Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Jay Cutler has been sacked a staggering 148 times in his four seasons for the Bears. Which is why it did not take long for Trestman to hire an offensive coordinator, because the search included only one guy.
Former Saints offensive line coach and interim head coach Aaron Kromer has been considered by many as an offensive line expert. In four seasons with New Orleans, Kromer was able to transform a mediocre line into arguably, the best in the league.
Taking players like fourth-round picks Jermon Bushrod and Jahri Evans and turning them into perennial Pro Bowlers, while giving guys like undrafted center Brian De La Puente chances to shine is proof that Kromer knows how to coach different minded players. Throughout his four season tenure as offensive line coach, Kromer had five of his offensive linemen make 10 Pro Bowls.
"He's a guy that molds you into making the right block. He's not trying to change your mechanics, but he will work with you. He has different techniques to try to make you better instead of trying to change you into something that you're not going to be," said Jahri Evans in an article in the Chicago Tribune.
"He coached guys on an individual level to your strengths, and that is a good way to go about it because guys are different. That is something he is going to bring to the Bears—individualized coaching and really maximizing each player." said Brian De La Puente also in an interview for the Chicago Tribune.
Although Kromer may be the right coach for the Bears offensive line, it is no secret that he needs help. Looking either into free agency for or drafting collegiate prospects is a must for the Bears this offseason. Kromer might not have to look to far from home, as Jermon Bushrod may become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Bushrod, who has been a staple in the Saints' offensive line since being drafted in 2007, has made the Pro Bowl roster two consecutive years in a row.
Other free agent candidates for the Bears to consider include names like guard Andy Levitre, who has 64 straight starts for the Bills, and has become one of the better inside linemen throughout that time. Rumor is that Buffalo is willing to let Levitre test the free-agent waters, and that might end up being good news for the Bears.
Patriot's tackle Sebastian Vollme is someone else to throw into consideration for Chicago. After a 2011 season where he missed 10 games with an injured back, he was back starting at right tackle in the 2012 season, missing only one game due to injury. He has proved to be one of the better right tackles in the game.
The prize possession of the offensive line free-agent group is evidently Bronco's Ryan Clady. The prized left tackle is looking to bring in a very steep check, so whether the Bears are willing to pay that much for him is yet to be seen. But he is on this list because the Bears haven't been nervous to make a big free-agent splash before.
If the Bears decide to look for offensive line help through the NFL draft, collegiate prospects include players such as Eastern Michigan's highly praised tackle Eric Fisher, who some claim to be the best tackle in the 2013 draft.
If Fisher is gone by the 20th pick, Oklahoma senior tackle Lane Johnson played well in the East-West Shrine game, and should perform just as highly in the NFL Scouting Combine this month. Both are expected to go in the first round of April's draft.
Needless to say, it seems that Chicago's offensive line problems have the potential to be addressed very well by the front office and the coaching of Kromer. With Cutler able to have more time to find his targets, he should put up numbers around his 2008 season in Denver, where he passed for over 4,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in a season where he was only sacked 11 times.