Mailbag: Trestman for Coach of Year?

November, 22, 2013
11/22/13
9:00
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Here are your questions from this week's mailbag:

1. Marc Trestman for coach of the year? No Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs or Jay Cutler. He is the only coach who is winning with a backup quarterback and I think his analytical approach has been a great change from the old regime. -- Jake, Deerfield, Ill.

Jeff Dickerson: Jake, six regular-season games are left on the schedule, but if Trestman guides the Bears to the playoffs, then I absolutely believe he will be under strong consideration to win NFL Coach of the Year. General manager Phil Emery has done a great job supplying Trestman with talent on offense (Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Martellus Bennett, Kyle Long, Jermon Bushrod, etc.), but Trestman has found a way to tie it all together, even without Cutler for several games. Don’t let Trestman’s laid-back public persona fool you; he is an extremely confident and aggressive head coach, who isn’t afraid to take chances during a game. I also appreciate the way he treats all Bears employees inside Halas Hall. That small token of kindness goes a long way towards winning over a building, which Trestman has done. Even if the Bears fall apart over the next six games and fail to reach the postseason, the future still appears to be bright for Trestman in Chicago.



2. Do you think Jay Cutler can come back completely healthy and give the Bears a decent chance in the playoffs? -- Jorge Gomez, Normal, Ill.

Dickerson:
I believe the Cutler situation is fluid. That’s the best way I can describe it. If Cutler’s ligament damage can heal on its own, then he certainly has a reasonable chance to return sometime within the next couple of weeks -- perhaps even as early as Dec. 1 versus the Vikings. That was the date Cutler told ESPN Chicago 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy Show” he originally targeted for his return before the medical staff detected a potentially more serious issue with the ligaments in his sprained left ankle. In severe high-ankle sprains, a person may experience spreading or widening of the joint in the ankle, a problem that usually requires surgery to fix. If Cutler is forced to undergo a procedure, he could be out indefinitely. However, the fact Cutler is now in a brace and out of the hard cast suggests he might not need surgery. But there is simply no way of knowing at this exact moment what the future holds for Cutler. If he practices next week, then we’ll have our answer. But even if Cutler does come back for the Vikings game, he will not be 100 percent. However, the quarterback has shown the ability to play through a great deal of pain in his career. He’ll have to do it again if he returns to the field three weeks after suffering a high-ankle sprain.




[+] EnlargeRobbie Gould
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRobbie Gould has connected on 19 of his 20 field goal attempts this season.
3. I find your defense of Robbie Gould indefensible. This is the same player who, when complaining about his contract over the summer, said he “needs to feed his family”. Give me a break. He’s a kicker! The Bears can do better. See you later, Robbie. -- Tony, San Antonio, Texas.

Dickerson:
I find the timing of your question curious, Tony. Gould just kicked his 11th career game-winning field goal last Sunday, and on the season, is 19-of-20 on field goal attempts. If math isn’t your strong suit; Gould has made 95 percent of his field goals in 2013. Gould is now the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, connecting of 227-of-263 career field goal attempts. He’s also hit 12 straight from 50-plus yards, and set the franchise record with a 58-yard field goal versus the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1. And he kicks in the harsh Chicago conditions, not in some dome like many of the other successful NFL kickers. So please tell me; what exactly do you dislike about Gould? Players say controversial stuff in the media all the time. If you’re good at your job, it really doesn’t matter, does it? It’s the bad players who say questionable stuff to the media who get in trouble. My advice: get over it. Gould helps the Bears win games. As a fan, what more can you ask for?




4. Why don’t the Bears pick up Matt Toeaina? While he isn’t very good at rushing the passer he is solid against the run. -- John Shah, Naperville, Ill.

Dickerson:
Toeaina was an effective run-stopping defensive tackle in his six seasons (2007-12) in Chicago. However, the last I heard Toeaina was still recovering from the right knee surgery he had in the offseason. I know of at least two teams that had some interest in bringing in Toeaina for a workout over the summer, but the indication I received was that he just wasn’t physically ready to resume playing football. Maybe Toeaina’s health has taken a turn for the better in recent months, but I don’t believe he will resurface with the Bears, if he resurfaces at all.




5. I find it interesting Chris Williams went on to have a good career in St. Louis after he busted out in Chicago. What are the Rams doing with Williams the Bears could not? Go Bears. The Edward Jones Dome is going to be rocking with Bears’ fans on Sunday. -- Joseph, Crete, Ill.

Dickerson:
The only person who wishes Williams (38 starts for the Bears from 2008-12) still occupied a locker inside Halas Hall is former general manager Jerry Angelo. If Williams and fellow first-round pick offensive lineman Gabe Carimi hadn’t turned out be such busts, maybe Angelo is still running the show in Lake Forest. Williams has started all 10 times at left guard for the Rams this season, but he was drafted No. 14 overall by the Bears in 2008 to be a franchise left tackle. Instead, Williams became a journeyman offensive lineman who has played four different positions over his six-year NFL career. The NFL needs players like Chris Williams. Just not in the first round.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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