INDIANAPOLIS — One former NFL quarterback who thrived under Marc Trestman thinks that Jay Cutler will greatly benefit from working with the new Bears head coach.
As Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator in 2002, Trestman helped Rich Gannon earn NFL Most Valuable Player honors after completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 4,689 yards with 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 97.3 passer rating that's well above his 84.7 career mark.
"You're going to get a guy who's really good with the players," Gannon told ChicagoBears.com Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He's a great communicator. He's a wonderful teacher.
"The best thing about Marc, the best attribute that Jay is really going to appreciate is he's great with feedback. He's not going to force something with you that you're not comfortable with. He's really going to hone the game plan to what Jay does well and what he likes."
During 17 seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator and position coach, Trestman also helped the 49ers' Steve Young, the Cardinals' Jake Plummer and the Lions' Scott Mitchell excel.
Trestman was Gannon's position coach with the Minnesota Vikings in 1990-91. The two later reunited with the Raiders from 2001-03, helping Oakland reach the Super Bowl in 2002.
"I think he's going to give Jay a lot of flexibility and freedom at the line of scrimmage," Gannon said. "That's what all quarterbacks want at the end of the day; the ability to be able to recognize and see things defensively, the ability to be able to change plays at the line of scrimmage. If you cannot do that, it's very difficult to be successful in today's NFL."
Since being acquired by the Bears in a blockbuster trade with the Denver Broncos in 2009, Cutler has completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 12,292 yards with 82 touchdowns, 63 interceptions and an 81.9 passer rating that's the best in franchise history.
"They'll be some challenges for Jay in terms of learning and new terminology and verbiage, but I think there's some carryover to some of the things he did earlier in his career in Denver," Gannon said. "It's a quarterback-friendly offense. I think it's an offense that will really take advantage of what he does well."