marc trestman

Kyle Long has officially decided which XFL team to root for

Kyle Long has officially decided which XFL team to root for

The XFL officially kicked off on February 8. The competitor to the NFL started off their season with games between the Seattle Dragons and DC Defenders; and the Houston Roughnecks and Los Angeles Wildcats.

As football fans flock to TVs to see what the unique league has to offer, many are simply trying to catch up and identify the key players and coaches that make up the association. Former Bears offensive lineman Kyle Long is quite familiar with one of the new XFL head coaches and thus has a good idea of with whom his fandom will reside. 

Long took to Twitter to respond to a fan and let them know that he will be rooting for the Tampa Bay Vipers Vipers for the 2020 XFL season due to their head coach being former Bears head coach Marc Trestman. 

Trestman coached the Bears from 2013 to 2014 and despite leading the team to some solid offensive outputs, his overall record was 13-19 over the two seasons. Long was of course, drafted to the Bears in the first round in 2013, playing his first two years under Trestman in Chicago. But when Long stated that Trestman drafted him to Chicago, former Bears great Olin Kreutz chimed in to correct him, leading to a pretty funny back and forth:

We can not confirm that Phil Emery and Marc Trestman are the same person, but (all jokes aside) we can confirm that the Trestman's Vipers will be taking on the New York Guardians on Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX with Kyle Long rooting for them every step of the way. 

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Matt Nagy staying his course as Bears head coach and offensive playcaller

Matt Nagy staying his course as Bears head coach and offensive playcaller

The phrase “communication problem” can sometimes be about as bland/vapid/ insipid/foggy a diagnosis as there is. But in the case of the struggling Bears, it may be a serious common thread running through the difficulties that have produced a four-game losing streak from which no one appears to have a clear map out of. Either that, or they do have a map, and just can't seem to find true North.

The communication issue surfaced in the ill-fated missed field goal in the Chargers game. Kicker Eddy Pineiro said afterwards that he’d wanted the football positioned on a hash mark, but evidently that information was never communicated among special-teams staff and on to the head coach so his quarterback could take a knee in a preferred spot.

A smallish incident/example, obviously, but arguably symptomatic of a clogged, overloaded or just poorly functioning communication structure that in fact represents one of the things the Bears actually could fix with a minimum of overall disruption where it matters most: the players. That is, if they chose to change it. Which they aren’t.

Too much on Nagy?

As the offensive implosions continue, one point of focus centers on Nagy, himself. His structure has him as the offensive playcaller as well as the head coach, and occasional questions pertaining to his game management brush up against whether he needs to place playcalling in the hands of Mark Helfrich, his offensive coordinator.

Because he was so immersed in tactical matters of plays in the moment, was he aware that he’d called 56 pass plays vs. seven runs against New Orleans? Was he aware that Tarik Cohen had just one carry and three receptions in the playoff loss to Philadelphia? Or that he was directing his struggling quarterback to run 50 pass plays vs. 15 runs in a one-score, Week 1 loss to Green Bay?

Detroit coach Matt Patricia, formerly Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator with New England, is ceding the playcalling for the Lions’ struggling defense to coordinator and former Bears defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni. Lovie Smith left the defensive calls in the hands of his coordinators.

On the other hand, coaches Sean McVay (Rams), Kyle Shanahan (49ers) and Doug Pederson (Eagles) serve as playcallers for their offenses.

Then again, Marc Trestman handled playcalling for his offense when it was second in the NFL averaging nearly 28 points per game in 2013. The following year, the points per game dropped below 20 as the league clearly caught on to him, and his team disintegrated under and around him.

Nagy continues to evince zero indication that he is considering any change in his role, despite stating Wednesday, “I think when you're just staying put, you're not trying to find answers and you're okay with where you're at right now which no one is. We're not. I'm not.”

Yet Nagy knows from personal experience the possible impact a change could have.

Nagy's mentor and Kansas City head coach Andy Reid turned that portion of gameday management over to Nagy — then Reid’s offensive coordinator — in December 2017, at a point when the Chiefs had lost five of six games and failed to top 17 points in any of the three straight losses.

After Reid, who retained oversight, announced the change, the Chiefs scored no fewer than 26 points in winning five of the final six games of the season behind Nagy’s playcalling (a major resume boost for his head-coaching aspirations). The team then put up 21 points in the first half of a wild-card loss to Tennessee.

Reid in Philadelphia had previously involved offensive coordinators Brad Childress and Marty Mornhinweg as playcallers, and later had Doug Pederson, Reid’s first Kansas City offensive coordinator, script the first 15 plays of games.

Nagy isn’t going there.

“It's not just the players, it is coaching,” Nagy conceded. “But at the same time, for our own team and our own coaches and players, I'm just not going to get into the public side of [playcalling]. 

“That part of the question, to me, it falls into a rhythm. It's pretty natural, when you go three-and-out five straight times and you don't know your 'why' sometimes. That's the part to where you can say to yourselves, 'Is this something where there needs to be a change, whether it's play-calling, whether it's schematically, whether it's position, etc.'"

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CFL's Toronto Argonauts fire former Bears head coach Marc Trestman

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USA TODAY

CFL's Toronto Argonauts fire former Bears head coach Marc Trestman

Former Bears head coach Marc Trestman is back on the open market.

Saturday, the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League announced that they have relieved Trestman of head coaching duties. 

Trestman, 62, was the Bears head coach from 2013-14 and led the team to records of 8-8 and 5-11, respectively. Of course, the Bears fired both Trestman and general manager Phil Emery after the 2014 season ended.

The Bears did not make the playoffs during Trestman's tenure. However, they famously lost what was essentially a play-in game against the Packers in Week 17 of the 2013 season. at Soldier Field.

With the Bears up 28-27 in the fourth quarter, Green Bay scored a touchdown with 38 seconds left to go ahead for good, clinching the NFC North title.

Under Trestman, the Argonauts finished the 2018 season 4-14, missing the CFL Playoffs. However, Trestman led the 9-9 Argonauts all the way to a championship in 2017, winning the 105th Grey Cup 27-24 over the Calgary Stampeders.

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