BEST – More than a few people were excited and intrigued when GM Phil Emery made Marc Trestman the 14th head coach of the Chicago Bears. Emery claimed he’d done his due diligence and all the research possible. Yet here the team sits, 5-7 and likely out of the playoffs for the fourth-straight year.
Did Emery really do his homework, or did he ignore the warning signs because he liked all the things Trestman said when they met? The facts may surprise you.
A lot of people like to point to the San Francisco 49ers in 1995 as the turning point of Trestman’s career from a washed out assistant to a hot name among coordinators in the NFL. That year his unit led the league in points and passing yards after all. However, it overshadows something that really wasn’t referenced much. After the 1996 season, his second with the team, then-49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo had seen enough. He ushered George Seifert, who had won two Super Bowls, out as head coach and Trestman with him.
That wasn’t the telling part though. It was the pointed criticism from future Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who was not a fan of Trestman’s offense.
”I’m used to stretching downfield, making the big plays. After you get the defense off you, you’ve got the underneath routes, and that’s something we didn’t do. I took a lot of blows, and I took a beating. I was very depressed, because we didn’t really attack people. We didn’t run that 49er offense. Not saying anything against Marc Trestman, but it was not enjoyable.”
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