Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Jan 2013

Bears Hire Marc Trestman As Head Coach

Well, this is an interesting move. The Chicago Bears have chosen Marc Trestman, head coach of the Montreal Alouettes, as their new head coach. Trestman went 64-34 as head coach of the Alouettes, including back-to-back Grey Cups. He last coached in the NFL eight years ago. His background includes work with Steve Young and Rich Gannon, plus he trained Cutler before the 2006 draft.

Posted by: Tom Gower on 16 Jan 2013

66 comments, Last at 19 Jan 2013, 5:34am by dbt


by DavidL :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:08pm

I've been seeing some pushback against the idea of hiring a CFL guy as an NFL head coach and I'm honestly a bit confused - it's not like the idea of hiring a career NCAA coach is super-controversial, and the CFL is at least a pro league, requiring the head coach to deal with pro-level concerns like aging players and draft/free-agency management that don't come up in college.

by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:17pm

And supervising adults. Also anyone who can make Scott Mitchell resemble an NFL quarterback gets some serious plaudits in my book.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:28pm

Trestman may have been the QB coach but the OC was Tom Moore, and he has quite a track record.

by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:58pm

With QBs, Trestman has a better track record. Kosar, Gannon, DeBerg, Young. Look at Anthony Calvillo. How many professional QBs in any league have arguably their best 5 seasons starting at age 36.

by Chip :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 5:35pm

Wow, just looked at Calvillo's stats pre- and post-Trestman

Big uptick in attempts, completion %, TD/INT ratio and QB Rating. Y/A is flat.

Starter in MTL Att_____Compl%____Yards____Y/A____TDs_/_Int___Rating

by dbostedo :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:36pm

I don't see a "wow" there... only a decent improvement in TD/INT, and other rates pretty flat in an offense that threw a little more but with a limited sample size. Looking at only rate stats :

Y/A = 8.6 vs. 8.5
Y/C = 13.9 vs. 13.1
TD/100A = 4.6 vs. 5.3
INT/100A = 2.2 vs. 1.5

I'd think (and taking a guess here) that those are the kinds of changes that could be typical for any QB with any coaches as they become more experienced.

by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 9:23am

Typical staring at age 36? I think not.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:43pm

I'm sure some of that comes from the notion that if a guy was good, he'd be making NFL money, or the money of a big time college coach. That's not completely ridiculous, but this particular guy does have a substantial body of NFL accomplishment, so I don't think it really applies in this instance.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:44pm

I have read that there were two reasons he went to Canada; he had young kids and was able to spend more time with them than he would have been able to in the NFL or college and that having lost three jobs in a row when the head coach got fired he wanted to be the HC somewhere so that his bosses' incompetence wouldn't lose him his job again.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:58pm

And given the rules changes that favor passing so much, is there really as much of a difference between CFL-style football and NFL-style football anymore?

by snoopy369 :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:14pm

I assume it's more of a "we haven't done this before". I'm cautiously optimistic about the hire; hopefully Cutler will work well with him. Need to see the OC/DC first, though. We would need to hire someone reasonably experienced to make sure Trestman doesn't forget the NFL rules after all... ;)

by Jimmy :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:29pm

It seems Marinelli is staying, the OC is the Saints' line coach (who's name I can' remember). Toub has gone to KC though.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:42pm

If Marinelli stays, they are one decent draft away from being very strong contenders for the last game of the year, if Trestman can convince Cutler to reassess his approach to his profession. I really think Cutler has some similarities to Randy Moss; they don't naturally take coaching well, and as a result, most coaches are just completely tuned out by them.

Angelo's gone, so I think Bears fans have reason for optimism.

by Jim W. (not verified) :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 12:58am

Reports are out that Marinelli is likely to join Monte Kiffin in Dallas. Perhaps Chicago will go outside their current staff for a defensive coordinator.

by rj1a (not verified) :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:05pm

hey, he's come from a place where he only had 2 plays to get a first down instead of 3, surely that's a good mentality to bring to the NFL ;)

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:44pm

There isn't anything close to a sure thing with these decisions, but I think this is a good hire. This franchise desperately needs to get high prodution from their highest paid player, and they need to get it quickly, given the age of most of their defensive stars. Trestman has a really solid track record of getting a lot of whatever a NFL qb has available to give. He now also has a good track record as a head coach, managing professional athletes. This is a good, smart, risk.

