- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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First Marc Trestman comes to Chicago, then new quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, leaving observers to wonder whether the next to take up residency within the walls of Halas Hall will be -- gulp -- Tim Tebow.
Far-fetched? On the surface, absolutely. So to bring it all full circle, here's some background.
First off, Cavanaugh joins the Bears' staff after working the past four years with the New York Jets, where he served last season as Tebow's position coach. But as ESPNNewYork.com colleague Rich Cimini pointed out, Cavanaugh's familiarity with Tebow could hurt the prospects for a reunion because the coach worked with the quarterback on a day-to-day basis and knows his weaknesses intimately.
The factor that leads to even more speculation about a potential Tebow move to Chicago seems to be Trestman, who was hired by the quarterback to prepare him for the 2010 Senior Bowl and pre-draft workouts. Here's what Trestman said at the time about Tebow, according to the Morning Journal of Northern Ohio in an interview recently referenced by ProFootballTalk.com.
"He doesn't have explosive arm strength, but he has more than adequate arm strength to throw the ball in the NFL and make all the throws. I saw him do something totally different in seven or eight days. I can only imagine what he's going to do in one year or two years, because he's going to outwork everybody else and find a way to figure it out."
Trestman also said: "If you're a coach and you love coaching quarterbacks, you'd love the opportunity to develop Tim Tebow."
Having worked previously in Jacksonville, Fla., before coming here to Chicago, I was assigned by my editors to watch Tebow as the quarterback prepped for the 2010 draft. I saw firsthand the strides he made over a short period working with Trestman.
Writing for the Florida Times-Union at Tebow's pro day at the University of Florida, I mentioned how quickly Tebow seemed to improve over a short span working with Trestman. During that workout, personnel types immediately noticed improvement in the quarterback's most pronounced technical kinks. Tebow held the ball higher in his drops and improved what was a long, looping throwing motion into something more compact, in addition to shortening his usually wide throwing base and showing improved footwork. As the workout progressed, some of the old problems from Tebow's days with the Gators came back, especially when fatigue started to set in.
But it was apparent Trestman had made improvements with Tebow in a relatively short time.
With more time, can Trestman make Tebow resemble an actual NFL quarterback? It's worth mentioning that Trestman's former team, the Montreal Alouettes, reportedly own the CFL negotiating rights to Tebow, whose contract runs through 2014. ESPN sources said last month that the Jets will likely release Tebow. Trestman also worked with current Bears backup quarterback Jason Campbell during his preparation for the NFL draft. Campbell signed a one-year deal with the Bears last year.
"I can't imagine a scenario in which he'll be a Jacksonville Jaguar, even if he's released," Caldwell said.
Too bad we in the Chicago media didn't give Trestman a similar opportunity Thursday during his introductory press conference, although GMs are forbidden to talk about players on other teams.
So that leaves Tebow’s future in the hands of the Jets, who hired John Idzik as general manager on Friday.