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Marc Trestman sidesteps question if Cutler is franchise QB

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Marc Trestman introduced himself to Bears fans on Thursday, and one of the most important questions of the day involved the use of quarterback Jay Cutler.

CBSSports.com's Will Brinson already broke down why the Trestman hire was a sign that the Bears finally would build the team around Cutler, but Trestman also had an interesting answer when asked directly if Cutler was a franchise quarterback.

"Jay Cutler is a guy who loves football. He's a guy who's willing to learn. He wants to do everything he can to help this franchise and please our amazing fans," Trestman said. "That's where we're going to start. We're going to go to work one day at a time in proactive terms with a sense of urgency to get him where we want him to be and where he wants to be."

Great answer. But then, again, Trestman didn't really answer the question, did he? He did, though, make sure to let people know that he understands the importance of protecting the quarterback who's been victimized by 149 sacks during the past three years.

"I'm going to be responsible for keeping Jay and our quarterbacks safe in the pocket," Trestman said. "... On the offensive side, it starts and ends with the quarterback. We've got to protect our quarterback and keep him safe."

As for hiring the new coach, general manager Phil Emery was open with how the process progressed. He didn't say exactly how many candidates he talked to -- it was thought he had discussed the position with at least 13 -- but he revealed that he had talked to five special teams coordinators instead of the four that had been reported, meaning he talked to least 14.

Emery said he brought in three finalists -- Trestman, Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. Each was interviewed for about eight hours, and Bevell was eliminated from contention because he didn't have head coaching experience. Ultimately, Emery chose Trestman, because of this:

"We had an original set of criteria: excellence, a high level of organization and administrative skill, energy, the ability and the warmth to pull people toward a common goal. Marc met all those standards easily. The excellence is there. … He's a champion, and now he's the head football coach of the Chicago Bears."

In other news from the presser, Trestman, when asked, didn't discuss linebacker Brian Urlacher's future with the team (though he certainly praised Urlacher's past play), and he said he didn't think defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli would return for 2013.

"I had a chance to talk to Rod. We had a good discussion," Trestman said. "He's made up his mind to move on."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

 
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