The change in offensive coordinators from Mike Martz to Mike Tice is resulting in at least one major change to the way the Bears do business.
Tackle Gabe Carimi said during an interview with Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi on Sirius XM NFL Radio that the team has done away with all seven-step drops on passing plays this season. Those plays were a hallmark of Martz’s systems everywhere he’s coached, leading to both the possibility of big plays down the field and a higher likelihood that the quarterback would get pasted by a pass rusher before or after delivering the pass.
Given the concerns about the ability of the Bears offensive line to protect Jay Cutler, it’s probably a wise move by Chicago. Shorter drops mean that the linemen don’t have to hold their blocks quite so long and that should mean less abuse for Cutler. It’s the second major offensive change we’ve seen this offseason, along with Cutler being given the freedom to audible out of plays at the line of scrimmage.
With passes coming out more quickly, it will be essential that Cutler develops a strong rapport with his receivers and makes the right decisions about where to go with the ball. His previous working relationship with Brandon Marshall should help on that front, although there will still be plenty of work to do on this front come camp.