Oakland Raiders: Marc Trestman a Potential Fit for OC Position?

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Sep 22, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


Trestman’s NFL experience goes back decades. After a few years as a college assistant at Miami, Trestman first broke into the NFL in 1985 as the Running Backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings under head coaches Bud Grant and Jerry Burns. In 1987, he jumped to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff as Quarterbacks Coach, working with Vinny Testeverde, Steve DeBerg and Jim Zorn. In an awful 4-11 season, the Buccaneers finished 15th in the league in passing, and apparently Trestman did enough to catch the eye of Marty Schottenheimer, who hired him to his Cleveland Browns staff in 1988. In 1988, the Browns needed a rotation at quarterback due to a number of injuries, and Bernie Kosar, Mike Pagel and Don Strock all started games and played significant time at the quarterback position. Despite this merry-go-round and the Marty-ball offensive philosophy, the Browns finished ninth in the league in passing offense, enough for Trestman to be promoted to offensive coordinator in 1989 after Marty Schottenheimer was fired and replaced with Bud Carson. The team finished 16th in total offense and 10th in passing offense on their way to a 9-6-1 record and made it all the way to the AFC Championship, but Marc Trestman couldn’t keep his job, and moved back to Minneapolis to take the QB coach job with the Vikings to begin the 1990’s.

Trestman spent two years with the Vikings, working with both Rich Gannon and Wade Wilson. Gannon saw his first 23 NFL starts in those two years, and completed 56% of his passes for 28 TD’s and 22 INT’s, improving in both completion percentage and TD-INT ratio in his second season. Despite the team improving from 6-10 to 8-8, head coach Jerry Burns was fired after the 1991 season, along with Trestman and the rest of his staff, making way for Dennis Green. Trestman then spent a few years away from football before joining the staff of the Super Bowl Champion 49ers in 1995 as Offensive Coordinator under head coach George Seifert – and alongside Defensive Coordinator Pete Carroll.

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Former Bears coach Marc Trestman to XFL Tampa
Former Bears coach Marc Trestman to XFL Tampa /

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  • Trestman was hugely successful in San Francisco, inheriting a tradition passed down from Bill Walsh, Mike Holmgren and Mike Shanahan, becoming the next in line to orchestrate the wildly successful West Coast offense, executed by Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice. The 1995 49ers finished 2nd in overall offense and first in scoring offense, despite Steve Young missing five games.  Elvis Grbac, in relief of Young, completed more than 69% of his passes, averaged 8 yards per attempt, and threw 8 TD’s. Jerry Rice caught 122 passes – a career high – and set the record for receiving yards in a single season with 1,848 (the mark was broken in 2012 by Calvin Johnson). In 1996, Young again missed time with injury, and Elvis Grbac threw a lot of interceptions in relief, yet the 49ers still finished sixth in total offense, and Jerry Rice still manged over 100 receptions for the third consecutive season. The 49ers managed to finish in the top 10 in rushing offense, but after another playoff loss at the hands of Mike Holmgren’s Packers, George Seifert and his staff were handed their walking papers, and Steve Mariucci took over. Trestman spent 1997 working with Scott Mitchell in Detroit and then spent the next three years running an Arizona Cardinals offense that went from okay to awful with interception-prone quarterback Jake Plummer.