Buying in? Players just need time
July, 25, 2013
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhIt's not unusual for players to need some time to get familiar with a new coach's system.BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler mentioned Wednesday that “guys are buying in” when it comes to new coach Marc Trestman, but admitted “not everybody has bought in.”
The latter isn’t a result of disdain for the new coach stemming from affection for former coach Lovie Smith, who was fired after last season. For many players, it’s simply a matter of becoming accustomed to a new way of doing things.
“I think a lot of guys are buying into it,” defensive end Corey Wootton said. “It’s just new. I think it’s different from what we had with Lovie. It just takes some getting used to. So I think that’s probably what (Cutler) meant by that; just getting used to his style.”
Cutler’s comment came shortly after he reported to camp Wednesday night, when he was asked what it was like to work with the new coach.
“I think with him being in the NFL for so long and being out of the NFL, when he got back in (and) he got his chance, he definitely wanted to do it his way, and head in a direction he thought was right,” Cutler said.
The quarterback added that it’s “O.K.” if everyone hadn’t bought in to Trestman, because “we still have a lot of time. Hopefully by the time the first game rolls around, we’ve got everyone on the same page.”
When Cutler said that everyone hadn’t bought in to Trestman, it was assumed the quarterback was talking about the team’s defense, which flourished over the years with Smith in charge. Cornerback Tim Jennings said he thinks “everybody is at their own pace,” with regards to full acceptance of Trestman.
“We know what it takes. As a defense, we feel like we’re going to do what it takes,” Jennings said. “We’re just the type of group of guys that likes to go out there, enjoy what we’re doing, have fun with what we’re doing and make plays as we’re doing it. That’s just the kind of mentality we always went in with. The leaders that we still have, they kind of have that same mentality. But we’re all buying into what coach Trestman is trying to do if we feel like it’s better for the team. As a defense, the guys we have, man, we enjoy what we do. That’s what kind of separates us from the offense. We’ll see how it goes.”
Linebacker James Anderson, who spent his first seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Bears in March, said he admires the fact that Trestman “came in with a plan,” and appreciates how the coach “treats his players right.”
“I like him. He came in with an idea of what he wanted to do, with goals in place and a way to get there,” Anderson said. “He’s preaching that to the team every day. Every coach has their own way they handle things. He goes about it respectfully.”
Running back Matt Forte hasn’t gotten a sense from teammates that everyone hasn’t bought in.
“I haven’t really seen anybody not buying into it,” Forte said. “I think it’s going to be a good offense, and I think it will emphasize the talents that we have at the kill positions in this offense.”
That, in turn, would lead to victories; thus near universal acceptance.
“He’s a winning coach and you’re going to have to buy into it,” safety Major Wright said. “That’s what we’re going to do, and we’ll see at the end of the year.”