Bears’ new head coach doesn’t look like a coach

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

The Chicago Bears have a new head coach. His name is Marc Trestman. If I’ve been asked once this week, I’ve been asked 100 times what I think of him. Here’s my (lengthy) answer.

I don’t really know what to think of this guy. Frankly, I don’t know a ton about him. All I do know about him is what every media outlet is reporting. He’s had a successful stint as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League and led them to back-to-back Grey Cup championships. He is supposed to be an offensive-minded coach and somewhat of a quarterback guru. If that is indeed the case, he should be able to help the Bears. That’s the positive side of the coin.

Here’s my problem with Trestman. I know this isn’t politically correct, but I’m going to say it anyway. The guy doesn’t look like a football coach. I realize how incredibly fickle that is, but it’s the first thing that came to mind when he was introduced at his press conference. I immediately thought he looked like the grown-up version of the skinny kid that high school football players would duct tape to a gym locker.

Central casting would choose him to play a high school biology teacher or a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman long before they’d put him in the role of a head coach. I’m thinking I’d stand a better chance at seeing him as a stunt double for Eugene Levy in a National Lampoon movie way before I’d see him coaching in an NFL film.

He’s doesn’t possess the rugged looks of a Bill Cowher, Hank Stram or “Iron” Mike Ditka. I’m guessing he weighs less than a third of John Madden, Bill Parcells or Abe Gibron. I’m fully aware those physical qualities have absolutely nothing to do with his abilities to be a successful head coach in the NFL. I just happen to think that there’s a certain truth to the “looking the part” theory when it comes to being successful in a position of authority.

I wish the Bears would have picked someone who at least looked like he belonged on the sidelines. Even as much as I didn’t like what they did as coaches, at least Dave Wannstedt and Lovie Smith looked the part.

The jury is still out on whether Trestman will be a good fit in Chicago. We’ll have to wait until next season to find that out. I sincerely wish he’s able to return the Bears to the championship-caliber team they once were. If he can do that, I really don’t give a rip what he looks like.

That’s the long answer to what I think about him. Forgive me for judging the Trestman book by its cover.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Jan. 23-29, 2013, issue

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