10:24 PM CST, January 17, 2013
Marc Trestman was a smash at his introductory news conference Thursday in Lake Forest. The Bears new head coach definitively answered "yes" to the qualities Phil Emery suggested were requisite for the job when the Bears general manager outlined his blueprint on New Year's Day.
As advertised, Trestman, a youthful 57, came off as bright. Organized. A guy with people skills.
So while football aficionados in four other cities eagerly anticipate conference championship games, Bears fans are reduced to celebrating how well the guys who wear hats instead of helmets have performed while standing behind a microphone.
On my scorecard, the Bears are 2-0 in news conferences this offseason. Emery and Trestman successfully have restored some faith: Simply because Emery, best described Thursday as bubbly, and Trestman aren't the stammering boob and the icy robot their predecessors were.
In lieu of a playoff appearance, the Bears have emerged in 2013 as contenders in the words game.
Words. What are they, really? They are weightless, colorless, odorless symbols of what previously were electrical charges we call thoughts.
The words we've heard Emery and Trestman use liberally — terms like synergy, thorough, lockstep, commitment and excellence — will mean nothing when the ball goes in the air in September. Actions, on the other hand, are the only thing that will change the direction of this franchise.
Trestman biggest challenge is getting the best out of Jay Cutler. Emery's is augmenting Cutler's supporting cast, while also reloading on defense.
No small feats.
I guardedly share the optimism of those who've liked what the men at the top of the ladder have offered. But I also vividly recall this town being giddy over Dave Wannstedt when we got our first peek at him 20 years ago this month.
Politicians win or lose news conferences. Football people win on game day.
•Trestman was dead-on when he suggested the most important marriage in sports is the marriage between the quarterback and the head coach.
I couldn't help but wonder what the coach will think of his new bride the first time Cutler walks away from him.
•It was wise on Trestman's part to refrain from committing to what type of offense he'll run until he evaluates his personnel. After spending as much time as he did preparing for his lengthy interviews with Emery — and the information he has received from Emery — he obviously understands protecting Cutler has not been a strength.
Trestman was emphatic that a commitment to protection is his first objective offensively.
•Emery called the Bears head coaching position "the finest job in the National Football League." Perhaps it once was, and may be again some day, but if that distinction is predicated on a progressive, stable and committed ownership, the Bears again would fall short of postseason caliber.
•Trestman on Cutler: "I can't wait to get my hands on him."
Think that was the first time that ever has been said at Halas Hall?
Special contributor Dan McNeil hosts "The McNeil and Spiegel Show" weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WSCR-AM 670.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC