On Sunday against the Redskins, Jay Cutler, Johnny Knox and Greg Olsen were all sporting some new scraggly facial hair. I don't know if it was coincidence, hockey-style superstition, or some kind of team building exercise. But they looked like the characters from the Geico commercials. Maybe the new Bears motto should be, "Offense so simple, even a caveman can run it."
Although at times they've seemed defiant, even oblivious to the mistakes they've made, the Bears are (perhaps grudgingly) acknowledging and addressing the biggest of them:The offensive philosophy. Suddenly, finally, hopefully not too late, Mike Martz, Jay Cutler and Lovie Smith have decided to make some changes that don't involve shuffling the line. Of course, that doesn't mean they've stopped shuffling the line.
What it means, is that we just may be seeing a more ball-control oriented offense from the team that brought you six turnovers last week. As mentioned earlier in this stream, there has been some interesting discussions about a split backfield for Matt Forte and Chester Taylor. Even Jay Cutler, who rejected the idea that throwing towards Redskins corner DeAngelo Hall may have been a mistake even as they mailed his jersey to Dayton, allows that getting Taylor and Forte in at the same time is a good thing, "Yeah, we've got to get those playmakers out there. Good things happen when we get the ball to Matt and Chester," Cutler said.
And he's right, they do. Forte leads the team in receptions, Taylor has been great in a limited role, catching the ball. They both are averaging over four yards a carry. They are playmakers. Let them make some plays.
Another hopeful sign, is that Mike Martz is also talking about talking about game-planning more short passes, particularly to Forte.
A lot of people have criticized Bears fans for complaining about the lack of a running game. They point out how unhappy we were with Ron Turner's conservative, less-than-inventive scripting of the offense. And we were. It could be excruciating last year, to watch Matt Forte hit that same wall, over and over. I was one of the many people who found the Martz hiring a welcome change.
But the Bears haven't been able to absorb that drastic an offensive change in style, clearly. You don't just turbo-charge the family sedan, and call it a drag-racer. You have to overhaul everything, and that's just not done on the fly. The Chicago fans who are complaining aren't just angry malcontents. Well...some of them are. But most of them know football, at least fairly well. And they understand that this team not only lacks balance, but offensively has been playing away from some of its main strengths. The Bears need to scale down the huge scope of Martz's playbook, and find its comfort zone.