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When Trestman was down, Saints’ Payton hired him as a consultant

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Updated: November 5, 2013 6:34AM

It wasn’t an extended period, but coach Marc Trestman forever will be grateful to Saints coach Sean Payton for bringing him back to the NFL, even if it was only as a consultant in 2007.

“When he invited me to come down, it was an opportunity to have some dignity in my career,” Trestman said Thursday at Halas Hall. “I had just been let go at N.C. State. I wasn’t doing anything. I was sitting the year out. I had two years left on a contract. He invited me down and really showed professional respect.”

Trestman said he and Payton weren’t good friends at the time, either, but he had gotten to know him at symposiums years earlier when Payton was the Giants’ offensive coordinator (2000 to 2002).

Trestman said he felt welcomed by the Saints, who had signed quarterback Drew Brees a year earlier and were two seasons away from winning the Super Bowl.

Mickey Loomis, the [general manager], really professional, made me feel very much a part of things while I was there, not only in training camp but during the time I was there,” Trestman said. “That was the best part, and having the opportunity to be around the NFL at a very high level because of what they were doing there with Drew and the offense.”

The wounded

Tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and defensive end Julius Peppers (chest) fully participated in practice, while special-teamer Sherrick McManis (quadriceps) remained limited.

But wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot), cornerback Charles Tillman (groin/knee), defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe), special-teamer Anthony Walters (hamstring) and linebacker D.J. Williams (illness) sat out.

Trestman said Tillman was able to do some work on the side like he did last week and that he expects Williams to practice Friday.

Inside and out

The Bears won the last two meetings against the Saints at Soldier Field in 2007 and 2008, but since 2009, the Saints have the best road record in the NFL at 22-11, negating some arguments that they struggle outdoors.

Asked if the Saints are different away from the Superdome, Trestman said, “I don’t know that I have that kind of perspective.

“Everybody wants to be on their own turf and play at home. But they’ve won a lot of games away from home, as well.”

Health matters

Quarterback Jay Cutler reiterated that he was healthy against the Lions, saying, “Yeah, I was good. Nothing really hampered my ability to play out there.”


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