The Marc Trestman Experience

The Marc Trestman Experience
Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune

Monday night’s win over the Packers summarizes everything you ever needed to know about Marc Trestman. Are there still meatball fans out there saying the Bears should have kept Lovie Smith? I hope not, because if that is the case, you need to make an appointment with your eye doctor.

In my eyes, that game will forever be remembered as “The Mark Trestman Experience.”

His play calling was absolutely phenomenal. The final drive of the game took up nine minutes and left the Packers with nearly no time on the clock. They had 18 plays and ran the ball 13 times for 63 yards. When is the last time we’ve seen something that impressive? And with a backup quarterback?

Not to mention, on that last 18 play drive, Trestman wore the Green Bay defense out big time. He knew B.J. Raji was dead in the water and couldn’t catch a breath, so they kept running stuff to the outside to wear him out further. The Bears dominated the Packers’ defense with the run game.

To me, that sums up what Trestman is. He has something … some kind of weird effect on quarterbacks that makes them listen. And let’s face it: Trestman has had success with guys like McCown. Look at Rich Gannon, who he turned into a league MVP.

McCown looked like a solid, starting NFL quarterback. But don’t be silly; he still is not close to Cutler talent-wise. Enough clamoring for the Bears to sign McCown over Cutler in the off-season, please. Because, believe me, it’s already started on Twitter. Just stop now.

Kidding aside, McCown could survive a few weeks as the starter if he is going to continue to play that smart and efficient. What sums up McCown’s game was the touchdown to Brandon Marshall. With the pocket collapsing, McCown got his feet under him to make an incredible throw, followed by an even better catch.

That is the kind of play we would say, “There are only a few guys who can make that play, and Cutler’s one of them,” had it actually been Cutler. McCown scrambled well, putting the stutter step on a Packers’ defensive player for a big gain on the ground.

His reads were near perfect, as well as his recognizing when a play was dead. He looked like the best possible backup available, as well as looking better than a lot of starting quarterbacks in the league right now. He hit five different targets and displayed great poise.

Outside of the weird bubble screen to “The Black Unicorn,” Trestman called a great game and didn’t try anything too crazy. Quick slants to big-bodied receivers and getting Forte going were the keys to victory. The crack toss call out of the Pistol was my favorite play call of the game. Going for it on fourth down was a ballsy move, and this guy went for it.

But what was even better was the patience displayed by Matt Forte, who hit the hole hard. It shows how much he trusts the defense and atrocious special teams. The gameplan was completely solid and well put together. This was a coaches’ win on every single level. Trestman is definitely a man with a plan, and it shows. The players trust him, and that’s a good sign for the future.

Forte has really picked it up this year, running hard while still maintaining his shiftiness and patience. For once the Bears were the team grinding with the running game and soaking up tons of clock as the game ticked on. Green Bay has been improved against the run this year, but Forte at them up for 125 yards and a touchdown, getting 179 total yards on the night. Fantasy owners rejoice!

Jay Cutler offering input in with plays was also a refreshing thing to hear. On national TV, he was active on the sidelines being the leader he has become. Cutler was engaged in a conversation with someone every single time he was on camera. This Jay Cutler has really started to turn the corner. He and Trestman’s relationship is real and should be valued.

But, maybe my favorite overall thing of the night was the offensive line. They kept McCown clean, giving up one sack when McCown scrambled and dove behind the line of scrimmage. Going into to the game, the Packers were fourth in the NFC with 23 sacks.

Kyle Long led the way on Forte’s touchdown. Bushrod helped lead the way for a big Forte run to the right at the end of the game. This unit is getting better as time goes on. The Packers’ blitzes didn’t ever hit home, which is something we haven’t seen against Chicago in a long time. The offensive lineman who stood out the most was Bushrod. Hands down his best game as a Bear.

The Bears have three wide receivers in the top ten blocking wide receivers in the game, according to Pro Football Focus — number one being Marshall, with Alshon and Bennett in there as well.

Finally, Shea McClellin made his name known after injuring Rodgers the first play of the game. Shea, I’m gonna let you finish, but Corey Wootton had the best sack of a Packers’ quarterback of all time. But McClellin picked up three sacks on the night and was in the backfield quite a lot.

But he still gets eaten up at times. Breakout performance for McClellin leading to good things down the stretch? I don't know about that, but on the positive he took advantage of opportunities, which he hasn’t done in the past.

Moving away from the positive offensive display we got last night, Chris Conte and Major Wright are major liabilities. Conte takes worse pursuit angles than Chris Harris, and that is scary. He looked like he wanted no part of Eddie Lacy. Neither do I, but I don’t get paid to tackle players for a living.

The backups can’t be this bad, right? Steltz is the slightly smarter, really slow version of Conte, and we don’t know for sure what Anthony Walters is. I get that they like Conte’s intangibles, but he has to hit the bench … three weeks ago.

Eddie Lacy was too much for this defense, as are most punishing running backs. Adrian Peterson might run for 300+ against this unit.

And the special teams are just about the furthest thing from special. I’d rather go for it on fourth down every time than risk getting a punt blocked.

Maybe this thing isn’t completely dead like I thought. If the Bears get healthy in a few weeks, and if they survive this stretch of time without Briggs and Cutler, they might — I say might — get better on defense at the end of the year with the additions of Briggs and Ratliff.

Subscribe to Chicago Bears Huddle:

Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: Post Game Report

Leave a comment