Continuing what has been a good offseason for offensive-minded coaches, the Chicago Bears hired Marc Trestman, fresh off winning his second Grey Cup as the head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes.
This is far from Trestman’s first go-around in the NFL, having worked as an offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders — boosting the passing offenses at each stop. Trestman found offensive success with quarterbacks as varied as Bernie Kosar (3,533 yards, 18 TDs in 1989), Scott Mitchell (3,484 yards, 19 TDs in 1997) and Jake Plummer (3,737 yards, 17 TDs in 1998). Moreover, he coached a 49ers team that led the league in scoring and headed a Raiders offense with Rich Gannon that made a run to the Super Bowl.
All of which bodes well for Jay Cutler — on the surface at least. Trestman was once described by former 49ers fullback William Floyd as “a twist between Bill Walsh and Einstein“, which is quite a description. Fortunately for Einstein, he had the luxury of tinkering out of the critical eye of fans and media. As for the newest main man of the Midway, he has never been afraid to let his quarterbacks air it out. That has frequently led to interceptions — lots of them. Only once did a Trestman QB play a full season with a single-digit interception total (Gannon in ’01). More often than not, the totals ranged on the higher side, including a mind-boggling 24 picks thrown by Jake Plummer in 1999. That’s bad news for Cutler, who has been an interception machine during his career.
Running backs haven’t had particularly huge seasons under Trestman’s watch…but Trestman has never had a back quite like Matt Forte. Forte’s ability to both run and catch the ball effectively could make him a very interesting piece in the Bears offense. This could be where newly hired offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer comes in. Kromer has experience with pass catching backs, having been around Charlie Garner in Oakland and Darren Sproles in New Orleans. However, it will still be Trestman that calls the plays in this offense and with his mixed results, it’s hard to see any significant change in the fantasy fortunes of most of Chicago’s stars.
– Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG