To call the Chicago Bears offensive playbook conservative would be more accurate than saying that Facebook is an awesome time-killer.
The Bears have been set in their ways since, well, forever. They are a run-based, grind-it-out team, and that has worked for many years.
Several playoff appearances and a Super Bowl runner-up have been produced by this old-school method. There is nothing wrong with it, mind you.
This is Chicago, a black-and-blue city with big shoulders. We generally like our running backs (unless they are named Curtis Enis or Cedric Benson).
But how much of this thinking was due to the fact that the Bears haven't had a gun-slinging quarterback during this era? The Bears have given actual paychecks to about 95 QB's since the 80's.
I only want to see one paycheck handed out for the next decade or so, and I want it to say, "Pay to the Order of: Jay Cutler." I don't care how much money he wants, give him a gazillion dollars for all I care (the Bears haven't paid a QB at all, so they should have some money saved for a rainy day).
Let's cut(ler) to the point here: the Bears will be able to throw the football around in a variety of ways in 2009 and beyond. And that, simply, will be a drastic change in their play-calling.
Grossman, Orton, Miller, Harbaugh, Kramer, and friends all had arms and could throw a football. Cutler has a better one though, and he should provide the threat of a passing game that we as Bears fans could only dream of.
He can use play-action, he can scramble, he can ad-lib plays; he can do whatever his little heart desires. Cutler will throw the deep ball to Devin Hester, the short ball to Greg Olsen, and the middle route to some guy yet to be determined.
It will not be the old method of Bears passing, in which Johnny Mediocre dropped back, planted his feet, and threw a dead ball.
But anyone reading this already knows that. How about the fact that the Bears now have two methods of scoring points?
They have the old, traditional, Bears method of running the ball, playing keep away, and wearing down defenses (Matt Forte).
Now, they have the new method of utilizing the forward pass, first popularized by players who are now likely dead.
They can give the ball to Matt "Winning Is My" Forte, or let Jay "Nickname to be Determined" Cutler throw it everywhere.
Wow. Options. The Bears' offense will have options this year. That is a nice feeling.