As the Bears offense continues to improve, a new wrinkle is gradually being added to the mix.
Tuesday, Mike Tice told media the plan was to utilize more no huddle offense. The hurry-up, free rein or “redball” as Tice called it in Jacksonville is gradually being implemented more and more.
Do not freak out Bears fans, I know we are just learning about what a passing game is, but this is just another weapon for the quarterback.
We have come a long way from getting off the bus running to now having the trust in the QB running the no huddle and to call audibles. Tice said they had gone to it earlier in the season, but last week was “the most extensive that we had”.
Right now, Tice is relaying plays into quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates who then gets them to Jay Cutler. Getting the plays in time has been a bit of an issue so far as the Bears have burned timeouts early. Sunday, that was not a problem as the offense had all three at their disposal in the two minute drill, but drives stalled out early.
Cutler is all for it as he explained at a Bears event at Nike Town Tuesday, “But you can catch defenses off guard, you really can, and you get into a rhythm if you’re a little stale, if you have a lot of three-and-outs, stuff like that, or you’re coming out of the half or after a turnover.’’ Don’t expect Peyton Manning out there, but they have a set of plays and packages designed for the no huddle.
At some point the defense is going to stop scoring two touchdowns a game and the offense is going to have to get into a rhythm. This new tool could help get the offense avoid the slow starts that has plagued them for much of this young season.
In a perceived to be pass happy league, this is not just a weapon for the air attack. Checking to a run is just as useful and we are finding out the teams that cannot run have been struggling. See Lions, Detroit and Packers, Green Bay. Even the Patriots have found their stride using the running game.
The Bears have something, many of these high powered passing offenses don’t have, a great rushing attack. Matt Forte and Michael Bush led a rushing attack that racked up 214 yards.
We may have only seen glimpses of what this offense is capable of, but as Cutler said, “they’re getting there”. With a bye week to prepare, the offense should only get better when they take on Detroit in week seven.
Jeffery Out with Fractured Hand
One guy who will have to watch the no huddle evolve without him for the time being is rookie wideout Alshon Jeffery. The former Gamecock has a fracture in his right hand and an early timetable is about four weeks.
No surgery is required, but the rookie is still going to miss a month. Jeffery has 184 yards and two touchdowns through his first five games.
The good news is one of these weeks will be a bye and that Earl Bennett should be ready to go coming off a hand injury of his own.
The offense will survive without him as Brandon Marshall is on pace to break a couple of wide receiver franchise records. Marshall is on pace for 112 catches and over 1500 yards. Both would be a single season record. In fact, the Bears have only had one 100 yard reception season ever when Marty Booker hit that number exactly.