Trestman glad Josh McCown will get starting opportunity
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter March 23, 2014 9:01PM
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Marc Trestman of the Chicago Bears talks with Josh McCown #12 and Jay Cutler #6 during a game against the New York Giants at Soldier Field on October 10, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Giants 27-21. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Marc Trestman; Josh McCown; Jay Cutler
Updated: March 23, 2014 10:25PM
ORLANDO, Fla. — In a few months, Josh McCown will be the enemy.
McCown will be standing on a sideline opposite the Bears at Soldier Field — ex-Bears coach Lovie Smith at his side — ready to use everything he gleaned in his one season under coach Marc Trestman against his former team.
And Trestman is fine with that. He’s ecstatic for his former backup quarterback. The Buccaneers jersey McCown will be wearing is unlikely to change that.
“The thing about it is that I’m excited for Josh,” Trestman said at the NFL owners meetings Sunday.
Trestman wanted McCown to return, but as a coach who waited decades for his chance to be in charge of an NFL team, he appreciates the starting opportunity McCown was given by Smith.
“It’s not tough at all [to lose McCown],” Trestman said. “We expressed our desire to want him back, but we’re totally excited about [his situation]. This is an example of how it should be. A guy gets an opportunity, he has success, other people see that he can help them and he’s able to benefit [professionally and economically].
“I don’t know that it could happen any better or if there’s a better example of what it’s supposed to be about.”
McCown’s success last season — a 109 passer rating, 13 touchdowns, one interception and three wins, including two in prime time, in five starts — has created high expectations for any quarterback, especially starter Jay Cutler, in Trestman’s offense.
It also makes the Bears’ backup situation more compelling than normal. The Bears seem comfortable with Jordan Palmer behind Cutler, who hasn’t played a full season since 2009, but competition is expected to be added through free agency or the draft.
Former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was recently released, is one to watch, considering his first quarterbacks coach, Matt Cavanaugh, is with the Bears.
“We really appreciated what Mark did,” Jets owner Woody Johnson said Sunday. “We had two extremely exciting years with Mark. He was always a positive influence on the team, a great person.”
Still, Palmer’s short stint with the Bears last season, which included a preseason start and a midseason re-signing after Cutler was injured, left Trestman encouraged about his abilities.
“Jordan did a great job,” Trestman said. “He literally had to learn the offense on his own. He was very proactive with the guys and helpful. He was good in the meeting room, and I felt we had a very good dynamic with him.”
It’s a dynamic that will be closely watched, too, considering how well Cutler and McCown meshed and how McCown established himself as a leader.
“I think what we’ve heard and what we’ve said is that this is the way it’s supposed to be, that Josh can go out and find a starting position,” Trestman said. “That’s exciting for all of us. He did his job well, and he deserves to reap the benefits of his work.”