I'll admit to bias. The Bears keep hiring guys I have high regard for, in a 2 degrees of seperation way, as part of their plan to make me a Bears fan, no doubt. I know guys who know Tice, and spoke of him as a good guy, and I still think he is a good o-line coach, even if it didn't turn out well in Chicago. In this case, I know guys who played with Trestman at the University of Minnesota, where his career overlapped significanty with Tony Dungy's. Those guys were speaking of Dungy's leaderhip qualities in an extraordinary fashion, well before anyone at a distance was writing or speaking of Dungy's potential as a coach. Those same guys spoke very, very, highly of Trestman in this regard, as well. It has been interesting for me to see the different tracks those two former college qb teammates have had in coaching.

by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:03pm

You know guys who know Tice? Then you must be the guy who can hook me up with some Superbowl tickets.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:08pm

That was big, fat, hanging curve, I served up, wasn't it?

by Boots Day :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:50pm

Given the track record of previous CFL coaches, I expect the Bears to lose a lot of Super Bowls over the next few years.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 1:58pm

And Bears fans would be nuts to shy away from that prospect.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:43pm

Interesting. Would you, as a fan of a team like the Bears, take it, if someone offerede four straight SB losses?

I wouldn't.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:51pm

I wrote "the prospect". Once you get to the last game, anything can happen. However, I also think it is nuts to consider four straight Super Bowl losses by your favorite team to be something to turn down. I'm pretty sure Bills fans would take it right now.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:48pm

Oh ok - then it's trivial.

Dunno. If that Baltimore game has taught me anything it's that having your season end in heartbreak is the worst.

Of course there's a cutoff for how bad your team can be. KC-fans would take it probably, and NE-fans would definetely not. Thats why I added the "team like the Bears"-qualifier :)

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 4:26pm

Eh, I'm a Vikings fan of too many decades, so I have intimate knowledge of spirit annhilating, season ending losses, that exceed the experiences of most fans, and I'd sign on to four straight Super Bowl defeats for the horned heads from 2014 through 2017 right now, without hesitation, because it would mean about 76 games to be greatly interested in during that time frame.

Too many NE fans are like the fat kid who gets mad because he only had 10 chocolate Santas in his Christmas stocking.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 5:32pm

Good point about getting interesting games. Didn't think of that. My reasoning is It's all about winning it all. If that cannot be achieved, at least don't gdet my hopes up and spare me the heartbreak.

That said there's obviously no right or wrong answer here, and I may just be going through a crisis in these weeks.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 7:16pm

At the time a Super Bowl loss is heartbreaking -like any season-ending loss, or maybe worse-, but after a while balance sets in and it becomes somewhat of an accomplishment. After all, any Super Bowl loss needs to be preceded by many great victories.

FO posters are a peacock. You got to let us fly!

by RickD :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 5:36pm

Too many NE fans are like the fat kid who gets mad because he only had 10 chocolate Santas in his Christmas stocking.

I would love to forcefully rebut this claim, but I spend far too much time on Boston sports websites to be able to convince myself you're wrong.

I will say that we're happy to have Augustus Gloop in Patriot Nation, though. He knows the way to sneak into the back door of the Wonka factory.

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 4:00pm

I'm a Lions fan. I'd take it.

by Tino (not verified) :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:11pm

At least he's got a head coaching track record to judge against. It seems a little strange to me that NFL teams are always looking to promote offensive/defensive coordinators (with no head coaching experience) to head coach when it seems like they are different skill sets.

by Roch Bear :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:36pm

I'm usually with you on this. The Bears, however, have a top defense already and really need the offense fixed. I look on his QB coaching and OC experience (and play calling as a CFL coach) as more important than the head coaching experience ... important as that is. Nice to get both. Trestman or Bruce A. were the obvious choices.

