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49ers QBs coach Geep Chryst praises Marc Trestman for his ‘sharp’ mind

New Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman smiles during his introductory NFL football news conference Thursday Jan. 17 2013 Lake

New Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman smiles during his introductory NFL football news conference, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, in Lake Forest, Ill. Trestman will be tasked with getting the most out of quarterback Jay Cutler and getting the Bears to the playoffs on a consistent basis after they missed the postseason for the fifth time in six years. (AP Photo/Daily Herald, Bob Chwedyk) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT

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Updated: February 1, 2013 5:28PM

NEW ORLEANS — Not many quarterbacks coaches can say they’ve worked with a QB with a 104.1 passer rating and another who has emerged as a dual-threat star in a revolutionary offense in one season.

But the San Francisco 49ers’ Geep Chryst can.

Not bad for a guy who started off as a ball boy in Platteville, Wis., according to Mike Ditka, and joined the Bears in 1991 as their director of research/quality control, a job he held until 1995.

The early success of the strikingly efficient Alex Smith and all the wow factors that Colin Kaepernick has provided since taking over for Smith and leading the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII are things Chryst can hang his hat on.

“You take pride that [Kaepernick is] having success on Sunday,” Chryst said.

Chryst knows quarterbacks and a few things about new Bears coach Marc Trestman, having worked with him in 1998 with the Arizona Cardinals.

Like Trestman, Chryst has a history of getting results from underachieving quarterbacks. In Chryst’s first season with the 49ers, Smith went from a could-be bust into career highs in passing yards (3,144), completions (273), and passer rating (90.7) in 2011. Smith also led the NFL in passer rating this season before his concussion opened the door for Kaepernick, who toasted the Bears in first career start en route to becoming one of the biggest story lines for the Super Bowl.

What does one QB guru think of another?

“[Trestman is a] very bright guy,” Chryst told the Sun-Times on Thursday. “He was fortunate to come through the 49ers’ system when he really learned the intricacies of the West Coast [offense]. Everyone knows about his installation meetings with tape. Marc not only had a chance to watch Bill Walsh and the primary source tape. But they also taped [Mike] Holmgren. They also taped Mike Shanahan. And that type of access [and] that type of learning, Marc is going to take to naturally.

“The whole story line in the offseason and really next season will be Marc’s relationship with [Jay] Cutler. For so many years, the Bears have been about defense and talented defensive players. The changing of the guard brings an opportunity for Marc to work with Jay and maybe become a different flavor, maybe a different personality.”

Trestman’s attention to detail and game-planning really stood out to Chryst.

“Marc is sharp,” Chryst said. “You learned he had a window and an insight to how systematic the West Coast principles were … and how organized in his mind those principles were and then how he would game plan and bring those to the table on Sunday.”

But Chryst, who was praised by Kaepernick, Smith and third-stringer Scott Tolzien for his approach and demeanor, also saw another side to Trestman — one that’s important for the Bears.

“[Trestman] wants to empower the players so they feel like it’s their team,” Chryst said. “It’s more of a mature approach than simply brow-beating someone into submission.”

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