New Bears head coach Marc Trestman is introduced at Halas Hall Thursday Morning. | Andrew Nelles~Sun-Times
Updated: March 19, 2013 3:03AM
As a 10-year old kid from the Minneapolis suburbs, Marc Trestman recalled watching George Halas’ Bears beat the Vikings in 1966. As a Vikings assistant, he remembers coaching against Mike Ditka’s 1985 Bears that won the Super Bowl. As a first-time NFL head coach at 57, he knows exactly where he is and precisely why he’s here.
‘‘I do feel the passion. I do feel the sense of urgency. And man, I do feel the commitment to win,’’ Trestman said upon being introduced as the 14th head coach in Bears history Thursday at the George ‘‘Mugs’’ Halas Auditorium at Halas Hall in Lake Forest.
Bears general manager Phil Emery said he chose Trestman for his ‘‘excellence ... energy ... organization’’ and his ability to pull people together.’’
Trestman has been an NFL assistant for 18 years, and for the last five years has been head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League .
The Alouettes went 59-31 under Trestman and won two CFL championships in three Grey Cup appearances.
‘‘Not only does he adapt to personnel. He adapts to situations,’’ Emery said. ‘‘Do not underestimate Marc Trestman as a competitor.’’
But with the Bears’ current situation, it is Trestman’s record of improving offenses and improving quarterbacks that matters most. And maximizing the ability of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is the centerpiece of his hiring.
‘‘His offense ‘‘starts and ends with the quarterback,’” Trestman said. ‘‘The quarterback absolutely must play at an efficient level.’’
Trestman said he first met Cutler 10 years ago at a workout in North Carolina. He met him again two days ago. ‘‘He’s a different person,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘He’s in tune with where he is and where he wants to go. I can’t wait to get my hands on him and go to work with him.’’
Trestman will get right to work on the 2013 season. And there is a lot of work to do. He will have to hire a new defensive coordinator after Rod Marinelli decided not to stay.
Trestman said the priority on offense will be pass protection. ‘‘It’s my responsibility to keep Jay Cutler and our quarterbacks safe in the pocket.’’