Mike Shanahan on Marc Trestman and Jay Cutler: “I think it’ll work well”Continue reading.
Jay Cutler on Bears coach Marc Trestman: ‘Great hire’
The hiring of Marc Trestman comes with the Jay Cutler seal-of-approval.
”It’s a great hire. I couldn’t be more excited,” Cutler told the team’s web site. ”I’ve talked to guys around the league and did my own research on him. He’s an offensive mind, a great person and a guy that’s going to come in hopefully lead us to many victories in the future.”
Bears general manager Phil Emery made it clear that maximizing Cutler’s potential as a ”franchise” quarterback was a prime focus of his search for a new head coach. Eight of the 13 candidates who were known to have interviewed, including the three finalists, were offensive coaches. Trestman arguably has the greatest reputation as a ”quarterback guru.”
”He’s been successful wherever he’s been,” Cutler said. ”He’s from the West Coast coaching tree, which I’m familiar with. It’s what I came into the league with, with [Mike] Shanahan [with Denver in 2006], so I’m looking forward to it.”
That’s a far cry from Cutler’s attitude the last time he was involved in a head coaching change. After Mike Shanahan was fired by the Denver Broncos after the 2008 season, Cutler expressed his disappointment and was nowhere to be found when the Broncos hired New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to replace Shanahan.
And once he came to grips with the Shanahan firing, there was never any endorsement of the McDaniels hire. Only an acceptance of the reality that he would be learning a new offense.
”I think they’re all about putting guys in the position to make it work,” Cutler told Denver reporters. ”I’m sure he’s going to pull some of the stuff that we do and put it with some of the stuff they do.”
After the Broncos entertained an offer for Cutler by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers –with the Broncos acquiring Matt Cassel from the Patriots –Cutler was miffed, requested a trade and eventually was sent to the Bears for two first-round draft picks.
The Bears are not likely to have any such problems with Cutler during this transition. Cutler never developed a tethered relationship with any of his offensive coordinators — Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice –as he did with Shanahan. And Cutler has prior experience with Trestman. He worked out with Trestman in preparation for the 2006 NFL draft. Trestman has worked out several quarterbacks in recent years, including Tim Tebow and Brandon Weeden.
”I was young and impressionable,” Cutler said. ”I flew to North Carolina State and worked with him for two days. You could just tell how knowledgeable he was about the quarterback position and offense in general. It was definitely a learning experience. It’s funny how things work out. Almost seven years later I’m back working with him again.”
One downside is that this will be Cutler’s fourth offensive coordinator in his five seasons with the Bears. Trestman reportedly has hired Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer as his offensive coordinator, though Trestman designs and installs the offense and calls the plays on game days.
Trestman has a history of first-year success as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The University of Miami won the national championship in his first season as quarterbacks coach in 1983. The Browns (1988), 49ers (1995), Lions (1997), Cardinals (1998) and Raiders (2001) made the playoffs in his first season as offensive coordinator. North Carolina State went to a bowl game in Trestman’s first year as offensive coordinator in 2005. The Montreal Alouettes improved from 8-10 to 11-7 and reached the Grey Cup in Trestman’s first season as head coach in 2008.
”It’s hard,” Cutler said. ”You start back at zero every year with the entire offense, so it’s definitely challenging. I think if you look across the league at elite and very good quarterbacks, they’ve all been in systems for numerous years.
”That’s what our goal is here; for coach Trestman to come in and install his system and us win games and keep him around for a long time, to be able to grow year-in and year-out in this system and get everyone better.”