Trestman presents unknown variable for Bengals in opener


Season openers always present somewhat of a challenge of the unknown, but that will be especially true for the Cincinnati Bengals when they kick things off Sunday in Chicago against a team they haven’t faced in four years and a head coach who will be making his NFL debut.

Marc Trestman comes to Chicago after spending the last five seasons as a head coach in the Canadian Football League, where he led the Montreal Alouettes to back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 2009-10.

“The play calling is a little different up there in the CFL with the extra passing and only three downs,” said Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, who played for Trestman on both of those Montreal championship teams.

“But he’s not going to try to do anything outside of what his realm is,” Hawkins added. “It will be a lot of short passes to set up for the big plays. He’s really methodical with his play-calling. He would always say every day ‘you can’t go broke taking a profit. If the checkdown is there, take it.’ A 4-yard pass is as good as a 5-yard run. That’s his philosophy.”

In the preseason, the Bears ran the ball 113 times and threw 113 passes.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler said that while Trestman’s offense is different, there is somewhat of a familiar feel.

“It’s kind of West Coast-based,” Cutler said. “It’s some of the stuff that I did in Denver. It just takes time. You’re in one offense long enough, you’re going to get good at it.”

Prior to going to the CFL, Trestman spent 16 seasons in the NFL as a quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator with eight teams, including Cleveland.

“As I came into the NFL back in 1992, he was held in high regard at every position he had in the NFL as being an exceptional coach and an exceptional teacher,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said. “His style, his handling, is very West Coast-ish. That’s how he’s been as a coordinator in the league and as a position coach, quarterback coach and different things. He’s been around the NFL during his time.

“They’ve played four preseason games,” Lewis continued. “You can’t go out and play in the preseason and then unfold another offense the first weekend. If that doesn’t go well, I don’t think you stay very long.”

In addition to his time in the CFL and as an assistant in the NFL, Trestman also worked on the collegiate level as a young assistant at the University of Miami (1981-84) and later as offensive coordinator at North Carolina State (2005-06).

But he said his goal has always been to become a head coach in the NFL.

“I always had a dream that it would come somehow,” he said. “When I went up to Canada for five years, I never focused on becoming an NFL head coach. I loved coaching up there. We had a great locker room, and I still had the chance to raise my daughters and spend the offseason in Raleigh, (N.C.). I never thought it would come to this, but I did dream it would happen if I stayed focused. I’m certainly grateful.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Observations from Bengals training camp
Observations from Bengals training camp

The Cincinnati Bengals held their final full practice of training camp Wednesday, and the first one void of any fans. After a walk-through Thursday, the Bengals will take Friday off and then face Kansas City on Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium. After that, the schedule shifts into regular-season mode, where media are kicked out of practice after 30 minutes...
Versatile Woeber leads Catholic Central golf team
Versatile Woeber leads Catholic Central golf team

Jacob Woeber plays four sports at Catholic Central, including two in the fall. And he enjoys each one so much that you might have trouble pinning him down if you ask him to name his favorite. He’s a goalkeeper on the soccer team and a top-notch golfer. He also plays basketball and tennis. So, which does he like best? “Honestly, it&rsquo...
High School Football: First-year Urbana coach excited to lead Climbers
High School Football: First-year Urbana coach excited to lead Climbers

What drew Carlton Cotner to become the new football coach at Urbana? The chance to put the winning back in the Hillclimbers’ tradition. “The pride people have in this place is something that just attracts you to it,” Cotner said. MORE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS »Catholic Central short on players, but not expectations »Wildcats...
Report: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavs in 2018
Report: LeBron James ‘100 percent’ leaving Cavs in 2018

The idea of LeBron James departing Cleveland again is slowly resembling a possible reality. NBA reporter Chris Sheridan, who said James was returning to the Cavaliers two days before the announcement, reports James will wear a new uniform for the 2018-19 NBA season. Kevin O’Connor and Bill Simmons of The Ringer first reported James&rsquo...
Bengals players big fans of FC Cincinnati
Bengals players big fans of FC Cincinnati

Some of the biggest FC Cincinnati fans are in the Cincinnati Bengals locker room. A number of players tweeted their support and appreciation for the soccer team Tuesday night during and after the 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Red Bulls in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup. “I enjoyed it a lot,” tight end Tyler Eifert said. &ldquo...
More Stories