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NFL commentary: How do I learn to speak Trestmaneeze?

Bears coach Marc Trestman listens to questions during a news conference leading up to training camp Wednesday in Bourbonnais.
Bears coach Marc Trestman listens to questions during a news conference leading up to training camp Wednesday in Bourbonnais.

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 as or smarter than he is.

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

On the other hand, yesterday the Bears’ new head coach 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 a very 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 very straightforward question in the press conference. Other than your win-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?

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