Da New Coach

The Bears get their new coach in Marc Trestman, his last gig was with the CFL Montreal Alouettes...who knew Moises Alou was so popular in Canada. Trestman has been out of the NFL for 8 years, coaching in the CFL and college, but has plenty of NFL experience. He's considered some sort of QB guru starting his career coaching Bernie Kosar at the University of Miami and then successful runs with Steve Young, Rich Gannon, Jake Plummer and Scott Mitchell, although I don't recall anything successful about Scott Mitchell in the NFL.

And if that's not enough good news, he's going to hire Aaron Kromer as his offensive coordinator/offensive line coach ending the Mike Tice era. Kromer comes way of the New Orleans Saints where he's been there the last 5 years including filling in as interim head coach for the first 6 games of last season while Sean Payton and Joe Vitt served suspensions.

Word is that they would like to keep Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator which I doubt anyone will complain about.  Special teams coach Dave Toub left to take a job with Kansas City so there's a vacancy there.

Anyway, only time will tell if this is a good move. The Bears are obviously moving to an offensive mindset and while the change is welcome, they're way behind the curve and it's always hard to lead when you're following. But I appreciate the out-of-the-box thinking in hiring a guy from the CFL, hopefully he'll bring some fresh ideas, something the Bears have been sorely short on for a long time.

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...Steve Young, Rich Gannon, Jake Plummer and Scott Mitchell AND Bernie Kosar.

From all local accounts, this is an excellent, well-researched, superb hire.

Time will tell, we all know.

Of course, Cutler will be expected to call signals in French.

Bernie Kosar is in what I wrote if that was the point you're trying to make there...

Damn. I need glasses! Yep - sorry ROB G.

Local ESPN just had Dave Toub on. Now the highest-paid Special Teams coach in the NFL (don't know about the CFL).

Besides lucking into Devin Hester, I can't recall too many punt or kickoff returns going for TD's against the Bears. Certainly Toub had something to do with that. 

Hester certainly was one of the good Angelo draft decisions.

But the decision to try to make him a receiver, cancelled that out.

If the Bears were the Patriots they would have traded Hester two years ago when he was worth something and stockpiled some draft picks.

You know...I partially agree 100%.
Thinking he was a #1 or #2 WR was a big mistake. Using him as a slot receiver might've worked out. 2008-2010 Hester was not bad, he was just never a #1 or #2....Lovie must've been taking some good drugs to think that.

Hester certainly has the size and speed for the slot. But those hands....ugh.

Agreed Rob.....ugh. Worse hands...Hester or Dave Kingman...discuss...

Kellen Davis and Devin Hester had the same Pass-Catching coach.

And offensive football intelligence he was about as bright as wet match in a cave.

If you can teach a high school kid how to catch a football, you should be able to teach a guy with crazy running talent to catch one in the pros. I played WR in high school. You watch the f'ng ball all the way into your hands, and pull your arms in fast. It's not rocket science.

I played some receiver too and I'd say some of the differences are:

1) QBs throw a lot harder
2) Defenders close faster and hit harder
3) Lot of the complicated routes might not allow you to watch the ball the whole way
4) Fast guys like Hester get so focused on yards after the catch they end up running before they get the ball, especially with all the trick plays they drew up for Hester expecting him to run after
5) I really hated the whole Hester package because basically when he was on the field defenders basically knew he was getting the ball and it was going to either be a streak or some sort of short pass. I guess part of that was his inability to run routes but once that was obvious there was no mystery to it.

Yeah, I agree that, obviously, the game is infinitely faster and the hitting is more like getting hit by a bus on a freeway than by some high school kid after you catch the ball, but I still gotta think that a lot of drills will help with the ball catching. Shit, Hester even made me nervous when he was a punt returner. I'd be yelling, just catch it, Devin, catch it, that's it, catch it, THEN run.

Don't be shocked if the new coaching staff finds some clever uses for Hester. He's still got legs. If he's used as part of a bigger package of eligible receivers, I think he can still do some damage.

Bernie Kosar's daughter Sara...

She's quite the actress, I hear.

Honestly had no clue what she did until I just went and googled it right now. Um ... interesting?

From the Saints Website on Aaron Kromer:

The former college offensive lineman has developed the skills of seven Pro Bowl blockers during his time in the NFL, including three in 2011. Known for his teaching skills and attention to detail, five Saints blockers have been selected to the Pro Bowl under Kromer’s tutelage. The line has allowed just 70 sacks over the past three seasons, the third-lowest total in the NFL. In both 2009 and 2011, the New Orleans offensive line has been honored with the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award, awarded annually to the best offensive line in the NFL.

