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Bears Tue Nov 19 2013

Trestman Answers The Critics -- He Had A Plan

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB bears icon.pngIf you've got a question, Marc Trestman has an answer. No, it won't be any of the petulant bullshit you get from a guy like Bill Belichick, it'll be long form, well thought out, courteous answers.

Despite winning Sunday's mess of a football game, Trestman had answering to do. Why the punt on 4th and 1 at the Ravens 44 with five minutes remaining in the game when he's gone for it in similar situations many times before? Why wasn't he calling timeouts during the Ravens final drive in regulation to preserve some clock? Why pass the ball five times on six plays inside the seven yard line? Trestman went into his typical Monday presser like the narrator in the old Radio Shack commercials.

The punt you ask? Teams have had a roughly 13 percent touchdown rate starting from their own 16 yard line in the last five or so years. The Bears have an analytics coach up in the box relaying that information to members of the coaching staff. Add in wind and field conditions, and it was a pretty easy call for the coach.

Why no timeouts? It forced the Ravens to stay with the personnel they had on the field, and limited the amount of chances they had at scoring. Timeouts are useless in the endgame scenario unless they can be called consecutively when the offensive team fails to make a first down. You may disagree with it, but a ton of thought was put into it. Trestman wasn't overwhelmed by the situation. He had a plan, and executed it down to the end. Sure, it took a bad snap to prevent a wide open touchdown, but the Bears forced them into a situation where the Ravens were forced to pass. It's much easier to defend if you eliminate half the playbook by situation alone.

As for the aerial assault near the goal line, Trestman admitted he could've done better in that spot. Those inside the 20 situations are where he sometimes forgets that Josh McCown, for all the greatness he's shown this season, doesn't have the elite arm strength that Jay Cutler possesses to get the ball to the outside before the defender has time to react. If that was his biggest coaching blunder of the day, it's all you can ask for as a fan.

What was most impressive during Sunday's game was Trestman's patience in playcalling after halftime. Going into the wind in the third quarter, the Bears only possessed the ball for 5:30 thanks to a long drive by Baltimore that ended with a sack/fumble on fourth down. During that time, the Bears called eight plays: all runs. Knowing in that situation that his quarterback's biggest weakness is arm strength (see: quarter, first), Trestman drained as much time as possible off the clock to get the wind working with them again in the fourth quarter -- knowing it would minimize the chances of a turnover, and maximizing the offenses opportunity to be successful.

It's refreshing to hear a coach be forthcoming with members of the media. It's also a reminder that in nearly any scenario with the press, the best defense is a good offense. Beat writers are so blown away with good quotes and material that articles write themselves, as opposed to information needing surgical removal, which can lead to frustration and digging for dirt.

It's also nice to hear someone give honest assessments of his team. That was something that definitely wasn't in Lovie Smith's playbook. Trestman, on the other hand, is an open book. Bring on the questions, because the man has a plan.

 
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