It wouldn’t be an Alouettes off-season without the inevitable Marc Trestman-to-the-NFL rumours.
And so the tradition continued on Saturday, with NFL Network reporting that the Chicago Bears will interview Trestman for their vacant head-coaching position. According to ESPN, the interview is expected to take place on Monday.
Trestman is also drawing interest from the Cleveland Browns, per ESPN Cleveland. Reports varied on when and where the meeting would take place.
Trestman is coming off his fifth season at the Alouettes’ helm and has finished each with a winning tally, including a franchise-best 15-3 regular season in 2009. The 56-year-old’s regular season record moved to 59-31 all-time in 2012, tying him for first place in franchise wins with Douglas Walker (59-48-1 from 1952-1959).
His playoff record stands at 3-2 after this past season’s loss, and his two Grey Cup titles (2009, 2010) match Marv Levy as the most by any Alouettes coach.
A former quarterbacks coach who still does off-season work with NFL draft-eligible pivots, Trestman brought his magic north. Quarterback Anthony Calvillo has aged like a fine wine during his coach’s tenure, setting career records in passing, completions and touchdown passes in 2011.
This season, Calvillo surpassed 5,000 yards for the third time under Trestman and became the first CFL pivot to hit 300 passing yards in eight straight games.
Alouettes general manager Jim Popp, himself reportedly a candidate for the GM title with the Carolina Panthers, isn’t surprised by the interest in his coach.
“I think Marc is a strong candidate because he has a history of working with veteran [quarterbacks],” Popp told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Marc has as good a chance as any to get the best out of Jay [Cutler].”
Trestman is no stranger to the Bears’ quarterback, having helped train him prior to his first-round selection (11th overall) by the Denver Broncos in 2006.
The CFL coach of the year in 2009, the Alouettes announced in July that they had signed their head coach to a four-year contract extension, effective in 2013. Asked if it included an out-clause should the NFL come calling, but Trestman remained tight-lipped.
It’s widely believed that should the Minnesota native find a fit south of the border, the team wouldn’t hold him back, clause or not.
The Alouettes’ off-season has been marked by numerous changes on the team’s coaching staff already. The contract of defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold was not renewed, offensive coordinator Marcus Brady opted for an opportunity with the Argonauts, and defensive line coach Mike Sinclair resigned, only to wind up with the Saskatchewan Roughriders.