AND. Just hired Aaron Kromer (Saints OL coach) as OC/OL coach. Looks a lot like Trestman will call the plays, outline/run the offense and train Kromer as an OC. Kromer's job is probably to fix the OL. Lot of work to do there. Good luck.

by Chip :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 5:48pm

In complete agreement.

For what it's worth, Marc Trestman's teams have generally outperformed their Pythagorean wins.

Over his five year tenure, he's averaged 0.7 wins than expected.

Year____Actual Wins____Pthy Wins___Delta


by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:19pm

Guy was up and cominger when assistany coach with Clev Browns. If old enough and watchedany Beowns games then then you rmemeber announcers like D. Criqui and B. Grumpy say things like !Tretsman going to be head coach someday". It finally happen for Trestman in NFL. Better late than never.

by Boots Day :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:23pm

What did Sneezy and Bashful say about Trestman?

by Hurt Bones :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:27pm

Bob Grumpy of course! I know Dan Dierdorf is Sleepy and Tony Siragusa is Dopey, but who are Doc, Happy, Bashful and Sneezy.

by In_Belichick_We... :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:20pm

How the heck does Don Criqui keep his job.
There is nothing worse than Criqui & Cross.

by DEW (not verified) :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 2:30pm

I find myself with mixed feelings about this: Happy for the Bears in that they get an offensive-minded head coach with a good track record and are keeping Marinelli as DC, but also sad because the Als are my favorite CFL team and we're losing Trestman (and worse, possibly gaining Tebow...baaaaaad offseason for the Als)!

by Guest789 :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:19pm

As a CFL fan (Calgary Stampeders), I know Trestman pretty well, and as a Packers fan, he makes me nervous going to Chicago. Great hire by the Bears. I was hoping and praying they'd go for Bevell.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 3:58pm

The knock against Trestman is not that he's a bad coach, but that he wasn't a strong locker-room leader -- at least according to Tim Brown (who might have an axe to grind).
That and the fact that he's been out of the NFL for a few years.

As far as what he might do with Cutler, I think Cutler is too old and too set to be influenced by a new coach, regardless of the coach's talent.

by jackiel :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 6:13pm

I don't get the Cutler angst. Without him the past couple of years, the Bears were completely non-functional offensively. Despite almost never having a clean pocket to throw from due to offensive line issues and not having a couple of legit receiving threats, the Bears have made 1 NFC championship game and have been in the thick of the playoff hunt for years. If he had found a way to be healthy for an entire season (tough to do when you get hit on 30-50% of your dropbacks), the Bears would've been SB contenders. Plus, his teammates seems to like him and look to him for leadership...despite his surly demeanor.

by Roch Bear :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 6:51pm

I'd guess the Cutler angst is due to simple fan fecklessness. How can Bears fans not appreciate their only real QB, outside a couple of healthy Jim McMahon years since Sid Freaking Luckman (you know, Sid, the guy who was so good in the 1940s). In 2011 Cutler is the only superior offensive player (I think FO's DVOA rating on Forte rightly pegs him as a limited runner). An offense that has a bunch of starters who are not legitimate NFL starter quality. Despite that before his injury the offense was fair. IN 2012 Cutler was not as good, but he was the least of the problems on the offense

by Insancipitory :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 7:09pm

Isn't that part of the Chicago fan mystique? They'll take either extreme, but loathe mediocrity.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:13pm

To say he was not as good this year is a real understatement. He regressed substantially, despite having a legitimate number 1 target for the first time in years, and continues to take up a large chunk of the salary cap. Yes, his offensive line is bad, but there are qbs in this league who also have had bad o-lines, and have consistently handled that handicap better than Cutler, except for last year. He's getting paid like a guy who will handle that handicap better. He needs to commit to getting rid of the lazy mistakes that prevent his employer from getting their money's worth.

by BroncosGuyAgain :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 1:01am

Then again, to say he regressed substantially might be a grand overstatement. I watched the majority of Bears games, and I saw little of the the shortcomings that have plagued him in the past. His flaws have historically been forcing throws into way-too-tight windows and holding the ball too long. I didn't see an extraordinary amount of that this last year. He did, however, target Marshall far too often (and he might have benefited from the fact that no window is too small when B-Marsh is looking through it). Broadly, though, the offense was a mess.

