Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman was first man up as NFL coaches and executives had their first media session at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday. Nothing like throwing the new guy into the deep end of the pool. Just an hour later, Trestman’s boss, GM Phil Emery, stepped to the podium. Both Bears execs spoke to the media, but didn’t say all that much. Sometimes it’s what they don’t say that’s important. Let’s see if we can get anything useful from dissecting their pressers.
When Trestman was asked about the differences between the NFL and the CFL, he gave us this nugget:
“There are multiple differences, obviously. Just generally the box is still the box and the blitzes you see in the CFL are similar blitzes you see south of the border. The field is wider. It’s intelligently created, no doubt about it. It’s a three-down league. The defensive line is a yard off the ball. The field is a mile long and a mile wide. We’re playing with 12 with multiple motion. So it’s a different game, but it’s a terribly exciting game, a great game, and it’s been around 100 years up there. They must be doing something right and from my standpoint I totally enjoyed every minute of it.”
Do you get the sense that Trestman thinks he’s still in Canada with all his “south of the border” and “we’re playing with 12″ comments?
Asked about the evaluation of Brian Urlacher, Trestman did his best to sidestep that question like a quarterback avoiding a fierce pass rush:
“You know, that is an ongoing process. We certainly have evaluated our entire football team as much as we can without seeing them work, having a chance to spend some time, some formal time with him on the field and again as we move forward in this process through the combine and through the spring, obviously all of these things are going to be resolved. But right now between Phil and the personnel department and myself and the coaching department, we continue to talk about these things and process the information. But at this time we are not going to go any farther than that in our discussions.”
Huh? How long does it take to look at the tape? If I’m reading between the lines, I feel like Trestman is trying to nudge Urlacher out the door. Besides, what’s with the whole “we’ve evaluated him as much as we can without seeing him on the field? Um, unless I’m mistaken, the Bears won’t get a chance to see him on the field since he’s an unrestricted free agent.
Here’s more of Trestman’s 12 minute session with the media (if you don’t see a video box below, click the refresh button on your browser):
The closest Trestman got to actually saying something was when he stopped short of calling Shea McClellin a defensive end:
“You know, we’ve talked about that. I think that he has flexibility. He is a tremendous athlete. As we put our football team together, we’ll work on that. We’ve had discussions about Shea and all his strengths and weaknesses and he’s got a lot of strengths and a lot of great things he can do. As (defensive coordinator) Mel (Tucker) and the guys continue to put the defense together, we’ll decide collectively what the best place for him to play is.”
That got all the “move McClellin to lynebaacker” meatballs up out of their chairs. GM Phil Emery was there to put that talk to bed. Well, sort of.
Q: With new staff, any different thought on using Shea?
A: Right now he’s a d-end and he’ll remain a d-end. If there’s something in him that sparks us in terms of he’s got versatility. Like he did last year, he stood up in certain situations. But we’re not going to put an umbrella around him. We’re going to use his talents, his athleticism, his speed, his savvy, to the best we can, and whatever our coaches can concoct as far as a plan for him, we’ll use every ounce of it. He is a d-end. That’s his position. We’re excited about him as a pass rusher. We want to get him on the field more on regular down situations. And where his versatility is, that’s a plus for him. So if he ends being a linebacker in some situations, then good.
Here’s just about all of of Emery’s discussion with the media, including his take of the new aptitude test, the draft process and the need for secrecy, Gabe Carimi’s fit with the Bears, depth in the draft, Trestman and Cutler, etc. Good talking, just not saying much. (If you don’t see a video box below, click the refresh button on your browser):
What did we take away from Emery? We learned that he’s got a ton of respect for Brian Urlacher, but he still played it pretty close to the vest. He said he won’t insult Urlacher or “make him feel slighted” so I feel like this will be handled in a professional manner.
Both Emery and Trestman did their level best to talk a lot without saying anything. Welcome to the new era in Chicago Bears football.
What do you think? Do you want them to let fans in a little more? What did you take away from their pressers?