Many people have different opinions on the firing of Coach Lovie Smith, and even more have their own opinions on the hiring of Marc Trestman. I'm going to try and explain my thought process in this situation, and why I believe this could be a change that is for the better.
Dick Jauron is a name that Bears fans know all too well. You know that part in Harry Potter, the part where they say "he who shall not be named", or whatever they say. Yeah! That part! You got it. That's pretty much how Bears' fans view Dick Jauron. He led the Bears through some of the darkest times in history. Jauron was hired as Bears' head coach in 1999, after Dave Wannstedt was dismissed due to ineptness. Before being the Bears' head coach Dick Jauron was not the hot shot coordinator that Wannstedt was, but he was viewed as knowledgeable and was to carry on the tradition of defense in Chicago. After an overall losing record, and only one winning season in his tenure, Jauron was fired and the Bears were in search of a savior.
Enter Lovie Smith. A defensive guru from Texas, Smith spent time learning from the likes of Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin. Smith was the hot commodity the year he was hired by the Bears. He was viewed as the young, up-and-comer, who would bring fresh ideas, and a Tony Dungy like atmosphere to an organization that was suffering. It was apparent immediately that Smith was a winner, or at least he knew how to treat the cameras, declaring day one that his number one goal was to beat the Green Bay Packers. This struck the heartstrings of Bears fans, as all of us know how important that was. Smith made bold moves, switching the defense to a Tampa style that won the Buccaneers a Super Bowl a few years prior. He formulated the defense to fit around the strengths of former top 10 pick Brian Urlacher, and all pro safety Mike Brown. Smith's first major move as Bears head coach was to trade former all pro wide receiver Marty Booker to the Dolphins for a young pass rusher named Adawale Ogunleye. Ogunleye had spent the first two years of his career playing alongside one of the all time great defensive lineman, Jason Taylor. Lovie Smith was in the process of turning this team around, one piece at a time. Perhaps the height of Lovie's tenure was his Super Bowl appearance in Miami, against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts, of course, were lead by Lovie's former mentor and good friend, Tony Dungy. Lovie's team faltered in the championship and was beaten fairly handedly by the more impressive Colts.
The buzz was abounding that the Bears were finally contenders, and Lovie Smith was starting to be named in the same class as Belichik and Andy Reid. The follow season, however, the Bears were riddled with injury and eventually fell to 7-9 and missed the playoffs, beginning a streak of playoff misses that lasted until 2011, when the Bears made the NFC Titles game, falling to the Packers. A year later, as we all know, Lovie was fired due to missing the playoffs again.
Many Bears' fans were distraught, some happy, some didn't really care. I would like to put myself in the category of completely pissed off and confused. I believed Lovie Smith was a top 5 coach, with a winning record that orchestrated a huge turnaround of this organization. I didn't know who Marc Trestman was, and thought he was one of the worst candidates that the front office had named. When I heard he was hired I was curious as to what he could bring to the table. I mean, come on..What could a guy who has been in Canada for 5 years really know about the NFL?
Then I looked a little close. I learned that he had won championship, and I don't care what sport you're playing, winning a championship means you're the best team. I also learned that Trestman took a team that was allowing almost 70 sacks, to allowing barely 30. This got me intrigued. Trestman comes from the Bill Walsh, George Siefert coaching tree. It's well known for the West Coast offense, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Steve Young, but it's hard to believe that Jerry Rice and Steve Young's best season came under the coaching of Marc Trestman. This guy must really know what he's doing.
To the future, I foresee Trestman having a lot of success in Chicago. He's got a good starting base of players to work with. It's a base of players that consists of veteran leaders, and talented athletes. If he can manage to bring the offense together, while still maintaining defensive excellence, then he will see major success starting year one.
In all, Lovie was a good coach, who created a good foundation, however the difference between Lovie and Marc is..Lovie talked about winning a championship, Marc has actually done it.