Trestman has tremendous credentials as an offensive strategist -- system, game plan, coaching -- top to bottom. The Bears, though, are challenged much more with their roster than their coaching. On the offensive side, only the QB, RB, 1 WR and 1 OG could start for a substantial number of teams in the league. On defense, the number is much higher, but most of the quality players are old.

And that O-line isn't merely bad.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 9:03am

Historically, he also has had crappy discipline with regard to mechanics, which creates big problems at bad times. For instance, in the 2nd Vikings game this year. His team is on a bad streak, after a strong start, and desperately needs him to help stop the bleeding. He goes out on the field and exhibits a bunch of lazy slop, with crappy mechanics, sometimes even when he isn't really being pressured all that much. His team loses fairly decisively, and that loss puts the Bears behind the Vikings in the tiebreaker.

After last year, I thought he had come around, and had decided to accept the responsibility that comes with his paycheck. I was wrong.

by Roch Bear :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 1:07am

Basically I am with you on this, most of the difference between 2011 and 2012 in Cutler's performance should be laid at Cutler's feet. That said, the Bears OL, to my eye, regressed as well ... from a low standard. That explains some of Cutlers fall off. "there are qbs in this league who also have had bad o-lines ... handled ... better" Sure but outside of Rodgers that seems rare and inconsistent.

I do wonder if some of the regression was because Martz (OC in 2011) was just a better play caller/OC than Tice (OC in 2012). Trestman now has his chance to be a better play caller/designer than either.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 8:55am

Tony Romo has mostly played behind bad protection his entire career, and, despite his well documented failures, has never had a DVOA rank lower than 11. Other than last year, Cutler has never compensated for bad protection nearly as well, but he gets paid like he does. He isn't pulling his weight.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 9:48am

Cutler has had one year with a decent receiver and has never had a decent offensive coach. Your constant comparisons to Romo don't hold water and even Romo hasn't had a line as abysmal as that Bears effort last year where none of the linemen were of an NFL standard.

There are plently of qbs who would have loved to have worked with Witten, TO, Austin and Bryant. Cutler has had Marshall this year but before then who has he had? Hester? The perpetually injured Bennett? Greg Olsen?

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:03am

Your constant implication that Romo has been the beneficiary of good coaching is simply wrong, and has been wrong for years.

Look, Jay Cutler has been getting paid like a qb who can greatly compensate for the substantial weaknesses elsewhere on the roster to which he belongs. Other than last year, he hasn't earned his pay, especially once one considers that one weakness he never has had to compensate for is a defense which forces him to put up a lot of points, or that puts him in a hole early with some frequency. In a league with a hard cap, the highest paid player on a roster needs to play in a fashion consistent with the percentage of cap space consumed. Other than last year, Cutler hasn't done so.

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:11am

I think Garret's a decent offensive coordinator, it's how he got the gig. I'm not sure how you can argue otherwise when all the stats you cite for Romo are his stats too. I don't rate him that highly as a head coach but that isn't the issue here, it's his ability to get the most out of his offensive talent. For the record, I think Romo is about average, he does some things well but has some problems and is overall just too inconsistent in my 'humble' opinion.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:46am

I think it is an error to believe that a deficient head coaching performance, by a head coach who is also acting as offensive coordinator, doesn't impact the offense, even if the coach is a decent coordinator.

