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Bears plan to interview CFL coach Marc Trestman

Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman holding up Grey Cup 2010 is considered quarterback guru. | Ryan Remiorz~AP

Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, holding up the Grey Cup in 2010, is considered a quarterback guru. | Ryan Remiorz~AP

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Updated: February 7, 2013 6:50AM



Bears general manager Phil Emery’s all-encompassing search for a new coach has reached the best organization in the Canadian Football League, the Montreal Alouettes.

A league source confirmed to the Sun-Times that the Bears are planning to interview Alouettes coach Marc Trestman for their vacancy. Unlike the NFL, there are no rules restricting teams from interviewing CFL coaches.

Alouettes general manager Jim Popp would not and could not confirm that Trestman has an interview scheduled. But if Trestman is a candidate for the Bears’ job, Popp can see why.

“I think Marc is a strong candidate because he has a history of working with veteran [quarterbacks],” Popp told the Sun-Times. “Marc has as good a chance as any to get the best out of Jay [Cutler].”

Trestman, by all accounts, is considered a quarterback guru. He has helped quarterbacks prepare for the NFL draft, including Cutler, Jason Campbell, Tim Tebow and Brandon Weeden. He also served as a consultant for New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton in 2007.

Trestman, 56, has nearly 20 years of NFL coaching experience, too, having been a quarterbacks coach or an offensive coordinator most of that time. He was the San Francisco 49ers’ offensive coordinator with quarterback Steve Young (1995-96) and was the quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders in 2002, when Rich Gannon was the NFL’s MVP.

In five years under Trestman, the Alouettes, who can be described as the New England Patriots of the CFL, have played in three Grey Cups, winning two of them (2009, 2010). Quarterback Anthony Calvillo was named the CFL’s most valuable player in 2009 and 2010.

Popp, who was a finalist for the Indianapolis Colts’ GM position last season, described Trestman as “a man of character” who is an “effective speaker” and “has very good organizational skills.” He called him “very scheduled” and “detailed.” He says he’s very creative offensively and has a special ability to adjust to personnel.

In other words, Trestman appears to have many of the qualities that Emery, who’s scheduled to meet Sunday with Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, is looking for.

More important, Emery wants a coach who can maximize Cutler’s potential.

“If the Bears are interested in him, what makes him an attractive candidate where I am is that Jay Cutler, who can be a top-10 quarterback, is there,” Popp said. “And that’s got to be of interest for a Marc Trestman.”



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