It's hard to believe that it's only been a year since Marc Trestman came to Chicago. The short, scrawny, bespectacled man looked less like a football coach and more like a lawyer, which made sense since he has a law degree and all.
Yet, as tends to be the nature on WCG, most fans were ready to turn the page from the Lovie Smith era and see what a coach with offensive background could do from the team that has struggled for so long to consistently put points on the board.
A year can be an eternity in the NFL world, so let's give a little background/refresher on what the coaching search was like.
The Bears had it narrowed down to three finalists as of Jan. 14: Darrell Bevell, offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks, Bruce Arians, offensive coordinator/interim head coach/Coach of the Year of the Indianapolis Colts and Trestman.
Two days later it was official, the Bears announced around 5 a.m. on the 16th that Trestman was their man. Beat reporters (and your friendly neighborhood bloggers) didn't necessarily appreciate the press release dropping at such an ungodly hour but it's one way to beat the endless cycle of "NFL insiders" and "sources" scooping your announcement to the public anyway.
Skimming the comments it's easy to see why there was much trepidation among fans (comments like 'I hope Emery knows what he's doing') because Arians and Bevell were seen as the more high profile, exciting hires and Trestman was in the CFL. A lot of other people held to the "wait and see approach" (Rational thoughts, c'mon!) and others were encouraged by the good things other fan bases had to say about Trestman and his offense.
What of the experts? Well here are some thoughts from the original post:
...a daring, if risky, hire for a team that all too often let dysfunctional offenses sabotage strong defenses under Smith. ...Although Jay Cutler will be adjusting to yet another new system in 2013, it's excellent news for his prospects that the lead voice in the Bears offense will finally be the head coach, and not the offensive coordinator.
Fair assessment and one year later I think the hire doesn't look as risky. It worked out all right for Jay Cutler and Josh McCown.
Trestman is a somewhat unconventional choice, having been out of the NFL for eight years. But he also is a proven winner, having won back-to-back Grey Cup championships as coach of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League... In addition to having head coaching experience, Trestman is a quarterback guru who has spent most of his professional life coaching passers. Clearly, he is being brought to the Bears to get the most out of Jay Cutler and whoever else lines up under center during his tenure.
As Les pointed out the other day, Cutler had a 90 rating in seven of the 11 games he started and a career-high 89.2 rating for the year.
The last tidbit to point out comes from the introductory presser (T.J. Shouse wrote the highlight thread and it is still highly entertaining). Emery said that his final two candidates were Arians and Trestman. Trestman went 8-8 in year one and led a top-10 offense, most Bears fans would say the arrow is pointing up on the Trestman regime. Arians would go on to be hired by Arizona and his team went 10-6, barely missed the playoffs, and had a top-15 offense and top-10 defense. Hard to say Emery didn't have a clue or good candidates standing at the end.
So one year later the Bears have a top-10 offense whose arrow is pointing up and a defense that's in need to a rebuild. How do you feel about Trestman one year later? Do you think he's going to be the guy to lead the Bears back to the Super Bowl?