It doesn't hurt to have some good players, but this is a helluva addition to Trestman's staff.

I assume that since he has won two Grey Cups, and seems to love his QBs, he knows the importance of an offensive line. San Francisco destroyed Green Bay on the front lines last week, showing how important a good o line is, again. This is where it all starts. It's like developing your core when working out. Everything else falls into place from there. I'm pretty stoked about this hire.

On the surface, I think I like the hire of Trestman/Kromer (and I guess I have no complaints about DeCamilis). It was just a bit out of the box, so I admittedly am mildly surprised, and I don't really know if Trestman's offense has changed in the CFL. The Trestman offenses I recall from his NFL days were more WCO's that utilized their RB's in the passing game, which should fit well with Matt Forte. I imagine that the passing scheme may be fairly similar to what someone like Mike McCarthy does in Green Bay, or what Kyle Shanahan did in Houston and Washington, which should work well for Brandon Marshall (assuming he's healthy) and Alshon Jeffrey.

Out of the finalists, I think I preferred Trestman or Bevell because, as much as I admire the job Arians did this year, I just worry that he gets too pass happy.

in baseball news, how shredded is Shaun Marcum's shoulder that he's not even getting a bite in free agency?

Lohse and Marcum. Buy one, get one free?

well Lohse has draft pick compensation attached to him, so I understand the slow market on that one.

Excerpt from Francona's book...Chapter 7: Theo Grabs My Knee.

Francona described how he nearly walked out of a meeting he had in 2010 with majority owner John W. Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Larry Lucchino after Werner complained about declining TV ratings on NESN, the team-owned regional network, and said, "We need to start winning in more exciting fashion."

Francona said he began to rise from his chair, but general manager Theo Epstein, also present at the meeting, grabbed his knee.

"A good move by Theo," Francona said in the excerpt released Tuesday by Sports Illustrated. "When Tom started talking about ratings, Theo knew I was getting ready to flare."

snip...Chapter 8: Bigger Boobs.

"In direct response to the pressure from his bosses and the sagging ratings,'' the excerpt says, "Epstein went to work to build a sexier team for 2011."

lulz...john danks is home in texas recovering from last summer's surgery. they released video of him throwing off the mound rehabbing...in a HOU hat.

fwiw, texas native, lives in texas, etc...still, lulz.

m.morse to SEA...j.jaso to OAK...aj cole to WAS.

Love the trade for Washington. Understand the move for Oakland. Do not like the trade for Seattle, and I say this sort of liking Morse.

giving up jaso for morse isn't a bad deal, imo...especially with them moving the fences in in SEA this year. if healthy, he could easily put up 25HR, 30 doubles and balance out the LH bats in their lineup. plus, he's "only" making 6.75m this year.

Morse will help the lineup, but anywhere besides 1st or DH, he's probably a liability. Do they run him out there in the OF? Or do they push Smoak/Morales aside to give Morse 1st base time?

Leaving that aside, they do have a whole at catcher now, and while Jaso isn't an everyday guy, he's a capable platoon option. I guess they might rush Zunino up.

Don't get me wrong, I can see how it might work out in a positive way for them. But considering they probably aren't contending next year (nothing's impossible, but it sure is hard to see them being better than Oak/Angels/Rangers), I just am not big on this move for them. Maybe I'm listening to Mariners fans too much.

yeah, his OF D isn't slick, but he's got a good enough arm for RF.

j.montero should cover most of the C duties...jaso was as expendable for SEA as morse was for WAS. montero's D gets a bad rap, imo, though it's not gold glove or anything.

Theo talk...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0117-bits-cubs...

"There's a bit of an imbalance in the organization between position players and pitchers," Epstein said. "We feel really good about a lot of our position-player depth and a lot of our potential impact players in the minor leagues. But frankly we can't say the same thing about our pitching in the prospect ranks.

 

"That's something we're going to try to address every year through the draft and trades, but unless you want to point to a year six or seven years from now when you want to compete, then you have to look at the major league avenue as well about ways to address that imbalance. You can't sit and wait until there's a perfect opportunity to acquire a pitcher or wait until right when you're ready to win a World Series and go and add 40 to 60 percent of your rotation. You have to seriously consider adding pitchers when they're there if they check a lot of the boxes of what you're looking for."

