WBEZ | Marc Trestman http://www.wbez.org/tags/marc-trestman Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Bears fire GM Phil Emery, coach Marc Trestman http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-fire-gm-phil-emery-coach-marc-trestman-111301 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/14732463489_37a7948514_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>LAKE FOREST, Ill. &mdash;&nbsp;The Chicago Bears fired general manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman on Monday, making sweeping changes after missing the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.</p><p>Trestman is out after going 13-19 in two seasons while Emery lasted just three years. The Bears went 5-11 in a mostly miserable season, never challenging for the NFC North lead after the first few weeks as quarterback Jay Cutler and the rest of the offense struggled mightily.</p><p>&quot;This job was an opportunity of a lifetime. My only regret is that we didn&#39;t win enough games for that opportunity to continue,&quot; Emery said in a brief session with reporters.</p><p>He also thanked the organization and borrowed a lyric from singer Carrie Newcomer, saying, &quot;We stand breathless on the clean edge of change. It&#39;s time to change and move forward.&quot;</p><p>Emery did not take questions from reporters.</p><p>Trestman, in a statement issued through the team, thanked the team-owning McCaskey family for the opportunity to coach the Bears.</p><p>&quot;I also want to thank all the coaches and players who gave us everything we asked over the past two years,&quot; he said. &quot;I have tremendous respect for this organization.&quot;</p><p>The new GM and coach could have a big decision to make with quarterback Jay Cutler. He tied Philip Rivers for the league lead with 18 interceptions after signing a huge, seven-year contract at the end of last season.</p><p>The house cleaning was certainly not what the Bears envisioned with a prolific offense returning intact and a rebuilt defense in tow. But little went right for Chicago this season.</p><p>There were distractions throughout the year, whether it was linebacker Lance Briggs being allowed to miss practice to open a restaurant in California the week of the opener or offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer admitting he was the NFL Network&#39;s source behind a critical report of Cutler late in the season.</p><p>Trestman, who was hired to get the most out of Cutler, benched the highly paid quarterback in favor of Jimmy Clausen for the second-to-last game of the season against Detroit. Cutler wound up starting the final game after Clausen suffered a concussion against the Lions, adding another chapter to a season-long soap opera.</p><p>Trestman also surprised some by allowing star receiver Brandon Marshall to fly to New York on a weekly basis to record Showtime&#39;s &quot;Inside the NFL.&quot; Marshall, who is open about his struggles with borderline personality disorder, had an off year and at one point gave a rambling news conference over past allegations of domestic abuse. He also challenged a Detroit fan on Twitter to a boxing match for charity, and reporters standing in the hallway overheard him screaming in the locker room after a loss to Miami at Soldier Field in October that raised all sorts of questions about where the team was headed.</p><p>The answers came right after that.</p><p>The Bears joined the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in back-to-back games while dropping the next two at New England and Green Bay. Trestman&#39;s meek response after defensive end Lamarr Houston suffered a season-ending knee injury celebrating a late sack against the Patriots &mdash; &quot;I&#39;m disappointed for Lamarr,&quot; he said twice &mdash; only fueled doubts about his leadership.</p><p>In recent weeks, it was clear changes were coming. The question was how far up the ladder they would go.</p><p>&quot;At the end of the day, we didn&#39;t get the job done,&quot; tight end Martellus Bennett said. &quot;It&#39;s not just coaches. It&#39;s everybody. We didn&#39;t have a successful year as players. So the coaches didn&#39;t have a successful year. I think everybody has their hand in the pot. And the gumbo doesn&#39;t taste that great when everybody&#39;s hand is in the pot.&quot;</p><p>Emery, who replaced the fired Jerry Angelo, was hired with a mandate to work with former coach Lovie Smith for at least one season. He fired Smith after the Bears missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record in 2012, ending a nine-year run that produced three playoff appearances and a trip to the Super Bowl.</p><p>Since, then, the team has been in decline.</p><p>Trestman led the CFL&#39;s Montreal Alouettes to two championships in five years but had never been a head coach in the NFL and at times seemed overmatched by the job. Along with the distractions, the offense took a huge step back: Chicago went from second in scoring to 23rd this year despite having all its starters back.</p><p>Giving Cutler a big contract after last season when the franchise player tag was an option is looking like another mistake. Emery did have success rebuilding the offensive line before the 2013 season, drafting Kyle Long and bringing in Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson.