One of the key skills for any new coach for the Chicago Bears will be an ability to get a languishing offense moving. With that, of course, is the obvious point that said coach will need to help Jay Cutler take his play to a whole new level.
Nobody fits that bill better than Mike McCoy, offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
For those who are not familiar with his resume, it's very impressive.
Bears fans are very well acquainted with Orton and what he can—or more importantly, can't—do.
Over the course of 2009 and 2010 while under McCoy's tutelage, Orton had career years. 2009 saw Orton's hit career highs of 3,802 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He still turned the ball over too much, but improved the following year as he cut his interceptions to nine (his lowest as a starter), and again topped 3,500 yards and threw 20 touchdowns.
Orton's season fell apart in Weeks 13 and 14 of 2010 when he was replaced by Tebow.
We all have opinions on how well Tebow throws the ball, but in three games he threw for 654 yards, five touchdowns and just three interceptions, while running for another 227 yards and six touchdowns.
The difference between the two offenses McCoy had to craft is pretty significant.
Orton is a traditional pocket passer with better accuracy and a stronger arm (from a vertical pass standpoint) than Tebow. He's not mobile, isn't terribly mentally or physically tough and won't take shots downfield.
Tebow has a strong arm that is highly inaccurate at times due to an unorthodox release, is a mack truck when he runs and is more comfortable running a spread offense with limited reads than a traditional offense.
McCoy switched relatively seamlessly between the two in 2010 and then carried the plan over into 2011, where (with the help of an outstanding defense) it carried the Broncos into the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As much as Tebow and the defense were big parts of the 2011 run, McCoy was the guy who built it.
Then McCoy had to change it all up again for Manning.
I know, quite the hardship, right?
However, we all know Manning is pretty particular about his offenses, and so McCoy had to once again adapt into a new offensive system to fit what Manning could do, especially coming off of a severe neck injury.
The result was an offense which was ranked fourth in the league in offense, second in scoring, fifth in passing and was tied for the sixth-least interceptions (11).
Enter Cutler, at the helm of the fourth-worst passing offense in the league.
We know Cutler can throw the ball, and we saw an improvement in many ways in an offense which favored short drops and quick passes. The offensive line remains a problem which has to be addressed soon, but we also know that the elements for a very potent offense are there.
It comes down to Cutler, though, and helping him find a way to be more consistent and productive; to continue to find a way to fit an offense around him, rather than shove him into an offense as Mike Martz did.
As he has proven so often just in his time in Denver, McCoy looks like a guy who can do it.
So far the new coaches for hire in the NFL haven't seemed to seriously interest the Bears. McCoy is a hot name, though, and if he's leaving Denver it will be quick.
Chicago needs to strike early and not get left out in the cold. They need to get McCoy and they need to do it now.
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