Grading Bears Coach Marc Trestman

Grading Bears Coach Marc Trestman

Yesterday the panel at Comcast Chicago's Sports Talk Live discussed Bears coach Mark Trestman's grade for his work thus far.

It got me to thinking what kind of grade I would give the first year head coach.

I'm going to go with a solid B+.

Sure, there have been some game management decisions that we would all like to have back. However, Trestman has done what he was brought here to do. He has given the Bears not only a legit offense but, a top-five offense that can compete in today's NFL.

He has worked well with his star pupil and gotten results out of the complicated QB Jay Cutler, all in limited fashion. He even managed to keep his offense humming under a journey man signal caller in Josh McCown.

His leadership has been apparent and vocalized by his players, albeit mostly by those on the offensive side of the ball.

The real tricky part for the Trestman takeover was a defense that was heavily, and probably overly loyal to former coach Lovie Smith. Some of the veteran defensive players have likely resented the rather quick identity change the team has experienced under Trestman.

It's not easy to take over a club when half of the group didn't think a change was necessary.

The transformation to an offensive identity has been nothing short of remarkable. You have to give GM Phil Emery a lot of credit for giving Trestman the weapons, but the head coach has made the most out of them, and then some in my opinion.

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  • Injuries have certainly played a large role in the defensive struggles this year. But we knew we were getting old as a defense, so some of this should have been anticipated.

    I hadn't thought about the loyalty to Lovie as a factor. That's interesting. I also wonder how much the way Urlacher retired played into some of that resentment....

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I think the Urlacher situation could have played into it just like firing Lovie did. That said, I still feel age and injuries hurt the most. Who would have thought we'd lose both starting DT's to ACL tears, two starting LBs, and a starting CB for a large portion of the season. I know "Injuries happen", but aside from Cutler, they seemed to happen on only one side of the ball for the Bears this year

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Yeah I think that's why he is gone. He would've been an issue for the transition.

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    I like that grade. I think a solid B+ is very fair to Trestman. How many coaches come into the NFL the first time as a head coach and find almost immediate success? And by success, I am looking mostly into what he was brought in to do. Be an offensive minded coach that can utilize the personnel the Bears have, and get the Bears back into the playoffs. As far as item number one, he has succeeded far beyond what I thought he would accomplish. You can credit Emery with providing the tools and the talent, but Trestman has built an offensive scheme and implemented it in less than a whole season that is miles above what we had in 9 years of Lovie Smith. As far as item number 2, the team is guaranteed nothing, but are at least in control of their playoff hopes. Has Trestman made mistakes? Yeah, every coach does; especially a first year coach. I mean, how many times did we see Smith call a bad play on 3rd and 1, come up short, call a timeout, and then challenge the play and lose a second timeout. Or not challenge a play that could be overturned. On defense, it's hard to blame Trestman, especially with the age and injuries. It should still be a better unit than it is, but a good draft this year could put some youth into the aging unit. Give Trestman a good (top 15 even) defense and with this offense he can build an annual contender. So B+ it is

  • In reply to Bill Newton:

    Thanks, I agree top 15 defense and look out.

  • I guess B+ is fair, though I'm almost leaning A-.

    If the Bears make the playoffs then Trestman should be considered a COY candidate. Not a lot of teams have a terrible defense and a QB injury (among a ton of other injuries) and live to tell about it.

  • In reply to Matt Mosconi:

    Good points.

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    Mr. Trestman deserves no better than a C-. Had his decision making been better at the Detroit, St Louis and Minnesota games the Bears would be in the driver's seat going into the playoffs, the Defense is horrible and they will not make the playoffs.

  • Well I did say some decisions cost them. They still are in solid position and the defense can't all be on him. Injuries and age were huge.

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    Tom, I agree with your grade of B+. He has made some errors in judgement in his first year, but it is hard to argue with the complete transformation he has brought to the offense. I honestly believe that if the defense had not suffered so many injuries that the Bears would be playoff bound for sure. The fact that they still control their own playoff fate with two games left despite all the injuries and the downspiral of their defense is exactly why I think Trestman deserves a high grade.

  • I think B+ is too generous, I'd give him a solid B. I like Trestman and what he is doing but too often his scripted game plan at the start of games ends up with 3 and outs. With our defensive injuries this year, we cannot afford these same slow starts. For being outcoached in a few games and seemingly having no way to handle constant blitzes, the grade should be B with more improvement expected in 2014.

    Next challenge, drafting better talent than the track record has shown over the years. Merry Christmas to all.

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