</p><p>But the makeover he gave the defense last offseason did not pay off. Chicago continued to rank among the league&#39;s worst in that area under Mel Tucker, with Jared Allen struggling and fellow newcomer Houston getting injured on that ill-advised sack celebration. Only the Saints and Falcons gave up more yards per game than the Bears.</p><p>Just like his predecessor, Emery also had a spotty draft record, with some hits such as Long and Alshon Jeffery and a big miss in Shea McClellin.</p><p>&quot;Something has to change,&quot; veteran cornerback Tim Jennings said. &quot;I&#39;m not surprised by it. I mean, hopefully it will be a good one this time.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 29 Dec 2014 13:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/bears-fire-gm-phil-emery-coach-marc-trestman-111301 Does Marc Trestman hold the Bears' Golden Ticket? http://www.wbez.org/news/does-marc-trestman-hold-bears-golden-ticket-108783 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Trestman AP Photo_Don Wright.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-7fcd7129-5c84-6b53-f704-d4025a62f3f1">Marc Trestman is a former college quarterback who was certainly known in and around football. He had 17 years of experience in the NFL with eight different organizations. He worked as a running backs&rsquo; coach, a quarterbacks&rsquo; coach and an offensive coordinator; he coached college ball too. He was a football savant but rubbed people the wrong way. And then...he disappeared.</p><p dir="ltr">The football world knew he was in Canada but didn&rsquo;t pay too much attention to that, according to Yahoo! Sports writer <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/football-thursday--bears-coach-marc-trestman-needed-exile-in-canada-to-overcome--doesn-t-relate-well--reputation-174051955.html">Les Carpenter</a>. Trestman had spent the last five years in Montreal coaching the Alouettes; he led the team to back-to-back Grey Cup championships, that&rsquo;s Canada&rsquo;s version of the Super Bowl. He was the CFL&rsquo;s Coach of the Year in 2009.</p><p dir="ltr">So what changed? Why after years of being bounced around the NFL was he suddenly this successful head coach? Carpenter traveled to Canada to find out.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think he went up there and he realized, &lsquo;I need to understand people. I need to deal with football players as people--not as names on a roster sheet or numbers in front of me on jerseys.&rsquo; And I think a lot of the players really embraced that. They felt, &lsquo;gosh, this is a guy who really cares about me,&rsquo;&rdquo; Carpenter explained.</p><p dir="ltr">That&rsquo;s certainly how Alouette wide receiver Brandon London felt&hellip;eventually.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think that we were going to get along...because I was thinking in my head, here&rsquo;s a coach that&rsquo;s going to try and change me. But after that three years of being together, Coach Trestman&rsquo;s become a really good friend of mine, (a) really good mentor of mine,&rdquo; London said.</p><p dir="ltr">And London&rsquo;s not starving for football mentors. His father&rsquo;s Mike London, a former NFL player and the current head coach at the University of Virginia.</p><p dir="ltr">But, London said Trestman made him think about football in a very different, very detailed way. Or as he put it, &ldquo;obsessive.&rdquo; And Carpenter concurred.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He wants things to be very meticulous...almost to the point where there can&rsquo;t be typos in the schedule that they put out every day for the things that they&rsquo;re going to do,&rdquo; Carpenter explained.</p><p dir="ltr">Trestman&rsquo;s current players had even more to say about his character.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I always say Coach Trestman reminds me of the first Willy Wonka...not the Johnny Depp one, the Johnny Depp one&rsquo;s really cool...but the first one. Cause if you really look at coach, he&rsquo;s a genius...I thought Willy Wonka was brilliant,&rdquo; tight end Martellus Bennett said recently.</p><p dir="ltr">And, the candy man, like Trestman, for those who don&rsquo;t remember, had an eye for detail.</p><p dir="ltr">It makes sense that Trestman is a meticulous guy. He is, after all, an attorney. He got his law degree while working as an assistant coach under Jimmy Johnson at the University of Miami. &nbsp;Between NFL gigs in the &lsquo;90s, Trestman also spent a few years working as a stockbroker, selling municipal bonds and managing investment portfolios.</p><p dir="ltr">Oh...and he <a href="http://www.coachmarctrestman.com/">wrote a book</a> about perseverance and leadership and he is frequently referred to as a genius. But Carpenter said that Trestman&rsquo;s smarts often rubbed people the wrong way.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it was some of the bookish look, the lawyerish look as somebody described it to me...I think some of it was that idea that he wasn&rsquo;t going to come out drinking, he wasn&rsquo;t going to hang out in bars with other coaches,&rdquo; Carpenter surmised.</p><p dir="ltr">That seemed to be something Trestman was able to work through in Montreal. Because London called him a friend and Bears tight end Martellus Bennett now says the Bears look at their coach as one of the players.