His players loved him (just like the Bears' defense loved Smith). Definitely a players' coach based on first impression--just like Smith.
- Young in his praise did mention that Trestman is "not gonna scream at people" (just like Smith).
- A former player of Trestman's described him as "cool, calm, and collected; characteristics that could be used to describe Smith.
This would be the third consecutive coach that the Bears have hired that does not fit the "fire and brimstone" profile that many Bears' fans yearn and miss about Mike Ditka (Dick Jauron being the other head coach). Ownership has clearly gone out of their way to disassociate themselves from the iconic, short-tempered Ditka--not from a personal standpoint, but from a personnel standpoint.
There's finally organization on this team! As a Bears' fan, that is something I'm going to have to get used to. Will see if streamlines well with the players and produces points, yards, and wins on the field, but this certainly is the start of a new era--even if the coach fits the profile of the last 2 head coaches the team has hired before him.
For more on the Chicago Bears, click here.