Trestman should better protect Cutler

Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo says he benefited from Marc Trestman's attention to detail. AP Photo/The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson

It remains to be seen how Jay Cutler will work with new head coach Marc Trestman, but if history is any indication, the Bears quarterback will stay on his feet much more this season.

When Trestman, who was hired Wednesday by the Bears, took over as Montreal head coach before the 2008 season, the Alouettes were coming off a season in which they led the CFL in sacks allowed with 68. In his first season with mostly the same offensive linemen, the Alouettes, running Trestman's offense, surrendered a CFL-low 22 sacks.

And Trestman proved he could keep defenses off his quarterback during his five years in Montreal with his teams averaging 31 sacks allowed a season.

"He devised a system that might have even been similar to what the Saints were running for Drew Brees to make sure that reads were (made) to get rid of the ball quick," Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "... Once he got that rolling and five years later we've always been near the top of not getting sacked. ... He can adapt and adjust. One thing he's going to make sure is that that quarterback is well protected. He's going to give that quarterback a great chance to be productive by protecting that guy."

The Bears gave up 44 sacks this season -- eighth in the NFL -- with Cutler absorbing 38 of them. They allowed 49 in 2011 (fifth in the NFL) and led the NFL with 56 in 2010.

Anthony Calvillo already had 14 seasons behind him as one of the CFL's best quarterbacks when Trestman took over the Alouettes. He said Trestman tweaked some of his mechanics such as holding the ball slightly higher, but the coach's biggest impact was made in devising game plans and in his overall attention to detail.

"You don't buy in overnight, you don't trust overnight," Calvillo told "Waddle & Silvy" on Wednesday. "It took a few weeks halfway through the season to finally believe that you know what, this guy what he's telling us and what he's preaching is going to help us win. That's what he is going to do there is follow the exact same thing."

In his first season under Trestman, Calvillo jumped from 17 touchdown passes in 2007 to 43 in 2008. He also passed for 5,633 yards, the third-best total in his long and storied CFL career.

"His attention to detail, that's the one thing that stood out from the beginning," Calvillo said. "He called us up, me and a few veterans when he first got hired. He wanted more input on the offense, and he had his ideas and he wanted our ideas. He wanted to make sure that every single player on that offense knew what they had to do.

"There was going to be no question marks when you watch the film the next day on what I had or what my responsibility was. From the beginning it was detailed out."

Trestman and Calvillo led the Alouettes to two straight Grey Cup titles in 2009 and 2010, and Trestman leaves the CFL with a 64-34 record.

Popp said the veteran NFL assistant is ready to lead an NFL team.

"(The Bears are) getting an extremely intelligent man who is well organized and approaches a game and dissects it like he's preparing for a battle in a courtroom," Popp said. "He coaches his coaches, he grinds them hard because if they can't X and O and can't communicate with the players and they can't articulate and have them cover every aspect of the game before they hit the field they won't coach for him."