3. Marc Trestman
We didn’t really know what to expect from the Canadian import Marc Trestman. He brought some baggage with him, including a reputation as being too smart for the room and having a difficult time relating to players. I don’t think either of those has been true. Trestman’s work with Jay Cutler is still clearly a work in progress, but there are signs of improvement in Jay’s demeanor on and off the field. Trestman was brought here to fix the offense and so far, so good. The Bears offensive rankings are way ahead of their rankings under the previous regime at a comparable time frame.
Trestman’s approach has been a breath of fresh air. His press conferences are actually, um, what’s the word I’m looking for? Interesting! Trestman actually shares meaningful information. Sure, he’s a little weird, but at least he doesn’t look down on reporters and blow off their questions. I’ve learned more about Bears football in 4 games than I did under all of Lovie Smith’s tenure.
2. Jay Cutler
I know, I know. Jay Cutler was also listed on the concerns list too, but that’s the type of inconsistent player he is. Despite a rough outing against the Lions, Cutler has shown signs of life. The interception number is a little high, especially after a 3 pick performance, but his completion percentage is up 6 points over last season and almost 5 percent higher than his career average.
Cutler earned the nickname Mr 4th Quarter after a couple of 4th quarter comebacks and his 4th quarter stats have been tremendous. Trestman has him playing his best football when it matters most.
Is Cutler worth one of those “full boat” quarterback deals? Time will tell. But he’s been mostly a pleasant surprise this season while we figure that out.
1. Offensive line
We all knew that the offensive line was going to get a makeover. This group had nowhere to go but up but I don’t think anyone expected such a dramatic turnaround so quickly, especially when you consider there are two rookies starting on the right side of the line and there are 4 new members altogether.
The offensive line has given up only 6 sacks through 4 games, which was a bad half for previous Bears offensive lines. Some credit goes to the line, some goes to Trestman and his scheme and some even goes to Cutler. They’ve committed far fewer pre-snap penalties and even limited the number of holding penalties.
The rookie Kyle Long and Jordan Mills have gotten most of the pub on the right side of the line, but the left side of veteran acquisitions Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson have very quietly taken care of their business.
So who are your pleasant surprises through the first quarter of the season? Let’s see your comments.