After Raiders, Bears tranquility for Trestman

Marc Trestman's days with the Oakland Raiders likely prepared him for anything the Halas Hall culture might throw at him.

Really, anything.

The Bears' new head coach shouldn't be fazed if the McCaskeys ask him to go on a hayride every Saturday night.

Trestman shouldn't be fazed if general manager Phil Emery shaves his head and tattoos it with a profile of Joan Rivers.

He shouldn't be fazed if Jay Cutler wants the Bears to wear kilts during practice and halter tops in games.

A decade ago Trestman worked for the Raiders owned by Al Davis. It's sounding more and more that nothing the Bears do could be as wacky as that experience.

Trestman might still be haunted by his time out there. Perhaps that's why he eventually escaped to Canada the past five years.

Tuesday, shrill echoes were heard concerning the Raiders' 2002 season in which they advanced to the Super Bowl before losing to Tampa Bay.

In a radio interview former wide receiver Tim Brown, a Hall of Fame candidate, hinted that then-Oakland head coach Bill Callahan might have sabotaged the Raiders' chances to win the championship.

The allegation prompted a flurry of opinions in other media outlets. Some of Brown's teammates agreed with him; others disagreed; others were noncommittal.

Remember, that was the Super Bowl in which the night before the game Raiders center Barret Robbins disappeared across the border to Mexico in an altered state of mind.

One theory is that Robbins went AWOL because Callahan changed the Raiders' entire game plan that Friday night from running heavily to throwing more.

Whatever happened, Trestman had a front-row seat as Oakland's offensive coordinator, so it'll be interesting to hear what he recalls when he's ready to recall it publicly.

One of the things I remember about that Super Bowl is not seeing Davis anywhere. If he was around, I missed him, but it would have been hard to miss him in one of his white jump suits?

The joke was that Davis was like a head of the former Soviet Union: reported to have the flu but really dead. Speculation was that if he showed up at media day he would have been like someone out of “Weekend at Bernie's.”

Anyway, sometime sooner or later the whole Raiders/Brown/Callahan/Robbins/Davis fiasco will be sorted out for us and we'll know what really happened.

Trestman already has authored one book, so maybe he'll write another revealing what really happened during that Super Bowl season.

In the meantime, freshly back from Raider rehab in Montreal, Trestman might consider Halas Hall an island of sanity in a sea of Al's World.

Actually, let's face it. The Bears do appear to be normal even compared to what has come out of Lake Forest the past few decades.

Current club chairman George McCaskey seems like an upgrade over predecessor Mike McCaskey. Phil Emery is off to an encouraging start after one year as general manager. Trestman sounded credible, though not dynamic, during his first week as head coach.

Being more emotionally stable than the Raiders isn't difficult if even a Super Bowl season in Oakland is that dysfunctional.

But maybe G-Mac, Emery and Trestman can lend the kind of stability — and hopefully capability — that the Steelers, Giants and Packers demonstrate.

One priority toward that end should be to keep anybody at Halas Hall from insisting on serving chocolate covered gravel at the training table.

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