NFL Football 2013: Chicago Bears Preview
When people who engage in online betting examine various pieces of information and size up a team, they will certainly need to make all sorts of player and talent evaluations, but in many ways, the coach – especially if he’s a first-year man – will rightly step into the spotlight and become conspicuous, either as the reason for a team’s improvements or the cause of acute failures. A winning sports bet will generally find a way to account for the product one sees on the field, but the boss on the sidelines has a lot to do with that product. Such is the case for the Chicago Bears in 2013.
The online sportsbook wisdom pertaining to the Chicago Bears would probably hold the view that within the NFC North, this team will have a very legitimate chance of making the playoffs. After all, this was a 10-6 team last season. That record usually gets a team into the postseason, but the Minnesota Vikings were so surprisingly good in 2012 that they were able to knock the Bears out of the NFC playoffs. Missing out on the playoffs after being 7-1 midway through the season certainly represented a stomach punch for the organization, but a lot of people throughout the NFL were caught off guard when head coach Lovie Smith got fired for producing a 10-6 record. Seasons that deliver double-digit win totals generally don’t get coaches fired. Coaches who have made Super Bowls also don’t get fired after 10-win seasons. Yet, the Bears were tired of Smith’s teasing seasons that showed such promise but rarely maxed out at the end. Chicago’s ownership, by choice, has turned over leadership of a 10-6 team to a new head coach, and in many ways, the job performance of the new sheriff in town will determine how well the Bears fare in 2013.
Yes, quarterback Jay Cutler is important. Yes, he needs to get better performances from secondary wide receivers and from his offensive line. These have been the ongoing needs for the Bears in recent seasons, and no new coach will change that. However, new head coach Marc Trestman could give Cutler and the offense a new roadmap to success. This is what the Bears’ front office was and is banking on, and the gamble will shape not just the future of 2013, but probably the following two seasons as well.
Trestman brings considerable credentials to this job, and for a team that definitely needs help on the offensive side of the ball, he could be the answer. Trestman was the offensive coordinator for numerous teams that made the playoffs and, in some cases, made the conference championship round of the NFL postseason: the late-1980s Cleveland Browns; the mid-1990s San Francisco 49ers; the 1998 Arizona Cardinals; and the early-2000s Oakland Raiders. He was also the quarterback coach of Bernie Kosar at the University of Miami in the 1983 college football season, when the Hurricanes won the national title. Trestman recently won multiple Grey Cups in the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes. If Trestman and Cutler hit it off well, and Cutler’s offensive line plays well within Trestman’s scheme, the Bears should make the playoffs and could even give Green Bay a push in the race for the NFC North title.