I, too, think Romo's greatest fault is inconsistency. I also think that given consistently poor offensive line play, and a defensive secondary which at times has been truly awful, putting a lot of pressue on an offense with a bad offensive line, he's played pretty well. Of the four years Cutler has been in Chicago, there has been one in which I'd say he's been similarly productive. That's why, even though I think Lovie Smith is a pretty good head coach, I thought they needed to make a move. The calendar is now a formidable opponent for that roster, and they have to get something more from the guy who takes up the largest part of their roster's payroll, and they need it to happen right now.

by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 12:05pm

I think it can be offset if you have a strong position coach. Unfortunately, I would not describe Wade Wilson as a strong position coach.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 12:09pm

Good grief, I'd forgotten that The Wader was their qb coach. It always puzzled me that that a guy, whose greatest weakness as a qb was between the ears (and believe me, I saw almost all of the lowlights), ended up as a qb coach at the highest level.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 2:17pm

A guy who is a late round pick and has a long career usually has to make up for some sort of physical limitations with mental acuity and hard work. Those guys tend to make the best coaches. And as a coach, he isn't actually making the split second decisions, but rather is slowing it down and explaining to a young player what decisions to make - from the perspective of someone who has made both good and bad.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 2:59pm

Wade really wasn't held back by physical limitations. His arm was more than good enough, and for his era he had above-average mobility. The game just got too fast for him at times, but as you note, that isn't the same as being unable to teach the game to others.

by Jimmy :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 1:02pm

The highest paid player on the Bears is Peppers and it isn't particularly close. Cutler may not be out earning Marshall as far as I know and isn't paid much more than Forte. He only has one year remaining on his contract thogh so probably would like a raise, I think he needs to play better to get a chunk of guaranteed money.

I can't even begin to agree that Romo has had a worse supporting cast than Cutler though. That is not even close to being the case.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 1:55pm

It's good that it is not the case that Romo's roster has been worse than Cutler's, because I never said it was. I said Romo has also played behind bad offensive lines, and has also frequently had to compenstate for something that Cutler has never had to compensate for, which is a really bad pass defense that puts a lot of pressure on an offense with a bad offensive line. It is true that Romo has had much better receivers to throw to, but then again, Cutler has also benefitted from the field position that a consistently good defnse provides, along with, let us not forget, the field position provided by special teams which have,over the last four years, averaged a ranking between #1 and #2, compared to the field position provided by special teams which have finished #14, #15, #25, and #15.

From Rotoworld:


"10/20/2009: Signed a five-year, $49.77 million contract. The deal contains $20 million guaranteed, including a $7 million signing bonus, Cutler's first-year salary, and $3.3 million of his 2010 base pay. Cutler can earn $500,000 workout bonuses in each year 2010-2013. 2013: $8.47 million, 2014: Free Agent"


"7/16/2012: Signed a four-year, $30.4 million contract. The deal contains $13.8 million guaranteed -- a $4 million signing bonus, $5 million first-year roster bonus, all of Forte's first-year base salary, and his $4 million offseason roster bonus in 2013. Forte is eligible for annual $100,000 workout bonuses in years two through four. Another $4 million is available in incentives. 2013: $1.7 million (+ $4 million roster bonus due 3/31 + $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses), 2014: $5.55 million (+ $1 million in per-game roster bonuses), 2015: $6.65 million (+ $1.05 million in per-game roster bonuses), 2016: Free Agent"

I'll note here that the odds of this contract being in place at the start of the 2014 season are pretty darned low.


"3/5/2010: Signed a six-year, $84 million contract. The deal contains $42 million guaranteed, including a $6.5 million signing bonus, a first-year roster bonus of $12.5 million, and a second-year "signing" bonus of $10.5 million. Another $7.5 million is available through incentives based on sacks, Pro Bowl berths, and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Peppers can earn annual $100,000 workout bonuses in years one through five. 2013: $12.9 million, 2014: $13.9 million, 2015: $16.5 million, 2016: Free Agent"

It is definitely the case that Peppers earns more, but it is exaggerrated a bit by the fact that his contract is more typical than Cutler's, in that the last year of the contract is very unlikely to be relevant.

In any case, Cutler will have consumed about 10% of his team's cap space in the time this contract has been in place. The Bears would be reasonable in thinking that they haven't gotten their money's worth, except, again, for last year. It'll be interesting to see how Cutler views going into the final year of his contract, or whether his agent will press hard of an extension.

by Jimmy :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 4:32pm

You have seen what the Bears are like without Cutler haven't you? I'd say that difference is worth 10% of the cap. He is the Bears' best offensive player (and yes I am including Marshall and Forte in that).

