As the search for the new Eagles Head Coach continues, more and more new candidates pop up by the moment. Some of those candidates have been ruled out: Chip Kelly, Bill O'Brien, Doug Marrone, Mike McCoy (according to Eskin he didn't have a good interview, so...?). Other candidates that seem to be more popular amongst fans are: Gus Bradley, Lovie Smith,
Rob Ryan, Brian Kelly, etc.
Some of these names seem like "obvious" choices. They're candidates with experience, success, and (seemingly) potential. But the longer this search goes on, the more I'm believing the Eagles are going to hire someone who's name hasn't been thrown around as much as these other guys. I don't have much reason to support this belief - just a feeling I have. Let's not forget that the great Andy Reid himself was a surprise hire.
Without further hesitation, let's introduce my conspiracy theory new Eagles HC candidate... CFL Montreal Alouettes HC Marc Trestman.
It all started when I saw this tweet from Howard Eskin:
Don't sleep on the name Marc Trestman as a HC candidate in the NFL. Hearing his name in last wk. Won 2 Grey Cups in CFL. Was asst in NFL— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) January 8, 2013
That was my first reaction as well. I had no idea who this guy was, and I'm guessing I wasn't alone. Now, let's clear something up: Eskin didn't actually link him to the Eagles. In fact, no one has (yet). What intrigues me is that Eskin is really plugged into the Eagles and is very reliable when it comes to reporting Eagles news. So maybe he knows more than he's showing here. What could his motivation be for posting this tweet? Who are the sources he's referencing? Maybe I'm reading into it too much, but maybe not, and maybe Trestman is the mystery candidate we haven't heard about yet.
Before I get into more reasons why I think he could be a surprise candidate, let's look into his Trestman' background.
He's currently the Montreal Alouettes HC (2008-12) and features: a 59-31 record, 4 East Division Championships, 5-3 playoff record, 3 Grey Cup appearances and 2 victories (CFL equivalent to the SB), and has never missed the playoffs.
He also has some NFL experience. Here's an excerpt from a recent ESPN article on him:
Trestman possesses considerable experience in the NFL, where he's worked on staffs tutoring quarterbacks such as Steve Young (worked for 49ers from 1995-96); Rich Gannon (Raiders from 2001-03), who was named the league's MVP in 2001; and Bernie Kosar (1989). Trestman also worked in 2007 with the New Orleans Saints as a consultant. Other NFL stops for Trestman include Minnesota (two stints), Tampa Bay (1987, then again in 2001 as a senior offensive assistant for Jon Gruden), Detroit (1997), Arizona (1998-2000) and Miami (2004) as well as the University of Miami (1981-84), where he received his law degree. Trestman spent 2005 and 2006 at North Carolina State before leaving in 2008 for the CFL. In addition to his duties as a coach, Trestman worked during the offseason to prepare college quarterbacks for the NFL draft. Trestman worked with Jay Cutler and Bears backup Jason Campbell before their respective drafts. According to his official website, Trestman also has worked with Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden, Denver rookie Brock Osweiler, as well as Tim Tebow of the New York Jets and Carolina's Jimmy Clausen.
For more information on his experience, I suggest you read that article and give his Wikipedia page a look.
What's to like?
- For one, he's been very successful in the CFL. It remains to be seen how that success might translate into the NFL, but it's surely nothing to dismiss.
- He's an offensive guy, clearly. Even better, he's a QB guy. It's very important that the new HC, whether offensive or defensive minded, puts heavy emphasis on the importance of the QB position.
- Other teams have given him HC consideration including the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns this off-season. It was falsely reported that the Bears hired him. The Colts reportedly interviewed him to be their HC last year.
- According to a source in that ESPN article, Trestman "works well with a front office" and is "a player's coach for sure." Simple, but obviously good characteristics.
- From Trestman's own website: ""Marc has been one of the most trusted and respected QB coaches in the game. Which is why every off-season, the top NFL draft prospects call on Marc to work them out in preparation for the their Pro Day and the NFL Combine""
- He wrote a book called PERSEVERANCE: Life Lessons on Leadership and Teamwork. Leadership has been a quality that Jeff Lurie stressed the new HC must have.
- Our SBN Chicago Bears sister blog Windy City Gridiron wrote a coaching profile on him. You can read about him more there.
- He's ranked 11th out of 23 top HC candidates remaining according to Adam Caplan.
Conspiracy theory connections:
- The Eskin tweet. Eskin's plugged into the Eagles. Maybe he knows they like him?
- It's been reported the Eagles are looking for a more offensive minded HC. Trestman would fit the bill.
- He hasn't been linked to the Eagles officially, which surprises me because they've been linked to nearly every coach on the market. It seems like they'd at least want to interview this guy. It's possible they have interviewed him but it hasn't been made known yet.
- The Eagles pay attention to the CFL. They signed former RotY RB Martell Mallet out of the CFL a couple years back and more recently DE Phillip Hunt.
- The last Eagles HC - some guy by the name of Andy Reid - was also a QB coach. They had a lot of success under him and might think they can replicate that again under Trestman.
- Some may be concerned that Trestman has been away from the NFL for awhile. That's a fair point, but I think his background experience certainly deserves him an interview at least.
- From the ESPN article: "With Trestman recently signing an extension with the Alouettes that takes his deal through 2016, it's unknown whether he'll be allowed out of his CFL contract if an NFL team decides to hire him. A source with the Alouettes indicated to ESPNChicago.com that it's likely Trestman would be allowed out of his contract because the team's ownership is "usually pretty good about stuff like that ... although Marc just signed a new extension this year. So I don't know if that might hold things up.""
- He's never stayed at one place for too long during his career. A lot of jumping around.
- Has he really fully developed an elite QB on his own over time? Ties into jumping around jobs.
Again, it remains to be seen if the Eagles have reported interest in Trestman.
Maybe it's possible that they try to snag him as an OC if the Eagles hire a defensive coach to be HC. I'd say that seems unlikely though because it would essentially be a demotion.
One thing for sure is the Eagles should at least think about giving him an interview if they haven't already.