As the Chicago Bears continue to narrow their search for a head coach, a common trait exists among a trio of leading candidates -- the ability to operate a quarterback-friendly system.
Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians are expected to meet with the Bears for second interviews this week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Over the past 20 years, a number of quarterbacks have produced some of the best numbers of their careers serving under the candidates.
The most critical aspect of the search will likely be how quickly a new coach can establish a rapport with QB Jay Cutler.
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Trestman, who is regarded in league circles for his creative offensive mind, spent two seasons guiding a 49ers offense led by Steve Young and Jerry Rice in 1995-96, before serving as the QB coach with the Lions in 1997. A year later, the Cardinals earned their first playoff berth in more than 16 season, as Trestman mentored second-year QB Jake Plummer.
Trestman's finest work may have come in Oakland, as the Raiders' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator (2001-2003). In 2002, Rich Gannon, then 37, was named the AP NFL MVP after passing for a career-high 4,689 yards.
Gannon is convinced Trestman is the right coach for Cutler.
“Every quarterback who has played for him has gotten better,” Gannon told the Sun-Times. “If there's one thing Chicago needs, it's someone to get Jay back on track. ... Marc can get him straightened out.”
Bevell and Arians also have strong backgrounds. In 2009, Bevell served as offensive coordinator with the Vikings when Brett Favre threw for more than 4,200 yards and had a sterling 33:7 TD/INT ratio. Arians helped lead the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships while molding Ben Roethlisberger in the early stages of his career. This past season, Andrew Luck flourished in Indianapolis while running an up-tempo offense under the veteran coach.
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