Marc Trestman will approach Jay Cutler with ‘sense of urgency’
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org January 17, 2013 10:19PM
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Updated: February 18, 2013 8:09PM
General manager Phil Emery gave Jay Cutler four aspects to contemplate when he was brought in to meet the three finalists for the Bears’ coaching job: Marc Trestman, Darrell Bevell and Bruce Arians.
Cutler had to look at their communication skills and poise/presence. He had to take into account “his ability to clearly articulate his system of football [because it’s] paramount,” Emery said.
And, “The last thing I asked was, do you see this guy as a leader?”
“[Cutler] didn’t rank anybody,” Emery said. “He just sat there and told me about those four areas, thanked me for being involved in the process and that was the end of it.”
But ultimately it helped Emery pick Trestman, who was introduced Thursday.
Cutler’s direct involvement shows how much the future is about him.
What Trestman can get out of Cutler could be the final determining factor if Cutler is truly a franchise quarterback. Trestman has a track record like no other coach Cutler has had, having success with Steve Young, Rich Gannon, Jake Plummer and in Canada with Anthony Calvillo and possessing the aptitude to provide them with protection.
If Trestman and the entirely new offensive staff he’s assembling can’t get the best out Cutler, maybe no one can. Trestman said he’ll be in the quarterbacks room and be calling the offense’s plays.
“The quarterback in this league has got to play at an efficient level,” Trestman said. “It’s our job as coaches to get him to do that.
“[Cutler] has shown moments of efficiency thereby we ought to be able to find the mechanisms to make him more efficient on a play-by-play basis. That’s a challenge with any quarterback that you have.”
Trestman doesn’t sound as if he’s going to coddle Cutler at all. When specifically asked, Trestman stopped short of calling Cutler a franchise quarterback, which Emery has called him.
“Jay Cutler is a guy who loves football. Jay Cutler is a guy who’s willing to learn,” Trestman said. “Jay Cutler, to me in my very short time with him, wants to do everything he can to help this franchise and please our amazing fans.
“That’s where we’re going to start. We’re going to work one day at a time in a proactive way with a sense of urgency to get him to be the guy that he wants to be and we want him to be.”
Emery has no problem with that assessment, either.
“[Trestman has] got to spend some time with [Cutler],” Emery said. “Part of the reason why Marc is our head football coach is he’s going to push the level of our players. He wants Jay to earn that in his eyes. That’s OK. I’m good with that.”
Emery is hoping that Trestman’s self-described “system of football” which adjusts schemes and game plans to personnel, and new offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer’s history of providing quarterbacks with protection benefits Cutler and consequentially the Bears.
Trestman said his “quarterback is going to have the keys to the car,” but he’s going to evaluate Cutler, whom he called “very intelligent” on macro and micro levels.
“I can’t wait to get my hands on him and go to work with him,” Trestman said. “I think he’s ready.”
Cutler has set all sorts of team records, but much more has been expected since he was acquired from the Denver Broncos.
Cutler, who has one year left on his deal, has become a lightning rod for criticism at local and national levels. Even former Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub said on WMVP-1000 that Cutler needs to improve his leadership skills.
“[My] take is that you can’t control what you can’t control,” Trestman said. “What you control is going to work. You control your demeanor. You control your work ethic. You control your practice habits. You control what comes out of your mouth. These are things we control.
“I can tell you this. I’ve had a number of people, who I believe are experts and have much more knowledge of Jay Cutler’s career than I do over the last four or five years, [say] they believe that he can be a very, very good quarterback.
“We’ve got to grind away to see if we can make it happen.”