A couple of Grey Cups back, in the cold of Edmonton, your correspondent asked Marc Trestman a question about the balancing act his Montreal defence performed that had them always on the edge of taking too many penalties.
"That question was asked yesterday," said the Alouettes' head coach, and for many in that situation it would have put an end to things. Not for him.
"But it's a good question," he added, and then launched into a reasoned, intelligent discussion on winning defensive football delivered while staring right into the eyes of the interrogator as though the discussion were taking place in a Timmy's on Sunday morning before the church crowd rushed in.
This is the type of guy the Chicago Bears have hired as their new on-field boss. He will give as honest an answer as he can to each of his players, and leave no doubt as to what is being said.
Put another way, this could be Jay Cutler's lucky day.
Cutler, he of the immense natural talent, has been the whipping boy in Chicago since coming over from Denver as the quarterback-saviour (2009), and much of that has been of his own making.
Though the Bears have won their share of games, most of the credit has gone to the defence while the offensive attack often left fans at venerable old Soldier Field diving for the safety of the trenches because they couldn't bear to look.
Stats don't always tell the tale for a pivot, but in Cutler's case they are more than revealing.
His interception totals, for example, are darn near frightening - 95 of them in six years as a starter. His passer rating, a number derived from completion percentage, passing yardage, touchdowns and interceptions, has ranged from a so-so 88.1 down to a thoroughly putrid 76.8.
When Cutler looks downfield he seems to have no idea what's happening in front of him or why, can't read his progressions ("'A' didn't work, so let's look at 'B ...") and tends to have far more guts than brains.
Former NFL pupils
Now, it's fair to say the Bears have hardly given him a brilliant receiving corps (other than Brandon Marshall) to work with, but they have been competent most of the time.
Enter Trestman, a man whose resume reeks of success tutoring quarterbacks, starting with Bernie Kosar at the University of Miami in the early 1980s, through Kosar again with the Browns later in the decade.
There was his work with Scott Mitchell in Detroit (his bounce-back season of just under 3,500 yards), with Jake Plummer in Arizona (3,737 yards), and then Rich Gannon as the offensive coordinator in Oakland.
Gannon was merely the NFL's best player in that 2002 campaign.
When Trestman came north five seasons ago to take over the Als (two Grey Cups), he took an aging Anthony Calvillo under his wing and taught the already old dog enough new tricks that it made him a cinch first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Calvillo's QB rating jumped from 95.8 to 107.2 in just a season, and his penchant for interceptions disappeared - in the middle three years AC threw just six, seven and eight picks for a total of just 21.
Cutler has already worked with Trestman a bit as the latter worked off-seasons as a consultant, but he's going to get the full-on Marc from here on.
Bears fans might want to know a few other things about what they're getting:
A Chicago columnist said on Wednesday hiring Marc Trestman was a leap of faith.
No, it wasn't. It was a big, smart step in the right direction.
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