After what seemed like forever, and Phil Emery even resorting to interviewing himself for the job, Marc Trestman was finally announced as the new head coach of the Chicago Bears. Then followed numerous changes at nearly every coaching position, which is understandable, given there is a new man charged with managing the team.
But all these coaching changes got me thinking - does it really matter who is involved with coaching the Chicago Bears and why are we supposed to care?
At first glance, this might seem a little naive and ignorant, but I assure you I am capable of being both at the same time. But the truth remains - before Trestman has even coached a game in Chicago, we all know how he will be judged. By winning games. A good coach is someone whose players win games.
I think some people forget that the coach never takes to the field to throw a block or run a go route. He stands on the sideline and hopes his players can execute the play they have been instructed to carry out. If it goes well, it was a good coaching decision. If not, then someone has to be blamed. You normally see coaches getting the blame if it's a trick play that goes badly wrong, or a decision to go for it on fourth down that disastrously backfires.
But this is how it has to be. If a team has a terrible season or a series of terrible years, the coach has to be the one in the firing line. You can't exactly fire an entire roster of players, can you? Even if it's a case of his players playing absolutely awful football, they will still have a job next year. The coach has to go, and there's s just no other way to do this, however unjust this might seem.
I found it terribly hard to get excited during the Bears' search for a new head coach. I heard lots of people saying they'd prefer this person over that person, or hoping that a specific coach was given the job over another. But why? We don't really know anything about these people, and at the end of the day, they all coach football, which, by definition, makes them pretty similar, in my book.
So here's where my naivety comes into play, and perhaps someone out there can enlighten me. What, in your opinion, makes a good coach? You see, I don't count how many wins a coach has as a good measurement of their success. Football is a sport that is reliant on a lot of people and all those people doing what they are supposed to do. In the same way that one player cannot consistently change the outcome of a game, neither can one head coach.
Can anyone name a head coach who has won consistently, but had really bad players?
This year, with Trestman calling the offensive plays, we will at least be able to judge what type of play caller he is, and that is important. That is something tangible we can look at and judge for ourselves. But we aren't there after the games, or on the practice field, or present when he talks to a player one on one. We don't see what type of coach or person he is during those situations. So I don't understand the excitement over who is given the task of being a team's new head coach.
What Marc Trestman said in his press conference was what I expected him to say, and was pretty much what any new head coach would say. We can't really take much from that, can we? Did we think he'd come in and say 'well, Jay Cutler needs to play better if we want to win games'? or 'perhaps if they had put D.J Moore on the field, they would have won some more games'. He didn't say anything like that. He spouted the normal positivity and enthusiasm that one would expect. However unoriginal that might be.
We already know that Phil Emery and the Bears seemed to interview anyone they could lay their hands on, and I propose that it would not have really mattered if they hired someone else instead of Marc Trestman.
Like I said, if the Bears win football games, then hiring Trestman was the right decision, even though he doesn't really have that much to do with winning games.