Bears Trestman busy catching up
INDIANAPOLIS — Having spent the past five seasons in the Canadian Football League coaching the Montreal Alouettes, new Bears coach Marc Trestman doesn't dispute that he has some catching up to do on NFL personnel.
"I think that's very fair," Trestman admitted Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I don't feel behind in the football X's and O's side, but certainly in the personnel side I've got some work to do.
"When I left the league, like most coaches do, you know everybody in the league. You know how your personnel matches up in your division, in your conference and throughout the league. That's a big part of it."
Trestman completed his staff late Thursday afternoon by naming Alabama wide receivers coach Mike Groh to the same post with the Bears. Trestman also has been evaluating Bears personnel and putting together the offensive playbook, while simultaneously preparing for the start of free agency March 12 and the draft April 25-27).
"Along with all the other things that are going on, obviously I will continue to try to familiarize myself on the personnel side," Trestman said. "That would be the side I am most deficient in going in."
Room for improvement:
General manager Phil Emery's first two draft picks as the Bears' draft-day decision maker — defensive end Shea McClellin and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery — both flashed ability as rookies but left most observers wanting more.
McClellin had just 2½ sacks but was third on the team with 14 quarterback pressures while playing 365 snaps. Israel Idonije was second on the team with 7½ sacks but had just 11 pressures, although he played almost twice as many snaps (711) as McClellin.
Jeffery was third on the team with 367 receiving yards on 24 catches, but his progress was interrupted by a broken hand and a hamstring injury.
"We want them to grow as football players and be more productive, so that they can help us at a higher level and win football games," Emery said of the first- and second-round picks.
"I'm very satisfied with where they were at as rookies. Obviously, they both had some dings. We wanted them to be healthier, but that's the nature of the game."
Reading body language:
Coach Marc Trestman was asked about the importance of quarterback Jay Cutler's body language, which often has been criticized. Trestman preferred to discuss the characteristics that make Cutler an intriguing pupil.
"Everybody has an opinion on that," Trestman said. "I've had a couple of opportunities to talk with him on multiple levels, and I'm excited to work with him in all facets of his game.
"He's an extremely bright guy. He loves football. He's got a great skill set. We've got to work hard to provide him the resources he can to maximize his ability, and that goes into everything we're doing."
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