BOURBONNAIS- With a new head coach at the helm this year, the Bears are learning a new offense with different terminology, signals and overall presentation. Now while rookie head coach Marc Trestman hasn’t revealed everything in his play book, the Bears have already brought out some new tricks in practice this week.
One of those new tricks has been some elements of the read-option. Elements such as zone reads, half rolls and quarterback roll outs. Now for those who may not quite understand what the read-option is, it’s quite simple.
The NFL’s modern day version of the old school option combines the Wildcat and the Spread and uses them in a quarterback option format. This offense has taken the league by storm over the previous two seasons and defensive coordinators have been scrambling to find a solution to stop it.
One of the requirements of running the read-option is having an athletic quarterback. Out of the current signal callers on the Bears roster, Jay Cutler is probably the most athletic between him, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard.
Now while Cutler does have athleticism and mobility, he is no Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III. If Jason Campbell was still here, having a read-option package would make sense. Another requirement to making this offense work is having a running back with pure speed and explosion coming out of the backfield.
Matt Forte and Michael Bush have proven themselves in the NFL without a doubt, but their skill sets are more equipped for a power run game than the read-option. Armando Allen and rookie Michael Ford could pull it off, but they are not starters. There’s no guarantee that either man will even be on the opening day roster.
Now while I applaud the Bears for trying something new to improve their offense, I don’t think that the read-option fits their personnel. I think that Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer should stick to their original plan.
If they really want to spice things up, I think the best solution would be to run the wildcat to some degree. Perhaps they could line up either Matt Forte or Devin Hester under center in a wildcat package. I think the wildcat would make better use of the more athletic players on the team.
Of course just because the Bears are experimenting in training camp doesn’t mean that they will actually try something in a game. But for a team that’s looking for a new offensive identity, you can’t knock them for wanting to try something different.
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