LAKE FOREST, IL - MAY 18: Head coach Marc Trestman of the Chicago Bears talks to reporters after rookie minicamp at Halas Hall on May 18, 2014 in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
As the Chicago Bears’ training camp n Bourbonnais approaches, there are plenty of people in the organization with plenty to do in order to get ready for the season. The team obviously won’t be as transparent with their “To-Do Lists” as we’d like them to be, so instead of trying our hand at safe-cracking, we came up with our own lists.
Today we discuss what head coach Marc Trestman has to do as he prepares for his sophomore season as the boss of the Bears.
Continue Adding New Wrinkles to the Offense
The Bears’ offense showed some incredible progress last season in Trestman’s first year at the helm, with Alshon Jeffery emerging as a bonafide star at receiver and Matt Forte setting all sorts of career highs at the running back position. Jay Cutler also had a solid season despite losing time to injury, and perhaps most remarkably of all, Trestman’s offense got Josh McCown to play well enough to earn a lucrative new contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With that success though comes the pressure to do more, and that’s first and foremost on Trestman’s list of to-dos for the upcoming season. It helps to continue to have weapons like Brandon Marshall and Martellus Bennett in the fold, but properly utilizing those assets, as well as working in players like Ka’Deem Carey into the system, will be Trestman’s biggest task. The NFL is a league that is all about adjusting to schemes, and the coach will have to continue to throw wrinkles into the mix to be successful.
Keep Tucker and Decamillis Accountable
While the Bears’ offense was dynamic last season, their defense and special teams were considerably less so. Whether it was a complete lack of pressure on the quarterback, poor tackling technique, or losing assignments on punts and kicks, the Bears couldn’t seem to get out of their own way.
Injuries definitely played a part in those struggles, but with huge overhauls in both phases of the game, the pressure will be dialed up on those coaches. Trestman has the authority to push for changes if he deems fit, and he’s going to have to take time out from managing the offense to make sure that both Mel Tucker and Joe Decamillis are installing and maintaining systems that will be successful for the team.
Help Develop Palmer and Fales
We mentioned in Cutler’s To-Do List that he needs to work with David Fales and Jordan Palmer as the season gets closer, but the onus will be on Trestman to make sure that both players are familiar with the team’s playbook, as well as the organization’s expectations for both players.
Trestman showed a great deal of savvy in the way he dealt with McCown last season, and he’s going to need to do that again this year. If Cutler goes down with an injury (something he’s increasingly likely to do), Trestman is going to have to work with a quarterback with significantly less experience than the departed back-up, and working with both Fales and Palmer early and often will be the key to success in that event.