Update: The Bears have confirmed Marc Trestman is the new head coach. A 10 a.m. press conference is scheduled for Thursday.
LM: It's official: Marc Trestman has been named the 14th head coach in Chicago #Bears history.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 16, 2013
The Tribune's Brad Biggs broke the news in the small hours of the night via twitter that, according to an NFL source, the Bears will go with Marc Trestman as their new head coach.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport elaborates that:
The Chicago Bears are telling candidates that they will hire Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman as their next coach, according to a source briefed on their situation. They informed Bruce Arians and Darrell Bevell, the other two finalists for the job, that they were moving forward Tuesday night with Trestman.
Rotoworld describes it as:
...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.
Brad Biggs' Chicago Tribune colleague Dan Pompei helped assess the move, noting that:
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. Trestman has a 64-34 record in five years as a head coach.
And, on one of his main priorities as stipulated by GM Phil Emery:
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.
Trestman should know what he is getting into with Cutler. As a consultant, he worked with Cutler to prepare him for the 2006 combine.
Former league MVP Rich Gannon, who flourished under Trestman during their time together at the Raiders, has no doubt that the Bears made the right hire to get the best out of their talented but mercurial quarterback:
"Marc has always been the type of guy who can sit down with you and talk about things. What do you like about this? What don’t you like? His feedback is excellent. And he has an ability to be honest with you. Somebody needs to be honest with Jay Cutler."
Cutler was less than optimistic about QB coach Jeremy Bates' chances of staying in the immediate aftermath of Lovie's firing, but Pompei may have some hope for him on that front:
Trestman’s plans for the defense are unknown, but there’s a good chance he will retain coordinator Rod Marinelli and some of the other defensive assistants. Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates also is a possibility to stay. Trestman previously worked with Bates’ father, Jim.
So there you have it, Bears fans, the waiting is over and you wake up this morning to a new head coach. What are your thoughts? Will his WCO-centric approach help mask the offensive line's pass-blocking issues that we've become all too accustomed to? Can Matt Forte be the next Roger Craig? Will Phil Emery's influence and the weight of history of the franchise help him avoid the defensive slide that a Montreal Alouettes season-ticket holder described in this fanpost?
Stay tuned to WCG all day for the best coverage of news and views on the new head coach.
Update: Marc Trestman's career timeline. Introductory news conference scheduled for 10am, will be carried on CSNChicago (and, presumably, ChicagoBears.com).