- Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune interviews Bears head coach Mark Trestman. Its pretty evident that Trestman is reticent about talking relationships with individual players. But ask him about team building and you get a soliloquy. I thought this section was particularly interesting:
“And when we play on Sundays, if the talent is the same throughout the league — which it arguably is — which games are won or lost in the fourth quarter? If the coaches are all coaching at a high level — which arguably they are? So then what’s the difference? It’s that we treat each other well, the relationships we build.
“When you hear players talk at retirement or they talk at the Hall of Fame, what do they talk about most? The relationships they had. The bonds. That’s almost universal. It’s the bonds. It’s not the touchdown passes, the catches. It’s the bonds. Those guys make the Hall of Fame because their bonds allowed them to win championships or have great success.”
- Speaking of the Trestman interview, kudos to Wiederer for asking several times what he planned to do better. Fans learn a lot from these honest assessments and Trestman is just the right guy to give them. I also found this part to be a relief:
“And by now allowing Aaron (Kromer) to pull back a little bit but still stay involved, but be in our quarterback meetings a little bit more is helpful. Just to have him for feedback because he’s so knowledgeable.
“And that really helps me because I feel like I can tend to the full team a little bit more. I feel like we’re in place enough now where although I was around the defense and around the special teams, I felt like I wanted to be around them more. Loosening the reins and moving Pat Meyer into the (offensive line coach) position allows me to get enough of where we are offensive and defensively to interact with the players to have a sense that I’m involved and invested in all three phases. That can only help our accountability and our communication.
“And I wanted to be in a place where I could be more supportive of (defensive coordinator Mel Tucker) and his staff. So those are some things I noticed and felt. And I felt that amid the injuries we had that I wanted to make sure that the next time around we would be doing a better job of constantly reminding ourselves that we have to develop every player on the team and do a better job with that. Then if we do get an injury bug, the guys who are going into games are more prepared. Those are some of the things I saw. I think that was an honest evaluation.”
I expected nothing less.
I’ve pushed hard for this in previous posts. I totally understand Trestman’s focus on the offense in his first year. There’s only so much you can do and you have to take care of the first things first. But now he has take advantage of the opportunity to coach the whole team. I’m glad he’s recognized the problem. I don’t think former Bears head coach Lovie Smith ever did.
This is going to be an important year for Trestman as a head coach. This is the year he proves he can coach the whole team and not just a third of it.
- Receivers coach Mike Groh on wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. From Wiederer:
“He has elite level hand-eye coordination and body control. His extension for the ball is unmatched in my opinion. And then he has unbelievable hands. You know when you get into a very nice car, like an expensive German car, and you close the door and you feel that suction, that vacuum? That’s what his hands are like.”
- My only criticism of Adam L. Jahn‘s list of 10 Bears players who are “on the spot” this year is that it he got to number 4 before he named a lineman. Make no mistake about it, as the line of scrimmage goes, so go the Bears this year. From the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Michael C. Wrightat ESPN.com has a few surprises on his projected roster. Going with only five wide recievers and two tight ends so you can keep 10 defensive linemen seems risky to me. He also has Khaseem Greene losing out to Christian Jones at linebacker.
- Arthur Arkush at chicagofootball.com addresses the state of the Bears offensive line. He predicts a grim future for former hope for the future James Brown
“With [Matt] Slauson missing the offseason while recovering from shoulder surgery, [Ebon] Britton filled in at left guard. But once [Kyle] Long and [Jordan] Mills joined Slauson on the sideline out of precaution – Mills is coming off foot surgery – Britton moved to right tackle, with [Michael] Ola and [Taylor] Boggs at left and right guard, respectively. The odd man out was James Brown, two years removed from showing promise as a starting guard but a healthy scratch 16 times last season. Brown enters camp squarely on the roster bubble.”
- Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune has some good advice for those of us who will be paying attention to the position battle at free safety this summer:
“Watch the exhibitions to see who tackles best — a major weakness among last year’s safeties.”
- I thought this tid bit from Dan Pompei at the Bleacher Report was interesting:
“The Bears are working with a sleep therapist in an attempt to maximize performance and enhance quality of life for their players. The therapist met with the team and had players fill out questionnaires about sleep patterns. Suggestions and sleep plans were drawn up for individuals. Some of the players who have gotten with the program are reporting feeling more energetic and alert.”
- Michael C. Wright at ESPN sums up the Bears problems on defense last year including one new reason for their ineptitude I hadn’t heard yet:
“No Bears opponent scored less than 20 points last season. But injuries, inexperienced backups and ineffective coaching at some positions played a role, as did other factors such as limited practice repetitions for the defense. According to multiple sources, Chicago’s defensive players over the course of a week of preparation for an opponent typically received approximately half the practice repetitions they had normally taken under [former Bears head coach Lovie] Smith’s staff as offensive preparation had become a premium with the new regime.
- Donovan McNabb is already a bitter old man. From CSNChicago.com.
- Get ready to bend over (farther) thanks to Packer fans.
- Here’s a way to prepare for the game that’s a new one one me. From Ben Goessling at ESPN.com.
One Final Thought
Chicago is a finalist to get the 2015 NFL Draft. But that’s not the only thing that caught my eye in this article.. It was NFL commissioner Roger Goodell‘s’ answer to the question of when a decision will be made. Via Sam Farmer for the Chicago Tribune:
“I believe the decision will come in late summer, but we’re not going to be bound by that. We’re going to do the right thing.”
That’s all I can ask.
I’m frequently put in a position where I’m trying to plan around another person’s schedule. One of the most irritating things that a person can do when you ask them about completion of a project is to simply refuse to give you an idea of when it will be done out of fear of drawing criticism if they can’t meet the deadline. This leaves you the with no clue as to when to expect it and no way to plan around them. To such people, I say look to no further than this as an example of how to handle such things.