Too much to ask Bears, Trestman to win Super Bowl?

  • Can new Bears head coach Marc Trestman turn quarterback Jay Cutler into a quarterback who can lead his team to the Super Bowl?

    Can new Bears head coach Marc Trestman turn quarterback Jay Cutler into a quarterback who can lead his team to the Super Bowl? George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

Updated 1/16/2013 4:59 PM

Not much will be expected of Marc Trestman.

All he has to do is turn Jay Cutler into Joe Montana in six months and win a Super Bowl 54 weeks from now.


That's not asking a lot, though perhaps Bears fans should set their sights a hair lower.

After all, in the 46 years of Super Bowls, only three men have won the big prize in their first year with a new team, and each time the circumstances were considerably different from what the Bears face now.

The last was Jon Gruden with Tampa in 2002, but Gruden had been the head coach in Oakland the previous four years and was already 2-2 in the postseason. Plus, he inherited a team that had been to the playoffs the previous three seasons.

In Super Bowl XXXVII, Gruden defeated the team he left, the Raiders, which had on staff both Trestman -- the offensive coordinator -- and new Bears O.C. Aaron Kromer -- the line coach. For what it's worth, Tampa seemed to know every play the Raiders would run before they ran it.

Before Gruden, it was George Seifert in 1989 with the Niners. But Seifert has been on staff with Bill Walsh the previous nine years, had been the defensive coordinator the six years before Walsh retired and Seifert inherited four Hall of Famers.

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And, oh yeah, the Niners were the defending Super Bowl champs when Seifert became head coach.

The first to do it was Don McCafferty with the 1970 Baltimore Colts, but McCafferty had been with the team for 11 years already and had been the offensive coordinator the previous seven years.

When Don Shula left for Miami, McCafferty was welcomed by Johnny Unitas, who had grown tired of having Shula on his back all the time.

Baltimore won a mistake-filled contest over Dallas on Jim O'Brien's last-second field goal to capture Super Bowl V.

So three guys in 46 years doesn't bode well for the Bears winning it all next season, especially when you consider the major changes made to the Bears' offense, coaching staff and personnel.

The Bears will have new faces all around the staff, the most important of which is Kromer, becoming Cutler's sixth offensive coordinator in the last seven years.


Not to mention the fact that the Bears still have a terrible offensive line, are weak at receiver, have no tight end, an aging defense and an inconsistent pass rush.

But while expectations shouldn't be ridiculous, the playoffs are not out of the question.

Trestman does have a talented NFL quarterback -- albeit with assorted peccadillos -- the Bears are coming off a 10-win season, and reaching the postseason with a first-year coach happens frequently.

Nine coaches have done it the last five years, including Chuck Pagano (Colts, 2012), John Fox (Broncos, 2011), Jim Harbaugh (Niners, 2011), Pete Carroll (Seahawks, 2010), Rex Ryan (Jets, 2009), Jim Caldwell (Colts, 2009), Mike Smith (Falcons, 2008), John Harbaugh (Ravens, 2008) and Tony Sparano (Dolphins, 2008).

So the playoffs aren't that long a shot, especially if GM Phil Emery does his part by cutting some dead weight and improving the roster.

That seems a good bet with a new head coach and so many new staffers on the way to Chicago who don't have ties to the names of the past decade, names that no longer serve the cause.

It's the dawn of a new era for the Bears and it will be at least a year before we know whether this risky pick of a CFL head coach -- who has moved around so often -- has a chance to be the man who finally brings the offense into this millennium.

What we know for certain is that Emery has fired a coach who completely ignored the offense and the quarterback in favor of a man who will be all about the offense and the quarterback.

Regardless of what occurs in 2013, the Bears have already made major progress.

•Hear Barry Rozner on WSCR 670-AM and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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