It was a good day at the Chicago Tribune for fan questions. Dan Pompei answers another good one here:
“It’s hard to think Coach Trestman could keep up with NFL personnel while coaching for years in Canada. Don’t you think he has to be at a disadvantage versus other NFL coaches knowing player abilities as we add people with offseason roster moves? It has to take months to evaluate the tape for just our current players, much less help the scouting department decide that someone like Matt Slauson is the guard to go out and get out of many available? – Phil Elbert, Chicago
“I don’t think there is any question Trestman is at a disadvantage when it comes to personnel. He does not know the league as well as the large majority of his head coaching peers… The other point to be made here is Trestman is not in charge of personnel. [General manager] Phil Emery is. Trestman’s job is to tell Emery exactly what his systems need at each position. Emery’s job is to find and acquire the players who fit. So ultimately, I don’t think Trestman’s disadvantage will be a major factor.”
I don’t see this as a problem, at least in terms of off season moves.
Trestman’s ability to evaluate his own team most definitely is an issue. He’s going to have to determine where the teams talent is and what the roster and the depth chart should look like coming out of training camp. And he’s not going to know the Bears opponents quite as well when formulating game plans during the season. But you could argue that even this will actually be an advantage in a sense. He won’t have any previous biases. Perhaps he’ll be more likely to rely on what he sees.
Bottom line, most of us believe that former head coach Lovie Smith had too much say in the way the Bears handled personnel while he was here. That’s unlikely to be a problem with Trestman in part because of exactly this issue. Leaving the acquisition of talent up to Emery while Trestman concentrates more on coaching it could become a major strength rather than a weakness.