Sports With Shook: Marc Trestman is the right man for Cleveland

Nick Shook

Nick Shook is a junior news major and sports columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

The Cleveland Browns should hire Marc Trestman as their 14th full-time head coach in the franchise’s history.

Why, you ask?

Well, first off, I’m a big believer in the thought that everything happens for a reason.

There’s a reason Chip Kelly teased multiple NFL teams before returning to Oregon (and the reason is at least partially the size of Phil Knight’s pockets). There’s a reason Bill O’Brien stayed at Penn State. There’s a reason the Buffalo Bills made their next franchise-crushing mistake in knee-jerk hiring Doug Marrone.

And there’s a reason that the Browns were left at the altar after a frenzied wild goose–err, duck–chase through the Arizona desert last week.

That reason arrives in the form of one Marc Trestman.

I got a lot of this on Twitter Tuesday night: A Canadian Football League coach? Another rookie head coach? Are you serious?

Why yes, I am serious.

The Browns had two first round picks in last April’s NFL Draft. They spent the first on runnnig back Trent Richardson and the second on quarterback Brandon Weeden.

And who did Weeden work with prior to the draft?

Marc Trestman.

But the buck doesn’t stop there. Trestman was quarterbacks coach at Miami (Fla.) way back in 1983. The quarterback he coached?

You guessed it, none other than Boardman, Ohio product, Bernie Kosar.

Trestman reunited with Kosar in 1989 as the Browns offensive coordinator. How far did the Browns go in 1989?

The AFC Championship Game.

Cleveland hasn’t even smelled that kind of success since 1989. The team’s last playoff appearance was 2002. At 10 years old and with a cast on my left leg, I crutched through slush to the stadium to watch the Browns clinch a playoff berth in a victory over Michael Vick and the Atlanta Falcons. They haven’t played past Week 17 since then.

So why not bring in Trestman, a quarterbacking savant, to mentor Weeden, who will be entering his second year in the NFL, and lead a young Browns squad into a promising future?

He’s not a proven head coach, you say?


Trestman won two Grey Cups as head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes in 2009 and 2010. Despite differences in rules, football is still football, whether it is Canadian or American. It’s like Canadian bacon; either way you slice it, it’s still ham.

Trestman’s success in the CFL is actually a boost to his overall resume, because it shows that he can adapt to changes in rules, as well as changes in the times of professional football.

Which means he can adapt to the Browns roster.

Instead of blowing up the team and starting from scratch, burning multiple seasons bringing in “his guys,” Trestman can make an immediate impact.

Trestman also has an eye for talent. He played a key role in recruiting current Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to play at N.C. State, when he coached under Chuck Amato.

Amato, currently the defensive coordinator at the University of Akron, praised Trestman as “probably the smartest coach I’ve ever worked with,” in an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich.

Still not convinced?

When Trestman was the offensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders from 2001-03, they went to Super Bowl XXXVII (fun fact: Shania Twain and No Doubt headlined the halftime entertainment. And Celine Dion sang “God Bless America,” which is weird, because, well, she’s Canadian).

(Wait…it’s all coming full circle now).

They should have gone to Super Bowl XXXVI, but Tom Brady and the infamous “Tuck Rule” game stopped that.

Under Trestman, Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon thrived. Sure, Gannon isn’t a great color commentator nowadays, but back then, he was a rejuvenated veteran who, when coached well, performed at a near-MVP level.

(Reading Gannon’s Wikipedia page…)

Wait, he was really named MVP? Rich Gannon?!


How can you not be convinced?!

Hire Marc Trestman. Now.

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected]. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickShookDKS, and be sure to tune into Black Squirrel Radio’s top-rated sports show, “Sports With Shook,” on Fridays from 2-4 p.m. Follow the show @SportsWithShook.