Has been for decades

"There's a bit of an imbalance in the organization between position players and pitchers

Seemed like it was going okay under Hendry during the White Towel era for just a bit. But it turned out to be a big scam.

I thought jacos was making a joke about how the Cubs had no positional prospects for decades. The pitching had been pretty good up until about 2 years ago.

^^^^^^^^

He could have saved a trip to Chicago if he just asked us here if the Cubs even had ONE FUCKING #1 or #2 PITCHING PROSPECT IN A-AAA ball! Or, just had emailed AZ PHIL.

The one prospect we had got traded for Matt Garza.

At least he admits (and now demonstrates) that he will be spending coin on pitchers if he has to.

In a revionist history look, Hendry could have traded either McNutt or Archer.

He picked the wrong card on that one, old Jimmy did.

No Cubs on the Team USA for the WBC.

So far I've read that Castro will play for the D.R. and Rizzo for Team Italy.

WBC Rosters

http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/2013/rosters/index.jsp?season=2013

R. Searle - Australia

Yao-Lin Wang - Chinese Taipei

Anthony Rizzo - Italy


No Castro

shocking future cubs 2nd baseman news...

"Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that Brian Roberts (hip) has been dealing with setbacks this offseason."

Maybe when his career is finally over he can sign a one-day contract and retire a Cub.

well-played sir, well-played.

*golf clap

Now we know why the Cubs Convention was moved from the Hilton to the Sheraton.

Per Muskat, via Craine's Chicago Business...Sheraton hotel to be built across from Wrigley Field

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20130117/BL...

As part of a new, exclusive partnership, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. will become the "official hotel of the Chicago Cubs."
“We look forward to collaborating with the Ricketts family to bring a global hotel icon to one of North America's most beloved baseball teams and the vibrant Lakeview community,” Simon Turner, president of global development for Starwood, said in the statement.

http://www.baseballcardvandals.com/

some good lulz...some groaners...

note: may not be safe for work for some...if cartoonish sharpie genitalia/boobs might get you in trouble.

Theo backtracks a bit on those excerpts from the Francona book, takes full responsibility for the moves.

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/24400/theo-disputes-ass...

Astros GM decides to be a dick...

"Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said Thursday that Fernando Martinez's decision to participate in the 2013 WBC "potentially hurts" his shot at an Opening Day roster spot."

team Spain, btw.

I often get the feeling that more pressure is put on international players to not play than American players.

I understand the team's rationale in all of this, though.

i understand it, too...i just don't like the public calling-out.

garza... 1/10.25m

nice.

I wonder what they'll do with Sharkardza

I understand why Rod Marinelli left (loyalty to Lovie), but he basically took a demotion when by most accounts, the Bears wanted to keep him around. I'm guessing he'll get a AHC title next to whatever job the Cowboys give him (likely DL coach), and with Monte's age, Rod may be a 2nd DC there. Anyhow, I wish him the best, as he did a very solid job with developing some of the younger pieces.

A bit surprised Jeremy Bates was cut loose considering Bates' offensive background is fairly similar to the style of offense that Trestman will likely install and considering that Trestman had worked with his dad before. That said, at the end of the day, Trestman is basically the QB coach as well, as Cutler will be his main job. Any DC will likely get a lot of freedom.

Looking at Trestman's history, I can't find a name that seems like a likely hire for DC. I do wonder about someone like Raheem Morris - his background is with a similar defensive style that Lovie Smith ran, so that might be an idea.

I would like to see Jon Hoke get the job.

Well-liked by the players, and his schemes and coaching of the secondary had TWO of his guys in the Pro Bowl in the same year.

He has a nice pedigree so far in his career, and been with the team for a while so some continuity would be instilled.

I would like to see Jon Hoke get the job.
---
and he uses the online name, The J-Man?

"Athletics minor league right-hander Gary Daley was suspended 50 games for testing positive for Methylphenidate."

"Minor league infielder-outfielder Austin Gallagher was suspended 50 games for testing positive for Methylhexaneamine."

...2 more non-prospects. this is the 4rd/5th guy suspended for this stuff in the past 3 days. it's not even a major source of speed, nor a major (if any) performance enhancer. if you're gonna take a supplement...take one on the approved list. go figure.

Jesse Rogers ‏@ESPNChiCubs

"Cubs avoid arb w Russell and Samardzija."