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;He&rsquo;s just like of the guys out there...he&rsquo;s like a teammate to us, he&rsquo;s not just a coach...he&rsquo;s part of this team,&rdquo; Bennett explained.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye-Stout has covered the Monsters of the Midway for the better part of three decades. She wasn&rsquo;t sold on the Wonka analogy but said, &ldquo;If they [the Bears] could make the playoffs, then the Golden Ticket I think would be punched then.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">She said the surest way to do that is to get Jay Cutler to buy in--and that shouldn&rsquo;t be too difficult for Trestman. He coached some of the NFL&rsquo;s best quarterbacks. He coached Steve Young and Rich Gannon; Gannon won the NFL MVP during Trestman&rsquo;s time with the Oakland Raiders.</p><p dir="ltr">And, Raye-Stout said, Trestman has already put in extra time with Cutler.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Trestman took all of every negative play that Cutler had last year...all the sacks, all the interceptions, all the bad plays and showed it to him. To kind of show him, this is what we&rsquo;re gonna work on. Jay was taken aback at first and then realized, he was dealing with someone that was not just on his level but above his level,&rdquo; Raye-Stout recalled.</p><p dir="ltr">At the end of the day, Bears fans won&rsquo;t care if Trestman is Willy Wonka, a lawyer, a quarterbacks coach, a stockbroker or a genius...so long as he&rsquo;s a winner.</p><p>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez">@katieobez.</a></p></p> Thu, 26 Sep 2013 18:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/does-marc-trestman-hold-bears-golden-ticket-108783 New faces shine on Bears' coaching staff http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/new-faces-shine-bears-coaching-staff-105553 <p><p>It&#39;s been nine years since the Bears had this much upheaval with its coaching staff. Last week, new head coach Marc Trestman made the new staff available to the media for the first time since they were hired.&nbsp;Here are some of highlights from the session:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_marc_trestman_jim_prisching.jpg" style="float: left; height: 445px; width: 300px;" title="Bears head coach Marc Trestman has assembled his staff. Now the work begins. (AP Photo/Jim Prisching)" />Trestman&#39;s main buzz word is <strong>teaching</strong>. Like a newly-assembled band, some of these coaches have worked together before, but others are still trying to blend their talents.&nbsp;A wide receiver coach is the only vacancy.</p><p>Since the majority of&nbsp;staff has been together just a few weeks, <strong>getting the play book</strong>, not evaluating players, has been the focus.&nbsp;</p><p>Quarterback coach Matt Cavanaugh briefly spoke of his main pupil, Jay Cutler. Explaining why he has not yet evaluated the Bears&#39; quarterback, Cavanaugh said, &quot;It&rsquo;s not fair not to get to know the person, not to get to work with him personally and base everything from film.&quot; But Cavanaugh has worked with Trestman in the past, and said they are on the same page with most of the offensive schemes.</p><p>Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker may have the most difficult job ahead. But he&#39;s confident that once players see the plan they will be on the same page. Tucker also stated there are <strong>no plans to change the Bears defense </strong>from a 4-3 to a 3-4.</p><p>Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has a tough job ahead. He wants &ldquo;five guys that can play together with a couple of back-ups&rdquo; on the line. There were no specifics about the players he has to work with from the present roster, but the new coach said he will work them out to&nbsp;find&nbsp;their attributes. As a whole, they&#39;ll use <strong>an attacking style offense</strong>&nbsp;with multiple formations and quick passing. Kromer likes to use the tight end in this offense. Of course, they need to find one first to make it work. . . .</p><p>Assistant line coach Pat Meyer may be new to the Bears, but not to Marc Trestman: They worked together in Montreal and at NC State. Meyer talked about what to expect from the new Bears coach. &ldquo;He is going to be very player-friendly, [and] he is very intelligent &ndash; smart with schemes for both pass and run,&quot; Meyer said. &quot;[Trestman&#39;s] &nbsp;excited and likes to bring emotion to the game.&rdquo; Meyer also said Trestman likes to have his staff &ldquo;share their knowledge.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, former Bear Chris Harris is starting his transition from the playing field to coaching staff. Trestman was impressed that Harris was willing to start at the bottom rung in defensive quality control. He will be spending plenty of time at a computer rather than hitting a receiver. There is still no clear picture of Brian Urlacher&rsquo;s status; he&#39;s talked with Trestman but that&#39;s the extent of it.</p><p>Next up: In a few days, the Bears staff will travel to Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine. There&#39;s still a lot of work to do in the weeks and months to come.