The Bears' coaching search apparently has extended north of the border.
In a surprise twist, the Bears will interview Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman for their head coaching vacancy, the NFL Network reported Saturday. Trestman coached the Alouettes to back-to-back Grey Cup titles in 2009 and 2010 as the top team in the Canadian Football League.
Yet Trestman also knows the rules of American football quite well. He has trained many top young quarterbacks, including Jay Cutler before the 2006 NFL draft and Jason Campbell before the 2005 NFL draft. Among others he has worked with are Tim Tebow before the 2010 NFL draft and Brandon Weeden before the 2012 NFL draft.
Before he moved to Montreal, Trestman spent 17 years in the NFL as an assistant coach. He served as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders. During his stint in Oakland from 2001-03, the Raiders appeared in Super Bowl XXXVIII and quarterback Rich Gannon was named 2002 NFL MVP.
On Trestman's official website, a variety of colleagues and players have endorsed him for his aggressiveness as a play-caller and his leadership ability as a coach. Those who offer praise include Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who played for Trestman with the 49ers, and ex-coach Jon Gruden, who had Trestman on his staff with the Raiders.
"I think he is one of the most creative minds in football," Gruden said, "and he probably isn't getting enough credit for what he has done as an offensive strategist in the NFL."
Trestman is the eighth candidate to be linked to the Bears' coaching vacancy. Others include Mike McCoy (Denver offensive coordinator), Tom Clements (Green Bay offensive coordinator), Mike Sullivan (Tampa Bay offensive coordinator), Pete Carmichael (New Orleans offensive coordinator), Bruce Arians (Indianapolis offensive coordinator), Keith Armstrong (Atlanta special-teams coach) and Joe DeCamillis (Dallas special-teams coach).