Just before the Bears' Week 1 victory over Cincinnati began, the NFL Network's pregame show ran a package featuring clips of all six brand-new rookie NFL head coaches. The montage featured your typical yawps and bellows from eager, young coaches looking to fire up their players. From five of the six newbie coaches, anyway.
When Marc Trestman spoke, he spoke calmly and used words with three syllables. Sometimes four! During pre-practice warmups, Lance Briggs walked up to Trestman and said, "Got a question for ya. Do you EVER take your hat off?" Trestman deadpanned, "If you had hair like mine, you'd never take your hat off." Cut to the other five rookie coaches, all yelling in sequence something unintelligible, covered in sweat and desperation.
Those five coaches are a combined 4-11 through three weeks, while Trestman's Bears are undefeated.
Trestman's self-deprecating humor didn't force five turnovers Sunday, nor did it lead game-winning drives on the previous two Sundays. Trestman is not the force-of-nature personality storm our town has historically loved. His tenure will not spawn "Saturday Night Live" sketches, nor will he ever try to sell us sausage.
Instead, he'll go for it on fourth-and-short near midfield and make well-informed coaches' challenges. He'll grill a fortyburger on Sunday night at Heinz Field. (Ketchup joke!)
His offense has Jay Cutler getting rid of the ball quickly. Cutler's sack rate is about once per 34 drop-backs. (During his prior four years, he was dropped once every 13.) As a result, Cutler has a 94.2 quarterback rating—good for 10th in the league—but climbs all the way to third in ESPN's proprietary QBR ranking, which weighs statistical performance in pivotal game situations higher than garbage-time stats. If that stays in the top five, the Bears win the NFC North. Period.
Spend 20 minutes watching video of Trestman discussing football and his plan for the Bears. You won't hear a single coach-speak cliché. Instead of Ditka, you should want to be him for Halloween, especially when the Bears are 5-2 (or better) headed into that bye weekend.
Black-framed glasses, slicked-back hair under a hat, and a navy Bears polo. Done.
RedEye special contributor Alex Quigley can be heard on WGN Radio 720. @alexquigley
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