</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="http://&lt;https://twitter.com/Crayestout&gt;">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 18 Feb 2013 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/new-faces-shine-bears-coaching-staff-105553 Can the Bears make it to the Super Bowl in 2014? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/can-bears-make-it-super-bowl-2014-105293 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/rsz_1lombardi_trophy Michael Conroy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bears new head coach Marc Trestman is on the clock&mdash;he and GM Phil Emery have a year to get the Bears prepared for the 2014 Super Bowl at the Meadowlands.</p><p>Can they do it?</p><p>It seems like a tall order, but Chicago Bear fans are restless since it has been twenty seven years since they have tasted victory. Fans have watched the New York Giants win it four times, Dallas three and New England has grabbed three Super Bowls. The Packers have two Vince Lombardi trophies. Last night they saw Baltimore capture it for a second time. Runner-up San Francisco has won four since Mike Ditka and the Bears beat New England for their only Super Bowl win. And the window of opportunity is closing with several players on defense. So what does Trestman and to a larger extent Phil Emery have to do between now and next February? There are more questions than answers at this point</p><p>-They need all sorts of help on the offensive line; it has been a patchwork quilt the way it was assembled the past few years. Have you ever bought your child a Lego set with 400 pieces and lose the instructions? That is how this unit of the Bears seems to be at this point. They have to make decisions on&nbsp; injured guard&nbsp;Lance Louis (free agent), he is their most athletic lineman. Is Gabe Carimi healthy and strong enough to play right tackle? Is Roberto Garza the answer at center or should he move back to guard? Let&#39;s not talk about J&#39;Marcus Webb, there has been way too much effort and attention paid to a player that handled the most difficult and demanding position on the line-and he just isn&#39;t good enough. I can go on and on about this problem, but the Bears have to solve it with the draft and free agency.</p><p>-In order to take on the next bit of business, Jay Cutler, the first area has to be addressed. Cutler has one year left on his contract, he has dealt with so many offensive coordinators and schemes the change will be entertaining to say the least. While Phil Emery calls him a &quot;franchise&quot; quarterback, that was not a label his new coach has given Cutler. Is it a ploy to spur the Bears quarterback or is it the real belief by the new coach? Sometimes when someone is the smartest person in the room (Jay Cutler), you need someone smarter to have the upper hand (Marc Trestman). One of the biggest problems for&nbsp; the Bears has been time management. How many times did we see the Bears QB call a time out due to poor communication? It was apparent that play calling was a big problem and Trestman will be handling that chore. If Jay Cutler could guide the Bears to a Super Bowl win, he would own this town the rest of his life. If he wants proof, just ask anyone from the &rsquo;85 team.&nbsp;</p><p>-The Bears defense did a great job last season, they were ranked at least in the top 10 in all the defensive categories. However, they are getting long in the tooth and Bears management has a difficult decision to make-what to do with free-agent linebacker Brian Urlacher? His age, his injury issues and what direction the team is going to take with new coordinator Mel Tucker will all weigh in with GM Phil Emery&rsquo;s decision.</p><p>Some other key defensemen that are free agents include, All Pro Henry Melton, Israel Idonjie, Nick Roach, Kelvin Hayden, Geno Hayes, DJ Moore and Nate Collins.</p><p>It may be disconcerting that with two starting&nbsp;linebackers and a back-up in that position someone could leave via free agency, but 26-year-old Melton&rsquo;s loss would be a bigger pill to swallow as his play has progressed on the defensive line.</p><p>-There are twenty free agents (two restricted) and the defensive players previously mentioned will have to be sorted out by Emery in March. Following that free agency period,&nbsp;the NFL draft will be&nbsp;April 25<sup>th</sup>-27<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;and the Bears have the 20<sup>th</sup> selection in the first round.</p><p>Last year Emery made a huge acquisition when he dealt a pair of third round picks for All Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall-it is easy to say that paid off.</p><p>-What to do with some of the current Bears? Already mentioned Brian Urlacher, but will Devin Hester return? Starting tight end Kellen Davis (that should be a no)? And does free agent Jason Campbell merit a return to back up Cutler?</p><p>&nbsp;Can the Bears make the Super Bowl next year? You straighten out the offensive line, get a tight end, change a poor offense, get the most out of an aging defense, stay healthy and have a team learn to play under a new coaching staff-with a first time NFL head coach--- possibly.</p><p>&nbsp;Circle next February&nbsp;2nd for the Super Bowl, that should be what the Bears are targeting. We&rsquo;ll see.</p><p>&nbsp;Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a></p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-02/can-bears-make-it-super-bowl-2014-105293