After a bad experience with him as an offensive coordinator, former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown said he was “shocked” the Bears gave Marc Trestman a head coaching job.
“I don’t want to say it was a joke, but I just never saw Trestman as being a head coach,” Brown said on the Waddle & Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.
Brown was the lead dog in Oakland, with nine straight 1,000-yard seasons. But Trestman took over and some guy named Jerry Rice (who was familiar with Trestman’s West Coast principles) became a more prominent part of the game plan.
“The year he took over as offensive coordinator is also the year my reign with the Raiders ended because he made Jerry the No. 1 receiver instead of myself,” Brown said. “The year before I made the Pro Bowl and caught [91 passes for 1,165 yards] … and the year afterwards, the year he takes over I think I came like 50 yards from catching 1,000 yards in 10 or 11 straight seasons.
“Hey, look, I’m not a selfish player, but come on, if I put the work in, make this happen for me. We had some interesting words about that part of it.”
The personal beef is obvious, but Brown said he wondered if Trestman had the interpersonal skills to be the boss.
“He’s a really smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand. That’s not the issue,” Brown said. “But there’s a lot more to coaching than just Xs and Os. You have to be able to deal with players and that’s the reason [former Raiders coach] Bill Callahan hasn’t succeeded as a head coach because he’s a smart guy, knows football like the back of his hand, but when it comes to leading me, it’s a totally different intangible you have to have.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see how [Trestman] and Jay Cutler get along, that’s for sure.”
Those questions about Trestman are far from new, and there are plenty of NFL types who grumble about what they perceive as an air of intellectual superiority Trestman carries himself with. But he also has experience as a head coach (even though it was in the CFL) since then, and has likely learned something about man-management.