9:57 AM CST, February 18, 2013
Maybe it’s just me, but members of the Chicago Bears new coaching staff sound like they don’t have a clue.
Based on what they’ve said publicly, at least.
Which is virtually nothing.
Starting with new coach Marc Trestman and going right through the rest of the assistants, the new Bears coaches have offered almost nothing by way of an assessment, scouting report or insight on Bears players.
In his introductory news conference, Trestman said he wanted time before making public his thoughts on players. He talked about needing months, which is also apparently the time it will take for him to put a playbook together.
Sorry, I don’t get it, but why isn’t the playbook done? A running play for Matt Forte, a passing play for Brandon Marshall, and bang, done. When Bears general manager Phil Emery brings in an actual tight end, you can add another page.
But not to have a playbook completed and not to have a coaching staff filled out -- what has Trestman been doing for the last month?
I’ll hang up and listen for a frustrating lack of answers.
But you know what? Trestman’s vague and evasive responses to questions about specific players is serving him well when it comes to Jay Cutler.
Trestman refused to call Cutler a franchise quarterback. Matt Cavanaugh, Trestman’s choice as quarterbacks coach, also stayed away from that label.
This, mind you, comes after general manager Phil Emery said upon his hiring and again after firing Lovie Smith that he viewed Cutler as exactly that kind of quarterback, even though Cutler has won exactly one playoff game in his seven-year career.
Emery is the guy with the money, too, don’t forget. But most immediately, he doesn’t count in the Cutler conundrum.
Getting Cutler into that quarterback club falls on Trestman and Cavanaugh. They have different personalities when it comes achieving that goal -- Trestman is regarded as more encouraging, Cavanaugh has a reputation as someone harshly demanding -- and the feeling is that one of those personalities will get through to Cutler.
But for now, this is Mom and Dad standing united against Junior. These are the parents saying the same thing: Cutler has a great arm and brings a lot of other physical talents you want in a winning quarterback, but ...
Here are the buts: Cutler’s mental and emotional approaches to adversity have been wildly inconsistent, his willingness to accept coaching and lead during games has been famously juvenile, his poise and mechanics in big spots devolve into big messes.
There’s more, but you get the idea. And so do Trestman and Cavanaugh. It’s telling that neither would go near the tag the GM declared. It’s likely that this will be Cutler’s last offensive staff with the Bears and that this staff knows it. So, if you’re among those coaches, why give away that leverage?
It took a while, but Stevie Sunshine found a positive side to a coaching staff that would appear to have seen no tape of the players it will be coaching. Trestman’s staff still lacks a wide receivers coach, and now I can’t wait until he offers no insight.
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