Earlier Wednesday, we discussed the likely reason why NFL teams never seriously considered Marc Trestman for head-coaching jobs during his heyday as an offensive guru from the mid-1990s until the early 2000s. His quiet and professorial personality didn't strike traditional football people as the type that could "command a room" and "lead the team" in a way that was generally expected of head coaches.
Longtime Oakland Raiders receiver Tim Brown became one of Trestman's first former players to put a voice to that sentiment. In an interview with ESPN 1000, Brown said he was "shocked" that the Chicago Bears hired him Wednesday because " I just never saw Trestman as being a head coach."
Brown appears to harbor a grudge against Trestman, who shifted the Raiders' offense from Brown to Jerry Rice when he took over as offensive coordinator in 2002. And like everyone who speaks of Trestman, Brown said he is "a really smart guy" and "knows football like the back of his hand."
However, Brown questioned whether Trestman has the skills to be a head coach. He said he and Trestman "had some interesting words" about his scheme.
"[T]here's a lot more to coaching than just X's and O's," Brown said. "You have to be able to deal with players and that's the reason [former Raiders coach] Bill Callahan hasn't succeeded as a head coach. Because he's a smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand, but when it comes to leading [men], it's a totally different intangible you have to have. It's going to be very interesting to see how [Trestman] and Jay Cutler get along, that's for sure."
Again, as we've discussed, there is at least an eight-year gap between Trestman and any people with NFL backgrounds who worked with him. A lot can change over that time, and Trestman is a good enough head coach to win two Grey Cup championships in the CFL. But if you're wondering why his first NFL opportunity didn't come until he was 57, Brown offers us some context.