CHICAGO -- After going through training camp with a new coach and opening the season with a 3-0 record, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said Monday that everything about Marc Trestman has exceeded his expectations.
“He’s better than I thought he was, to tell you the truth,” Cutler said Monday during ESPN 1000's weekly “The Jay Cutler Show.” “You knew he knew he was a smart guy. You knew he knew offense. You didn’t know how well he was going to be in front of the team and being able to juggle the defense and the special teams and getting everybody to buy in, and do things early in training camp that are relative right now. It’s just little things. I would say he’s better (than I thought).”
After a circuitous coaching route over the past 32 years that took him from the college ranks to eight different NFL teams, before heading back to college and then on to Canada to coach in the CFL, Trestman could not have gotten off to a better start in his first NFL head coaching job.
After playing for head coach Lovie Smith the previous five seasons, not to mention a revolving door of offensive coordinators that included Ron Turner, Mike Martz and Mike Tice, Cutler is learning yet another new system that he has embraced thus far.
“It feels right,” Cutler said. “It’s always different with somebody else, but it definitely feels right. I think Trest has a good feel for the team right now, the direction we’re going. I think he’s calling plays really well, with the state of where the offense is. He’s not throwing us out to the wolves.”
In other words, despite a deep playbook, Trestman is not requiring too much of the offense thus far and hasn’t put too much on his quarterback too soon. Cutler has already said that he still will be learning the offense in Week 15 of the 16-game season.
“He’s giving us opportunities to make plays, and he’s protecting us when he thinks he should protect us, even though we might not have the right perspective to see what he’s doing,” Cutler said. “It’s a tough job, it really is, especially in this market, in this city, inheriting a 10-win team.”
And if anybody had any lingering doubts over Trestman’s dedication, they only had to look at his work day Monday, shortly after the 40-23 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.
“The guy lives and breathes it,” Cutler said. “Last night, me and [backup quarterback] Josh [McCown] were talking to him. We said, 'Go get some sleep, and we’ll come in at 10 or 11 [a.m.] to watch some film and come talk to you.' I went in there at like 10, 10:30, 11 to talk to him. I asked what time he got up. He said six. He had some coffee and came in. The guy just lives it. The whole staff does. The whole staff does a great job.”
If Trestman has shown his dedication, members of the coaching staff have taken it even further.
“We have coaches that are spending the night last night when we got back [from Pittsburgh] to get up in the morning and get going,” Cutler said. “We have a great group of guys. It’s always comforting to know that your coaches are spending those amount of hours to make sure that you have the right plays, offensively, defensively and special teams-wise. It’s not a bad thing to have by any means.”