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Bears new head coach will be Trestman of CFL

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears ended their search for a new coach early Wednesday morning when they made the decision to bring aboard the Montreal Alouettes' Marc Trestman as the franchise's 14th head coach.

A noted quarterback guru, Trestman has been out of the NFL for eight years before his stint in the CFL that eventually led to his succeeding Lovie Smith, who was fired by the Bears on Dec. 31.

The Bears scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.

Trestman, 57, recently signed an extension with the Alouettes that takes his deal through 2016, but it's likely he'll be allowed out of his CFL contract to join the Bears, according to a source.

Trestman is coming off an 11-7 season in the CFL. In five seasons with the Alouettes, Trestman led the team to three appearances in the Grey Cup, including consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010 in addition to being been named CFL coach of the year ('09).

Trestman interviewed for the second time with the Bears on Monday at the end of a process that included 12 other known candidates. Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was among the finalists, along with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, who worked with Trestman in 1995-96 in San Francisco, gave a strong endorsement for the coach Tuesday during "The Waddle and Silvy show" on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

"Marc was still a young coach (when he worked in San Francisco). I thought he was (a) phenomenal coach," Young said. "What he is is a phenomenal offensive mind. He's a great game-day playcaller. I had Mike Holmgren, I had Mike Shanahan and Marc Trestman, and I would put Marc right in there. He's learned and grown, and I stay in touch with him. I don't know exactly why (he hadn't gotten a head-coaching job).

"He is thoughtful (person). He's not gonna scream at people. He'll get after people, but he's got a great stick and a carrot. That's what I think is great coaching: somebody who can understand the different gears and leverages that you have against players to make sure they're focused and ready to play football. So I don't know exactly why, but it's time. I thought it was time five to 10 years ago."

Despite Trestman's recent history in the CFL, he also possesses considerable experience in the NFL, where he's worked on staffs tutoring quarterbacks such as Young (49ers from 1995-96), Rich Gannon (Raiders from 2001-03), who was named the league's MVP in 2001, and Bernie Kosar (1989). Trestman also worked in 2007 with the New Orleans Saints as a consultant.

Other NFL stops for Trestman include Minnesota (two stints), Tampa Bay (1987, then again in 2001 as a senior offensive assistant for Jon Gruden), Detroit (1997), Arizona (1998-2000) and Miami (2004), as well as the University of Miami (1981-84), where he received his law degree.

Trestman spent 2005 and 2006 at North Carolina State before leaving in '08 for the CFL.

In addition to his duties as a coach, Trestman works during the offseason to prepare college quarterbacks for the NFL draft. Trestman worked with Jay Cutler and Bears backup Jason Campbell before their respective drafts.

Young said he expects Trestman and Cutler to click. Early in his career in Denver, Cutler worked with current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who also tutored Young in San Francisco. Young's past experience with Trestman leads him to believe that Cutler shouldn't have a problem working with the former Alouettes coach in Chicago.

Young played 23 games in 1995 and 1996 working with Trestman in San Francisco, and passed for 34 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions.

"Mike and Marc aren't exactly the same personalities, but they get to the same place," Young explained. "Mike's a predator. I'd say the same about Marc, but you wouldn't know it ahead of time; just different. I like them both. I love Mike Shanahan, trust me. But I would put Marc right in there."

According to his official website, Trestman has also worked with Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, Denver rookie Brock Osweiler, Tim Tebow of the New York Jets and Carolina's Jimmy Clausen.

In a testimonial on Trestman's website, Weeden said: "I thought it was my important few days leading up to the (2012) draft. Getting to get up on the board and talk through West Coast systems, and then be able to go out on the field and put some of those things to use. Marc is an extremely knowledgeable football mind and his obvious success everywhere he has been proves that he knows how to develop and teach quarterbacks."

Young said it's time Cutler worked with a quarterback guru such as Trestman but stressed the importance of the Bears quarterback being receptive to the coaching he'll now receive.

"There's a lot of great athletes in the NFL, and one of the things that keeps them from getting to their full potential is this idea that 'I'm such a great athlete, I just go out there and play. I'm that good,'" Young said. "Some of them are that good but never reach their full potential unless they go to school, especially quarterbacks. So if you have a willing participant in Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman, it could make some good music."

One of the candidates to interview for the position early in the process came away from his meeting with Chicago expecting the club to now hold Cutler to a higher level of accountability, in addition to administering some tough love to the quarterback, who has underachieved with the Bears.

The candidate said, "The person I spoke with said that is the plan."

The coach acknowledged that out of the candidate pool of potential Bears coaches, Trestman appeared to be the best suited to handle the job of elevating Cutler to prominence.

Young expects Cutler to thrive under the tutelage of Trestman.

"Jay's now old enough to see. I've got to believe that if someone came in and, in a resonant way, could speak to him ... that he would respond to that," Young said. "Why wouldn't you respond to that? I think he's ready for it. Part of it is just work. Part of it is really boring. It's like going to law school or med school: a lot of study. What I'm saying, to make the transition, and this is the most difficult part is you've got to turn the TV off. You've got to stay inside. You've got to put up your white board. You've got to memorize things. You have to get so you have reflexive recall. When you have reflexive recall, and you own all the data, you become Peyton Manning and Tom Brady."

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Just wait until they name the CFL dude the GM. Haha.

I'll tell ya what, I wouldn't mind the CFL guy. Losing his head coach might lead him to push for another job as well - if he wasn't already.

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I'll tell ya what, I wouldn't mind the CFL guy. Losing his head coach might lead him to push for another job as well - if he wasn't already.

I wouldnt mind the CFL guy either. Made the playoffs 20 years in a row or something rediculous like that.

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Let's trade for the Alouette's QB!!

Under Trestman's tutelage, Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo won back-to-back CFL MVP awards in 2008 and 2009.
Edited by pfilippone

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Imagine the backlash here if this guy became the Jets new HC? LOL

I would have not been upset at all.

I did not like the idea of hiring Ryan from day 1, given his current team passed him up, but that said, I was more than willing to give him a chance to see what he could do.

Herm made zero sense to me, and when I saw the staff he built including Hackett, I blew a gasket, but still wanted to give him a chance.

There does not seem to be a formula for knowing who is going to be a good HC in the NFL.

Good even great coordinators do not always translate into good HC's.

Good even great college HC's do not always translate into good HC's.

Good even great retread's don't always work out.

There really is no proven formula, if the organization does it's due diligence, and I believe they have competent football people making a decision, I would in no way be mad about any hire, it's when a coach proves they cannot cut it, and the organization keeps them around that I get pissed off. I have zero patience for a proven loser.

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as long as the new GM has a track record of picking winners i'm happy. just please no more accountants. the nuts and bolts of cap management should fall to a lacky

Edited by jgb

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