New Pages Found in Playbook Cause a Change in Latitude For the Chicago Bears

Kent McDillContributor IMay 8, 2009

LAKE FOREST, IL - APRIL 3: The Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is all smiles after being welcomed as their new quarterback during a press conference on April 3, 2009 at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

Thanks to the addition of Jay Cutler at quarterback and Rod Marinelli as defensive coordinator, the Chicago Bears are expected to look much different in 2009 than in 2008.

Cutler will look downfield more often than Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, and just about anybody else at quarterback for the Bears over the past 10 years. Cutler figures to get good use out of the Bears' strong tight end corps, and he should form a strong bond with young tight end Greg Olsen quickly. This could translate to more long pass plays called and properly executed this season.

The hope is that the Bears tear out from their playbook the quick sideline pass that rarely gained more than two yards for them during the Grossman-Orton era.

The "Two yard pass" may be the ugliest group of words in the sport.

The Bears will actually get to open the previously sealed section of the playbook labeled "Attempt at Your Own Risk".

They will take more chances on offense, because they now have a quarterback who can make up for any miscues on lower percentage pass plays.

On defense, the Bears need to find the plays that describe how to properly execute a blitz.

They actually attempted their fair share of blitzes last season, but they were more like blintzes. They simply did not get to or hurry the opposing passer often enough to take advantage of the Cover Two defense they play. The Cover Two works best when the opposing quarterback can be forced into making a mistake.

Otherwise, it is just a bendable defense that does not create turnovers on its own.

Enter Rod Marinelli. He has to interject some hunger and desire to disrupt in the defense, a desire they had under former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, and a desire they appeared to lack under Bob Babich. The absence of Mike Brown from the defense will have to be made up, and the team needs to ramp up the speed in its defensive attack in order to force its will upon the game.

The fact is the Bears were too vanilla on both sides of the ball in 2008. They need sprinkles injected into the offense and defense in order to shake things up and rearrange the status quo.


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