Let’s start with this. It’s early, but I think I really like Marc Trestman.
I’m a pretty simple guy and the one issue I had over the years with Lovie Smith is while I think Lovie was fairly sharp, I know I’m as smart or smarter than he is.
And yet he too often made me feel like he couldn’t understand what the purpose of my existence was and why I was wasting good oxygen at all. Lovie never seemed to feel I or any of my brethren in the media were worthy of his wisdom.
On the other hand, the Bears’ new head coach on Thursday shook my hand, smiled, looked me in the eye and said, “We know each other, don’t we (it was our first relatively private face-to-face since he took the Bears job)?”
I said Pro Football Weekly and he smiled a little wider and said, “Of course, Hub” and we actually talked a little football for 60 seconds. Forget a breath of fresh air, this guy Trestman was a windstorm.
I also really like how comfortable he seems to be in his skin right now, because it’s that skin that raises the biggest questions about Marc Trestman, head football coach.
Is he a football coach or a doctoral candidate for a degree in how to turn heathens into pigskin practitioners? For example, consider his response when asked how he feels about his offense right now.
“We’ve got an offensive group that has really assimilated this football and this verbiage very, very quickly,” he said. “We threw a lot of volume at them. We talked about it over the OTAs, a lot of volume at them each and every day.
“We’re excited as a staff because our players appear to get stimulated by the volume of plays that we have given them. They like the football, they like the formations, they’re enjoying the process.”
I wonder if all of the Bears players can spell all those words, let alone know what they mean.
I’m not trying to make fun of anybody, I’m trying to ask an important question. Will this coach and his players be able to speak the same language? Personally, I’m really enjoying Trestman because I know he is smarter than me.
I asked him what I thought was a straightforward question in the news conference: Other than your won-loss record, how would you like to be evaluated by Bears fans?
He started his answer with, “I’m going to let that hypothetical take on its own tone.”
And again I thought, “What?” I asked the question and I know there was nothing hypothetical about it, but with his answer, all I could think was he must know something I don’t. But how does that make me a better reporter?
Now I’m going to say this one more time in the hopes the whole class is listening, I really like Trestman so far and I’m fascinated to see what he does next. I don’t know if we’re watching the next Bill Walsh or the next Les Steckel.
I know this guy knows the game and he wants to teach us all. What I have no idea about is how he’s going to share his gift with his players, you and me.
One more question before we go. A phrase I’ve heard Trestman use several times already is he wants his players to “self-actualize.”
Can anybody tell me what that means?
• Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at email@example.com.