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 7:36pm

Yes, I agree with the proposition that Jay Cutler is much, much, better than Caleb Hanie. Look, we aren't going to agree. You firmly believe that Cutler bears little responsibility for the performance of the Bears offense over the past 4 seasons. I disgaree with that notion.

by joshuacbennett :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 9:21pm

Cutler's BEST DVOA with the Bears: -3.5%
Cutler's WORST DVOA with the Broncos: 16% (excluding rookie year when he started a few games for a benched Plummer)

Maybe Cutler was overvalued in Denver and undervalued in Chicago, but the importance of O line play and other factors on quarterback performance is always underestimated.

Just in case of doubt:
Kyle Orton's DVOAs with the Bears: -33.5%, -28.3%, -15.4%, -6.2%
Kyle Orton's WORST DVOA with the Broncos: 8.4%, 8.3%, -5.4%

by Roch Bear :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:25pm

THANK YOU. I wish folks would stop calling the passing ratings QB ratings. They are ratings of the entire passing offense with some strong influence from the run threat, and the play caller is important too. Obvious but folks keep falling into the mistake of comparing QBs by the these metrics.

by Will Allen :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:42pm

Sure, and if Cutler was getting paid as if he was a little better than Kyle Orton, behind a bad o-line, I wouldn't have wrote what I did. I said early on that his o-line was bad, but that he was getting paid as if he was one of the few qbs who can compensate for that handicap fairly well, but the reality is that he has only done so in one of the of four years he has been in Chicago.

by Blackamallow (not verified) :: Wed, 01/16/2013 - 4:22pm

I come from Montreal. Not the biggest Al's fan, but that's more of a CFL thing than Al's thing.

Very well respected and liked by management, players, fans and media. Not sure I ever saw a negative article about Trestman in Montreal newspapers in all the years he was here, but I guess that's what winning gets you.

Soft-spoken. Family man. Knows when to go for it on 3rd down (4th down in NFL). Nice offense every year. Knows how to use the offensive players management gets him. Let's see if he can do stuff with the Bears O Line.

Don't know about defense though, the Al's defenses were pretty weak every year. Did the Bears keep their Def Coordinator?

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 9:40am

For years the Bears have had great defenses and the league's best special teams. now they've waved goodbye to Lovie Smith and Dave Toub and it looks like Marianelli is leaving too so they're left with that offense. Nice work.

At least Emery has a really tidy moustache.

by dbt :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 2:45pm

Right now in 2012, defense doesn't win championships in the NFL. When is the last time a great defense carried a mediocre offense to a super bowl crown? I'd say 2002. Why keep doing what's not working?


by Andrew Potter :: Fri, 01/18/2013 - 9:33pm

I'd say the 03 Patriots and the 05 Steelers were both teams with mediocre offenses but very good to great defenses (after reviewing their season it looks like the 05 Steelers offense was better than I initially thought, but the defense was definitely the strength of that team). I'd also argue that the 07 Giants won their title on the strength of their defense, but they were an aberration in many different ways so I'd be reluctant to cite them as a definitive example of anything except McDaniels hubris.

That said, I agree that recent history strongly favours a strong offense over a strong defense as the route to a championship. Specifically, the rules now favour a top class passing offense beyond any other area of the team.

by dbt :: Sat, 01/19/2013 - 5:34am

Just using DVOA ranking & DVOA as a top line measurement, going from 2012 back during the Lovie era in Chicago, here's how the offense came out:
rankings: 26, 30, 28, 28, 22, 30, 20, 28, 32.
dvoa %: -10.9, -21.4, -15.8, -19.7, -9.0, -22.1, -5.0, -17.1, -36.5.

That's two finishes out of the bottom quarter, and the one time they had a dvoa better than -9%, they went to the super bowl. (and then fumbled the snap twice.)

Pittsburgh in 2005 had a great defense but an above average offense. 12%, 8th overall ranking. New England in 2003 was a 1.2% 14th place offense. Not great, not really good, but certainly not cover your eyes awful as the Bears have made a history of, year after year.

You can't ignore (slightly less than) half of the team for 9 years and expect to win.