It has been clear for some time that the Chicago Bears have been focused on finding an offensive-minded head coach that would get more out of quarterback Jay Cutler while he is in the prime of his career. The question, of course, is whether Cutler would be receptive and a willing participant in the process.
So I found it fascinating to listen to ESPN analyst Steve Young discuss that issue Tuesday morning on ESPN 1000. Young provided a strong endorsement for the candidacy of Marc Trestman, who was his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the San Francisco 49ers from 1995-97, and said Cutler would be foolish to not maximize the kind of opportunity the Bears seem intent on giving him.
"The job [of quarterback] is like a Japanese garden," Young said. "It takes a lot of care. It takes a lot of time. It takes intricate work. … I've got to believe that if someone came in and in a resonant way could speak to him -- like when you put your finger near a crystal glass, it starts to sing to you -- that resonant sound that happens between quarterback and coach, that he would respond to that. Why wouldn't you respond to that?"
"He's ready for it," Young added. "Now, part of it is work. Part of it is really boring. It's like going to law school or med school or something else. There is a lot of study. There is a lot of time you have to spend. If you're not willing to spend it, no matter how much time you give the coach, no matter how much effort you make in practice, to make the transition, you have to turn the TV off. You've got to stay inside. You've got to put up your white board. You have to memorize things. You have to get so you have reflexive recall. With that kind reflexive recall and even without any mobility, you become Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Jay can move around, but look at what those guys with no ability to move whatsoever. That's the high level learning I'm talking about."
Young said that "one thing" Trestman can do is "break down a quarterback and build him back up." For what it's worth, the Bears' other two known finalists -- Bruce Arians and Darrell Bevell -- also have backgrounds as quarterback coaches. For Cutler, the idea would be to transform a good quarterback into a great one. Part of it depends on the coach, and some of the responsibility will lie with Cutler. But in Young's view, Trestman and Cutler could make resonant sounds.