$1.075M and $2.64M

As things stand right now, seven players presently on the Cubs 40-man roster will be eligible for salary arbitration post-2013:

Darwin Barney, INF
James Russell, LHP
Jeff Samardzija, RHP
Nate Schierholtz, OF
Ian Stewart, 3B
Luis Valbuena, INF
Travis Wood, LHP

No "Super Two" players post-2013.

BTW, Anthony Rizzo is on target to be eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2014.

 

Emery goes way out of the box and hires Moe Tucker as the new Defensive Coordinator.

By my count Tucker will be the first female and first member of the Rock and Roll HOF to hold the position of DC in the NFL. I assume Emery hopes she uses the same creativity (Tucker played standing up, often avoided the cymbals, used only mallets, and did not use a conventional kick drum in her kit) to the defensive coordinator role with the Bears, as she did to her musical career. Her bio:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maureen_Tucker

"Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux has indicated that Martin Perez, Robbie Ross and Justin Grimm will all be given the opportunity to compete for the fifth spot in the Rangers rotation."

would they just get it over with and give the cubs mike olt for garza already...

from the department of "well, that's interesting"...

"According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs have cut off talks with the Diamondbacks about acquiring superstar outfielder Justin Upton."

...supposedly they were asking for s.castro as the key player in a deal.

Here's the Levine link...Sounds like the DBacks Towers is acting schizophrenic since the Cubs (as were the Mariners) are on Upton's no trade list. Looking for love in all the wrong places? Towers must have the Redsox and Bluejays next up on his speed dial since those are the 2 remaining teams on that NT List.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/8858984/...

i was wondering about that, too...maybe upton has added the cubs to the "okay, fine, i'll go there" list like he supposedly has with NY (they was on his no-trade list mid-season last year). *shrug*

AZ Phil - what can MLB do to the Cubs for not adding Carlos Villanueva to their roster for so long now?

Q-MAN: An MLB club does not have to add a player signed as a free-agent to it's MLB Reserve List (40-man Roster) until the contract is filed with the MLB Office, and the club has 20 days to file the contract after the player signs. (During the season, a club must add a free-agent to it's 40-man roster when the player is placed on the 25-man roster or within 20 days after the player signs, whichever comes first).  

So it all depends on when Carlos Villanueva actually signs the contract.

Villanueva was reported to have "agreed to terms" on 12/19-12/20, but he obviously did not sign right away or else he would have been added to the Cubs 40-man roster by now.

Most players (and their agents) would not want to delay signing for too long, because something could happen that might cause the club to not sign the player while the player is waiting to officially sign (DUI or DV arrest, PED suspension, an off-the-field career-ending injury or illness, etc). And from the club's POV, any delay in signing the player could allow the player to change his mind.

Because Villanueva (reportedly) "agreed to terms" with the Cubs before the Christmas/New Year's holidays, it is possible that both sides agreed to delay the signing until after the holidays to give the Cubs more time to clear a slot on their 40-man roster. But again, that is at least a little bit risky for both sides.

It does not appear to be a matter of the Cubs reconsidering the signing for medical reasons, however, unlike what has been happening with Mike Napoli and the Red Sox (where the Sox apparently decided to take back their initial multi-year offer and instead offer only a one-year deal after Napoli's physical revealed a hip issue), or what happened with the Dan Haren trade.

BTW, a few years ago the Cubs signed a HS player selected in the First-Year Player draft, but did not file the contract in a timely manner. (The contract signing date was apparently "inconsistent" with when the player actually signed). And although the contract was eventually approved, the Cubs supposedly were fined $500K for the transgression. (MLB supposedly did threaten to void the contract and declare the player a free-agent, but then reconsidered when the player stated that he did not want to be a free-agent, probably because the player received an "over-slot" signing bonus), 

So if there is any tomfoolery regarding the Villanueva contract and the MLB Office finds out about it, the Cubs can expect to get fined a significant amount and/or the Cubs could even possibly be precluded from signing Villanueva.   

RIP Earl Weaver

We'll remember you for your great contributions to the lexicon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQbN0jFo_k

RIP Stan Musial, 92

One of the greatest and most underrated hitters of all time.

Oh, my goodness yes!

On a related note, how do the @#$%&!* Cards keep getting those world class players? Besides acquiring them in lopsided trades with the Cubs, that is.

Looks nice, still don't see video screen

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

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