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Trestman proving to be all Bears hoped he’d be

Marc Trestman runs practice during Bears Summer Training Camp Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais Ill. August 6 2013 | JessicKoscielniak ~

Marc Trestman runs practice during Bears Summer Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., August 6, 2013 | Jessica Koscielniak ~ Sun - Times

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Updated: September 19, 2013 10:11AM



The last question Bears coach Marc Trestman got in Bourbonnais before breaking his first training camp wasn’t about quarterback Jay Cutler, the offensive line, the defense or an undrafted rookie making an impression.

It was about him. It was about his personality. It was about whether he would be a coach who would ‘‘go off’’ on the sidelines should the situation warrant it.

Trestman smiled politely while some media members chuckled. He called it a good question and answered thoughtfully.

‘‘I think practice enables a fan and somebody to see the passion we have out here for the game,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘But when I am out there working during the game, I am trying to focus on the game and managing the sideline and managing the game. I try to handle that in a way that is most comfortable for me. I don’t think sideline demeanor is necessarily descriptive of somebody’s passion or what is going on in the headsets.’’

In other words, probably not. But that doesn’t mean he’s the professor-like coach some like to make him out to be. If anything, it makes him a little like former coach Lovie Smith, even though everyone knows he isn’t.

This training camp was about getting to know Trestman as much as anything. He was the great unknown. He had been away from the NFL for a while. He had been in the Canadian Football League for five years.

Who was this guy?

Trestman’s own book could provide players, media and fans with only so much insight. They had to experience what he’s all about.

So what have we learned about the man chosen to modernize the Bears’ offense, turn Cutler’s potential into results, maintain past defensive success and turn the Bears into a Super Bowl contender?

† Camp has provided opportunities to see the fiery side of Trestman daily. He surprised onlookers by running up and down the field with his players during minicamp, but that reached another level in Bourbonnais. He was constantly on Cutler’s case to hurry up. He harped on his receivers to put the ball away and burst up field. He lined up as a defensive back to watch his receivers’ cuts. Simply put, Trestman is maniacal when it comes to details.

† Camp has shown Trestman has a strong belief in who he is and what he’s doing. A scout said Trestman is running his practices the same way he ran them with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, from the organized, timed layout to the hectic pace to the many walk-throughs.

† Camp has offered looks at Trestman’s faith in his coaching staff. He is hands-on with every aspect of his team, but he also has empowered every member of the staff he has assembled, whether it’s defensive coordinator Mel Tucker or special-teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis.

† Camp has shown Trestman is thoughtful when dealing with the media. He provides real answers and isn’t hesitant to say a player is struggling. His assessment of offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb is only the latest example. When he says he’d like to watch the tape before answering, he means he wants to be prepared.

Of course, few players have gotten a better feel for what Trestman is all about than the Bears’ quarterbacks.

‘‘He’s a very humble, hard-working individual,’’ quarterback Matt Blanchard said. ‘‘He’s great role model for everybody on this team. He’s as genuine a person as you’ll find, and it’s really refreshing to be around a person like that.’’

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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