A Man to Keep an Eye On

Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune profiles Bears head coach Marc Trestman as he reaches the end of his first regular season:

“Trestman addressed his team [after a devastating loss to Minnesota on Dec. 1], lauding players’ effort and preparation before acknowledging they did not deserve to win. He blamed himself for their mistakes.

“And in that moment, the Bears’ two-game resurgence began. There was, after all, something serendipitous about that crushing defeat.

“’You cannot fight adversity,’ Trestman told the Tribune in a recent interview. ‘You have to embrace it. You have to smile in the face of it and know that it’s just temporary and it will pass, and we have to keep doing what we’re doing.’”

This article describes Trestman in impressive terms. He is a man who tries to create an environment around the team where players perform for each other. It’s a nice, touchy feely approach to the game and, though it’s not always the one that gets the best results in my experience, its genuine and its probably the best approach for him, personally to take.

The problem is that players who are capable of driving themselves towards excellence without a fair bit of pushing along the way are rare. Admittedly, they’re the ones who turn out to be truly great. But if you are going to win a Super Bowl, it’s the other guys who have to be shoved along who will need to help carry you there. But as long as he can get tough with players when its called for, I’m confident that the team will be OK in Trestman’s hands with this approach.

As much as I liked what the article said about Trestman, I liked what it said about the writer even more. This was an insightful look into the way Trestman approaches the game and the life that surrounds it.

Most of my posts start with a quote from a newspaper article. There’s a reason for that. Like it or not, reporters are the source of every piece of information most fans get about the Bears. This means that you have to pay attention not only to the information conveyed, but also to who is conveying it. Everyone has biases and much though we may try to avoid them, they always come out when we express ourselves. Is the group “pro-life” or “anti-abortion”? Like it or not, the term you choose tells the reader what you think.

With that in mind, it will surprise no one that I’ve noticed the absence of former Tribune writer Dan Pompei more than most. Fellow writer Brad Biggs not withstanding, Pompei was just about the best football writer I’d ever read on a weekly basis. I still miss him but I’m glad to see young writers like Campbell, who has impressed me more than once with his observations, stepping in. Campbell is a different kind of writer from Pompei. But if he can consistently write quality articles while pointing out subtle things that the average football fan wouldn’t notice, I’m sure we’ll all continue to enjoy the game that much more.

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