The Rouge: Is Trestman's hire by the Bears good for the CFL?

Ben Fisher,

1/17/2013 1:56:47 PM

Marc Trestman's departure to the NFL puts a new twist on an old debate.

Every year a handful of players from around the CFL sign down south and hope to stick with an NFL club, and now a head coach has done it.

In the 1970's, Marv Levy was the head coach of the Alouettes before leaving for the Kansas City Chiefs and then the Buffalo Bills, leading the team to four straight Super Bowl appearances.

Almost 40 years later, Trestman's move south raises the same question we ask every time CFL talent leaves for the NFL: is it a good thing for the three-down league?

On one hand, former CFLers in the NFL act as ambassadors for the league, whether actively or not. It's not hard to picture a borderline NFL talent see someone like Cam Wake having tremendous success with the Miami Dolphins and at least not consider Wake's path – the CFL – to jumpstart his own career.

There is also, of course, the numerous import players that arrive in the CFL each year based on recommendations from players familiar with the league.

Time will tell if the Trestman hiring encourages more American coaches to venture north to the CFL.

On the other hand, the argument reads that allowing Trestman to leave only validates the notion that the CFL is a minor league, and any star – player or coach – will leave for greener pastures at any chance.

The answer of course, could ultimately come in how Trestman does in Chicago. Success leads to credibility, but if Trestman struggles, it's a different story.

Will Trestman be thought of as a coach that simply used the CFL as a means to an end, or an ambassador that led the movement of American coaches plying their trade this side of the border.

Concerned Alouettes fans aside, the majority of those around the CFL seem pleased for Trestman and his hiring by the Chicago Bears. The Rouge asks: Should they be?