Chicago Bears Football: Will the Offensive Changes Make the Bears Elite?
Jay Cutler has taken a beating in his first few seasons in a Chicago Bears uniform. The Bears starting quarterback has one of the best arms in the NFL, but it is useless when he is laying on his back.
In the past two seasons Cutler has been sacked more than any other QB in the NFL, and he has been dropped 75 times in the last 25 games. You can't ask a quarterback to excel in this league when his line is playing worse than any team in the NFL.
Chicago's management has taken many steps to fix this issue and they have been proactive this summer. Many Chicago fans were irate when the team didn't address the line during the draft, however it's clear the team had a plan in place.
The organization opted to part ways with Mike Martz in favor of hiring offensive line coach Mike Tice as his replacement. Add to that the coaching staff brought in Jay Cutler's favorite coach from his days in Denver, Jeremy Bates.
You can't ignore the production Cutler had under Bates' tutelage; not to mention Brandon Marshall. Both of these players thrived in this system, and the duo had career years.
During those seasons Cutler threw for over 8,000 yards and Marshall had 2,385 yards receiving with 13 touchdowns while also catching over 100 balls in the 2008 season.
Not bad huh?
Chicago fans are hoping the chemistry continues this season, and there are many pieces on the offensive side of the ball to make this a reality.
The current situation is ideal for Cutler, and although the Bears QB has taken some flack over the years, making him happy is the key to success this season.
In an article written by Josh Alper of profootballtalk.com, he had some more interesting tidbits concerning the Bears offense—the elimination of seven-step drops.
This is huge for the big fellas up front, as this will be much easier for them to block due to the fact that they will not have to hold their blocks as long. Shorter drop-backs are the best friend of any shaky offensive line, and this will undoubtedly improve the sack numbers from the past few seasons.
Add to that, Chicago will run more tight end sets, which will also help the line improve on their woeful numbers in the past.
What does this mean for the Chicago Bears offense?
The sky is the limit.
Not only does Cutler have a firm grasp of this offense, he will be able to get rid of the ball quickly and to the play-makers he is now surrounded by.
The acquisition of Brandon Marshall along with Alshon Jeffery this season are invaluable because they will allow Earl Bennett to slide into the slot and Devin Hester to be the wild card in special packages.
The backfield isn't too shabby either, as Matt Forte has sounded optimistic about his contract situation, and the addition of Michael Bush will add insurance to the position.
Will the Bears make the Playoffs?
When Forte returns to the fold (whenever that is) he will pick up right where he left off in 2011, when he was of the best players in the league.
Not to mention the addition of former first-round pick Gabe Carimi, and suddenly this Bears offense looks quite dangerous...on paper.
Of course the team has to stay healthy, and gel, but unlike last season the team will have training camp to get acclimated to playing together.
If the defense plays well, this team is a true contender coming out of the NFC.
Will they? Only time will tell.
One thing is for sure, the Monsters of the Midway will be a completely different animal in 2012, and the NFL better take notice.
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