Watch CBS News

Baffoe: Hey Baltimore, We're Trying To Warn You About Marc Trestman

By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) So, do we try to tell them? Or do we just let them learn a lesson on their own the hard way?

These Baltimore Ravens folk sure are high on this Marc Trestman fella. He's so unique and unorthodox. He doesn't look like a football coach or really much of a human at all.

He made Rich Gannon a league MVP. Jake Plummer threw for 3,737 yards with Trestman's tutelage. Scott Mitchell swears by the guy. And Josh McCown! Josh McCown!

Trestman is the wholesome nerd you want your daughter to date.

"I'm just a guy who loves to coach football, and I certainly enjoy the connection I have with quarterbacks and working with quarterbacks and the entire offense," Trestman said after being named the Ravens new offensive coordinator. "I can tell you I'm greatly appreciative and feel very humbled to have the opportunity to be a part of the Ravens organization."

They call him the quarterback whisperer, and he has a law degree and played in a band. Oooo, that's so intriguing.

He talks about things being "a process."

"It's a process of what do your guys do best and how does everything fit together," Trestman said. "I've had so many different systems in so many different places that flexibility is certainly part of how I feel the process is going to work."

Aw, geez, like how can you not fall immediately in love with this guy? He's different and cerebral and kind of weird but like not in a serial-killer way.

He's also the same guy that set the Chicago Bears franchise back years with his incompetence. And he's seducing Ravens fans with the same "grow the football" hypnotic junk we in Chicago fell for two years ago before he and his phrenology clinic were unceremoniously sent packing.

The Bears' hire of Trestman in January of 2013 was bold and different.

The following were actually said of him at the time:

"This guy is a secret genius." "

This guy sounds like Marty Schottenheimer mixed with Obama."

"This dude is electric."

He told Chicago everything is a process. He was the guy who was going to fix Jay Cutler like he fixed all those other quarterbacks for a year. He was the quarterback whisperer in the Windy City, too, and it didn't take long for that to get old. Hell, Cutler even seemed to buy the bull back then.

''He understands quarterbacks," Cutler said after Trestman was named Bears head coach. "He understands their thought process and the minds of quarterbacks and what we have to go through. It's going to be a quarterback-friendly system, and I can't wait to get started with him."

Brandon Marshall read Trestman's book right away.

And so many of us here immediately lapped up the Dianetics of L. Marc Trestman because we were in a bad place in our football lives, and he had all the answers. Now the medicine show has parked in Baltimore, and it's head-shaking to watch the reaction over there. How are they not aware of the puppy and kitten blender it all turned into here?

Oh, right. Cutler. He killed the good thing Trestman had going here with his punch-me face and disdain for the podium and throwing the seventh screen pass of the first half.

McCown was a winner filling in for an injured Cutler in 2013. A 3-2 winner. Jimmy Clausen started over a benched Cutler for a game and wasn't terrible in a watered-down gameplan that didn't win the game.

It's then pretty clear that Trestman wasn't the problem, sheeple. And it's pretty clear how he could then sell his services to another NFL team, one that has made the playoffs 10 times this century with two Super Bowl victories. When you were working with someone already narratively established as the perpetual villain, your hiring in Baltimore gets called a home run and a great move. It gets you called a good play-caller after the city of Chicago screamed at its TVs all season about the play-calling.

It allows you to say you'll run the Ravens offense and not your own and not have anybody consider A) "Well, what makes you such a good choice then?" and B) "Are you lying? I think you might be lying."

He's lying. Here's how it will go in Baltimore.

Joe Flacco, an already-proven quarterback, will have a very good 2015. The Ravens will go from eighth in the league in points per game to … about eighth in the league in points per game. Trestman will be lauded.

Then things fall apart. Trestman's NFL timeline says so. It will be the Marc Trestman offense being run, not the Ravens offense as promised. Leaks will start seeping out about how players don't respect the "behind the scenes" guy, as he was called as a coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Lance Briggs nudged and winked at us as best he could for two years. Tim Brown tried to warn us as Baltimore is being warned now.

And then Ravens fans can join the Trestman Survivors support group with Bears fans, Oakland Raiders fans and anyone else burned by a guy who coached in 10 cities under 17 head coaches prior to his stint in the Canadian Football League and has been fired eight times in his career now.

What seems to be actual competence at Halas Hall now with the hirings of general manager Ryan Pace, head coach John Fox and an impressive staff has healed some of the gushing gash left by the Trestman Era in Chicago. But those lost years and their residual effects that the new regime will have to try to dig out of will always hurt, especially because Bears fans know they were scammed by a guy who is really good at selling himself and his pamphlets and DVDs that will show you how to make money from home, free of charge, no questions asked.

And now not enough questions are being asked in Baltimore. We in Chicago are trying to tell them over there. But it seems like they prefer to learn the hard way.

Tim Baffoe is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @TimBaffoe.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.