Safe to say Trestman came out on top.
— Marc Trestman, from "Perseverance: Life Lessons on Leadership and Teamwork"
Anthony Calvillo gained a better appreciation for the word "respect'' by watching the actions of his head coach.
The American-born, 40-year-old quarterback of the Alouettes took pregame rituals for granted — until Trestman altered his view.
"Half the players up here are American and half the players are Canadian,'' Calvillo explained. "So Coach Trestman said to show respect for the country, he wanted every player to stand on the sideline, shoulder to shoulder, with their helmets in their left hands. He did it his first year, and we did it every year after that.''
Calvillo already had thrown for more than 50,000 yards in his career before Trestman's arrival, yet that never deterred him from wanting to learn from a guy he respected immediately. Pro football's all-time passing leader with 78,494 career passing yards actually elevated his game under Trestman, winning two CFL Most Outstanding Player awards.
"He always has been open-minded,'' Calvillo said of Trestman. "When he first got to Montreal, he called some of the veterans and wanted to get some input on how the offense should be run.
"That was very impressive to me because being a new coach, you always assume that's it going to be my way or the highway. With him, that wasn't the case.''
Trestman has vowed to take a hands-on approach with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, whom he has met with and tutored in the past. The onus will be on Cutler to digest a new, West Coast offense and absorb the knowledge of a head coach known for polishing quarterbacks.
It will take time, as Calvillo knows.
The year before Trestman arrived in Montreal, Calvillo had 75 to 100 plays to use. Under Trestman, the number increased to up to 160.
"You have to put in the time to study,'' Calvillo said. "I always joked around with Coach Trestman and said he was a crazy man in terms of how many plays that he had. That's just his mentality. He wanted to make sure he has a play to call no matter what defense is going to be thrown at us.
"He never wanted to walk away from a game saying, 'I didn't have a play for you. I didn't give you the best chance to help you win.' ''
Trestman's cerebral approach and attention to detail certainly stood out in Canada, where he won two Grey Cup championships in five seasons with Montreal. Longtime friend Stein mentioned a recent conversation during which Trestman talked about how difficult it would be to leave the country.
Jerry Trestman noticed the same attachment.
"The people up there really liked him,'' the father said. "As a matter of fact, he could have run for president in Canada.''
The prime minister might have taken issue with that.
Bears fans would be content just to see Trestman fix their team's offense, for starters. If he succeeds, then maybe he could run for mayor of Chicago.