Marc Trestman came to the Chicago Bears with a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. His work with Jay Cutler has obviously helped his on field play, but Cutler also looked more comfortable in front of a microphone and as the face of the Bears' franchise last season.
As head coach, Trestman's professional decorum extends far beyond the QB room, and he strives to connect with each and every player on his roster. He's always striving to gt his positive message across, and that even led him to join the National Advisory Board of Positive Coaching Alliance.
The culture of an NFL locker room has been a recent hot topic with bullying/hazing of younger players at the forefront of discussion. In an effort to foster a more ethical culture in the Bears locker room, both Marc Trestman and Jay Cutler traveled to New York City to meet with author, CEO and founder of LRN, Dov Seidman.
Seidman has been advising the NFL on how to change their culture for the better since he was the keynote speaker at the owners meetings earlier this year. His message then was that,
NFL leadership needs to create a culture of high expectations. Players need to understand that tolerance and respect are social norms, and that using racial slurs and other hateful language is not acceptable.
Trestman and Cutler met with Seidman to exchange ideas on how best to implement positive change for the Bears.
From Peter Kings's MMQB:
"I got a tremendous start in the way a locker room was run when I coached for five years in Canada," said Trestman, whose first head-coaching job was with Montreal of the CFL. "In our locker room, everyone should feel safe. For some of the guys in Chicago, it was kind of new to them. There'd be no hazing. Lovie Smith had a great group of players-a great group-and he did a great job with them. There were some subtle things I wanted to add. I wanted to keep growing."
Having a professional work environment is something many of us take for granted, but in the NFL, it's something that hasn't always been the norm.
Trestman didn't want to be specific about what he, Cutler and Seidman discussed, other than to say he "wanted to find out what else we could do to keep growing." Seidman wouldn't confirm the meeting, but it's clear from a pro football source that they bonded and had a discussion Trestman and Cutler will use as a building block in their locker room.
Seidman plans to meet with each NFL team for an hour long session to discuss changing the culture.
"You don't just flip a switch on something like this," Seidman said. "It's about a journey. It's about progress. I think teams are figuring out there's a new way to win, and that includes caring for the player as a person, a father and a husband. Creating a locker room full of people who can be themselves can help you win."
I think it really says something about the character of Trestman and Cutler, that they wanted some one on one time with Seidman to get a jump start on their team's change.