Flexibility all the rage on offense for Bears


The Bears offense is no longer a one man show.

Former offensive coordinator Mike Martz didn’t allow quarterback Jay Cutler to audible at the line, he rarely altered his game plan to reflect the game unfolding in front of him and didn’t offer other people much of a say in how the offense would be run. That didn’t endear him to many people in Chicago and contributed to his departure. It’s no surprise to learn new coordinator Mike Tice isn’t running things the same way.

“I’ve got a few things that I whisper in [Tice’s] ear, and he’s always receptive of it,” Cutler said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “At the end of the day, we’re going to do what’s best offensively for us, no matter if a rookie has the idea, if Mike has the idea, or [quarterbacks coach] Jeremy [Bates] or me. Whatever is going to work against a given defense, we’re going to use it.”

Calling audibles and taking suggestions from others are just part of an overall shift in the Bears’ offensive philosophy. After two years spent running Martz’s offense regardless of how well the pieces fit what he was trying to do, the Bears are going to be more flexible in hopes of maximizing what they get from everyone on the offense. Tice took a veiled shot at Martz while explaining part of the new business model in Chicago.

“When we’re running into bad number counts, then that falls back on us. Then we look like dummies,” Tice said. “We want to put them in position to succeed, and sometimes it’s scheme.”

The Bears identified one of the problems with their offense by making this change. Now they just need to execute when Tice’s calls put them in position to succeed.

9 responses to “Flexibility all the rage on offense for Bears

  1. If the Bears can couple a highly productive red zone offense with a stingy hard hitting defense, they will be scary. I can’t remember feeling this optimistic about both sides of the ball in a long, long time. GO BEARS!

  2. Everything that has been said about the approach of Mike Tice and the Bears offense this year sounds really good and logical. That being said I’ll believe it when I see it. Between Shea, Turner, and Martz I can’t say the Bears have had a good O.C. in a while. It’s easy to say that it doesn’t take much to be better than Martz, which I agree with. However, this is Tice’s first year calling plays. Until you can prove you’re a good play caller, which in my mind is completely underrated, it is no sure thing that this offense can excel. Now all the pieces are in place for this offense to succeed. But, in my mind the 2nd biggest question mark on this offense (after O-line) is o-coordinator. Will the play calling be predictable? Will he get the right balance between run and pass? Will he call the correct play on 3rd down? Will he call a good assortment of screens and draws to slow down the pass rush? Will he stay calm and stick to the game plan when the team falls behind? Will he make half time adjustments when the game plan is not working? Will he make week to week adjustments to keep defenses guessing and add new wrinkles? How will him and Cutler get along after a few interceptions or a tough loss? These are all questions that will need to be answered on the field You can’t assume that just because a change had been made that its enough to make this team take the next step.For this offense to be successful Tice will have to be a good play caller and o-cord which remains to be seen.

  3. Mike Tice had a good offense in Minnesota an the running game was the best in the league at the time… If Tice can bring that running game to the Bears Cutler will light up defenses for 320 yards per game

  4. We wasted two years of Cutlers tenure with idiot Martz. They can be good this year, but really you need a few years to gel.

  5. Look, the Bears offensive skill players are great, but I wouldn’t get all that excited about Tice. He never ran an offense in MN, and to the extent he was in charge of making mid-game adjustments, he was average at best. Combine unfamiliarty with being an offensive coordinator, lack of in-game flexibility during his time with the Vikes, and combining his work with a “passing coordinator”, you’ve got to wonder if touting his flexibility in 2012 is accurate. If there’s success in that area it will be because of Cutler.

  6. You need to be careful when you go to whisper into Tice’s ear, because if you pick the wrong ear you’ll get a pencil in the eye.

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