LAKE FOREST – In his introductory news conference Thursday, Bears coach Marc Trestman wasted no time describing how excited he was to become the 14th head coach in franchise history.
“The Chicago Bears are unquestionably the most loved and storied franchise in the NFL,” Trestman said with a smile. “No doubt.”
As Trestman arrived, another longtime coach said goodbye. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli decided to move on after four seasons with the Bears, and Trestman said he immediately would begin a search for his replacement.
On offense, Trestman made it clear that he would be the primary play-caller and work closely with quarterback Jay Cutler. He said he would spend much of his time in the quarterback room at Halas Hall and participate in quarterback meetings.
During his interview process, Trestman met one-on-one with Cutler.
“We connected immediately,” said Trestman, 57, who joked that he was disappointed when general manager Phil Emery arrived to initiate the next phase of his interview. “We could have sat there all day and talked football.”
For that matter, Trestman also connected immediately with Emery.
In addition to possessing a sharp mind and strong leadership skills, Emery said, Trestman’s decision to join the Canadian Football League proved his mental toughness, as well as his ability to adapt to a new situation. Trestman won back-to-back Grey Cup championships with the Montreal Alouettes in 2009 and 2010.
“To go into that and take on the task of being a head football coach,” Emery said, “and do it with a staff that you hired … and to have great success and to win championships, that tells me a lot about that candidate.
“That’s a candidate that I want to be in the room with. I want to be working towards championships with that individual.”