There were lots of people happy to hear of Marc Trestman's hiring in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.
Sure, most of them were likely opposing players and coaches that no longer have to face the Alouettes bench boss; but also in Montreal everyone was pleased to see their coach gain the recognition they felt he has earned over the past five seasons in the CFL.
“This is a great day for the CFL. Everybody that's a fan of the CFL should be extremely happy for Marc Trestman,” Alouettes GM Jim Popp told Cybulski and Company on TSN Radio 1050. “This is a lifelong goal of his. People raised an eyebrow when we hired him, but he's proven that he's a great head coach and this is something that he's always strived toward.”
Several players echoed Popp's sentiment, including veteran QB Anthony Calvillo, who was twice named the league's Most Outstanding Player during Trestman's tenure with the club.
“I'm happy for him. He's worked so hard throughout his entire career to get this opportunity. He proved himself here and now he gets an opportunity to go back where he started and prove himself over there.”
Als players said they're confident Trestman has the pedigree to thrive in the NFL, and they're convinced he will also be a successful head coach south of the border.
“He adapted to the Canadian game, he created the environment in which we could succeed,” guard Scott Flory said. “He asked us questions. Given his pedigree, and everything he had coming into this job he (still) approached us and asked us; it was meaningful. He took our advice and I think he grew a lot. He'll do an amazing job down there.”
“They're going to get a guy who's more passionate then they thought,” defensive end John Bowman added. “You see him on the sidelines and he's always even-keeled and straight-faced. But behind the doors, he loves his team, his guys, and he's full of emotion. He doesn't really show it because he doesn't want the attention on him, but he really loves football.”
Asked if today was bittersweet, because the NFL's gain is Montreal's loss, Calvillo said he's learned to trust that in Montreal, they'll find a way to be successful.
“One thing I've learned in this profession is that I'm always going to trust the powers that be - Mr. Wetenhall and Jim Popp - to get the right people in here to help us win. I've never doubted that. Now we're in a situation where they are going to have to go out and find somebody.”
“Personally it's hard for us, no doubt losing such a great head coach,” Flory added. “But we wish him all the success.”