A new era for the Chicago Bears officially began Thursday when general manager Phil Emery took the microphone at Halas Hall and introduced Marc Trestman as the 14th head coach in team history, replacing Lovie Smith who was fired after nine seasons at the helm.
“Marc is the man who is going to work with all of us to attain our goal to win championships and to be in the mix to win championships,” Emery said. “I’m very happy with the choice.”
Trestman sounded just as pleased.
“The Chicago Bears are unquestionably the most loved and storied franchise in the NFL,” said Trestman, who reportedly agreed to a four-year contract. “It’s a premier job, one of the best in all of sports.
“This is a franchise that has the highest expectations for its team. I understand and confidently embrace it.”
Emery said he selected Trestman because he met all the standards the Bears GM had set down before the search.
“Excellence as a QB’s coach, excellence as an offensive coordinator — being a part of two high-level offenses,” Emery rattled off. “Excellence as a pro football coach — two Grey Cup championships and being in a third.”
Trestman recalled spending time with Bears quarteback Jay Cutler many years ago, and said he saw a changed man when the two talked again recently.
“He’s in tune with who he is and where he wants to go,” said Trestman, who will be calling plays during games. “I can’t wait to get my hands on him and go to work with him.
“This guy loves football. He wants to be great. Hopefully we can give him some direction and protection.”
Trestman’s hiring caps off an extensive search by Emery, one he called “an interesting road” that ended with two finalist — Trestman and Bruce Arians.
Emery had said from the start that he was looking for a coach who was offense-oriented and could work with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
He got that in Trestman, who has spent 17 years coaching in the NFL, 13 of those as a quarterbacks coach. Included among the quarterbacks he has worked with are Bernie Kosar, Rich Gannon and Steve Young.
“The quarterback in this league has got to play at an efficient level,” Trestman said. “That’s the challenge ... with any quarterback.’
While the focus of Emery during the search has been offense, Trestman had some news concerning the Bears defense, specifically that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will not return next season.
“We talked,” Trestman said. “He’s made up his mind to move on.”
Over the last five seasons as a head coach in the Canadian Football League, Trestman led the Montreal Alouettes to back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named the CFL’s Coach of the Year in 2009. He also helped tutor quarterback Anthony Calvillo to back-to-back CFL MVP honors in 2008 and 2009.
Now he wants to do the same with Cutler and the Bears.
“I want to be a great teacher, empower leadership and help everyone master their craft,” said Trestman, who indicated he may bring some of his Aloutte staff with him to Chicago. “I love coaching ball.
“We’re going to have a team that cares more for each other than for themselves.”
And for the Chicago Bears fans as well.
“Our commitment to the fans is to put together a team that wins consistently.
“Our goal is to stand on a podium and hold a trophy.”
Ÿ Stay with the Daily Herald for further updates throughout the day. Bob LeGere will have a final report later today, and Mike Spellman will have more in his Scorecard column. Follow Bob on Twitter@BobLeGere, and check back for Mike Imrem’s column after today’s news conference from Halas Hall.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.