Relentless Trestman expects a lot from Bears’ quarterbacks
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org May 23, 2013 10:08PM
The Chicago Bears Jay Cutler (6) and Josh McCown (12) during practice at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Marc Trestman (above) will be calling the plays for the Bears and working with Jay Cutler extensively. His history in charge of an offense is exemplary. Here’s a look at some of his success:
1995: The 49ers had the No. 1 scoring offense (28.6 points per game) and passing game (288 yards per game) and were second in total offense (380.4 YPG).
1996: The 49ers had the third- best scoring offense (24.9) and ranked sixth in total offense (344.1 YPG).
2002: The Raiders were No. 1 in total offense (389.8 YPG) and passing offense (279.7 YPG) and second in scoring (28.1). QB Rich Gannon was the NFL’s MVP, throwing for 4,689 yards.
Updated: May 24, 2013 8:27PM
Jay Cutler probably doesn’t need to be reminded of his good fortune now that coach Marc Trestman, a quarterback guru, is at the helm, but ex-Raiders QB Rich Gannon — a former top student at the school of Trestman — will do it anyway.
“The big thing for Jay Cutler is just realizing that you have an unbelievable opportunity here to work with a guy who has really had success with quarterbacks,” Gannon said. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Why has he had this success?’ ’’
Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard are quickly learning why through six organized team activities, a three-day minicamp in April and numerous meetings.
Trestman’s résumé includes overseeing Gannon’s MVP season, working well with Steve Young, getting production from Bernie Kosar, Scott Mitchell and Jake Plummer and helping to make Anthony Calvillo the Canadian Football League’s greatest passer.
As much as this offseason has been one of farewells for the Bears, it’s still full steam ahead for a team that has wallowed near the bottom of the league offensively for years.
The Trestman way is being inculcated.
“You get that [quarterback guru] perception because the guys you have worked with played well,” McCown said. “But there’s no special dust that he sprinkles on us when we come out the door. He’s just being himself, helping us any way possible and making us be detailed and accountable for what we have to do.”
The Bears’ QBs are learning that Trestman is all about details. He harps on everything from footwork to reads to film study and does it uncompromisingly.
“We are relentless about those things as far as how the quarterback plays,” McCown said. “He cares a great deal of how it’s played.”
“It’s very refreshing,” Blanchard said. “You’re stimulated every single day when you come into work.”
McCown, a 10-year veteran, said Trestman has similarities to other coaches, but his approach to the details is unique. It’s probably because Trestman’s offense is very detailed.
“There is a lot going on,” McCown said.
“There’s so much to do,” Blanchard added.
Gannon said a lot will be demanded from Cutler because Trestman believes the quarterback is the face of the franchise.
“He expects a lot from the quarterback position in terms of leadership, temperament, demeanor,” Gannon said. “He’s constantly giving you reminders.
“It’s probably nothing like he’s ever experienced with Mike Tice or Mike Martz. He’s going to come at it from a totally different angle.”
And then another.
Gannon said Trestman is part disciplinarian, part friend. He’ll critique your mechanics while being open to your concerns. If you feel uneasy about certain packages or plays, Trestman will “take the red pen out and just take them out,” Gannon said.
“We always had enough [offense] to play a doubleheader if we had to,” said Gannon, who worked with Trestman in Minnesota (1990-91) and Oakland (2001-03).
Gannon said Trestman strives to trust his quarterback. They had that in 2002, when the Raiders had the NFL’s best offense and Gannon was the MVP. Gannon said Trestman empowered him, providing him with three plays and leaving it to him to decide which was best at the line.
“In order to do that, [Cutler has] got to invest a lot of time, effort and energy into the whole thing,” Gannon said. “It’s about Marc trusting Cutler, about Jay trusting Marc that he’s going to put him in the right positions. If you can ever get to that point, then you can do something special together.
“Marc trusted me . . . and we attacked.”