Don’t sleep on the Bears next season.
No, really, don’t.
Because even if you change into your pajamas and turn out the lights and climb into bed and fight back against a freezing-cold night with a pair of heavy blankets and drift off to sleep while imagining that you’re on a warm beach somewhere in Florida, the Bears will do what they want, when they want.
So don’t sleep on them.
Because the Bears happily will wait until the wee hours of Wednesday morning before reports leak that Marc Trestman has been named as the next head coach. That’s Marc with a C, as in Canada, as in where he has spent the past five seasons coaching the Montreal Alouettes to spirited wins against Saskatchewan and the like.
Here in America, the clock reads 1:28 a.m. when a text message jolts you awake.
But maybe it’s 2 in the afternoon in Canada. Maybe it’s Friday. Maybe it’s July.
I mean, who really knows? They play on 110-yard fields and punt on third down over there. They buy things with loonies and toonies while keeping an eye out for Mounties. They export human noisemakers such as Celine Dion and Justin Bieber.
But I digress.
Don’t sleep on the Bears.
Because when everybody assumes they will hire a hot offensive coordinator to replace Lovie Smith, they go off of the map – unless you have a really big map – and hire Trestman. After a series of sit-downs with coaches from Denver and Seattle and Indianapolis and Green Bay and New Orleans and so on, general manager Phil Emery plucks a guy out of Quebec who hasn’t been in the NFL since 2004.
Is it crazy? Of course it is.
Will it work? Yeah, it just might.
By now, we should know better than to sleep on the Bears.
Because when they could have hired a 30-something-year-old rising star to replace ousted general manager Jerry Angelo after the 2011 season, they went the opposite direction. In came Emery, whose winding road included stops at places such as Saginaw Valley State and Western New Mexico and Central Michigan before eventually leading to the NFL.
It’s no surprise, then, that Emery didn’t care about which coaching candidate had the most suitors or the most star appeal. Forget Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher. For that matter, forget Bruce Arians or Darrell Bevell. Emery hired the guy who won back-to-back Grey Cups, which is like a Stanley Cup for people who don’t wear skates.
Raise your hand if you had heard of Trestman before two weeks ago.
But here comes the Minnesota native, who has an impressive (albeit old) history of working with quarterbacks such as Steve Young and Rich Gannon. It will be his job to help Jay Cutler fully harness his ability. It will be his task to squeeze touchdowns out of a talented group that includes Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and others.
It won’t be simple.
Trestman will have to win over a roster filled with players who liked and respected Smith. He will have to develop a lasting relationship with Cutler, which is something that three other play-callers have tried and failed to do in the past four seasons.
As for assembling a coaching staff, Trestman quickly will have to figure out whether to keep Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator and Mike Tice as offensive coordinator. If not, he will have to determine a replacement for one or both of them.
He’ll have to study up on his new opponents in the NFC North. He’ll have to watch game film of his new players to learn each of their strengths and weaknesses.
Other than yards on a football field, he’ll have to say farewell to the metric system.
But don’t sleep on the Bears.
Because no matter what time it is, they’ll find a way to wake you up.
• Write to Shaw Media sports writer Tom Musick at firstname.lastname@example.org.