With the arrival of Jay Cutler and friends via free agency and the NFL Draft, the team playbook will now expand by a few inches.
On the offensive side of the ball, I fully expect Ron Turner to review the last three years of Jay Cutler tape.
What worked and what didn’t?
What types of personnel packages did the Denver Broncos use?
Jay Cutler is an extremely mobile quarterback. His accuracy is not comprised when throwing on the run or throwing across his body.
In 2008, his Pro-Bowl year, he was sack only 11 times in 616 pass attempts. As TE Tony Scheffler was invaluable to Cutler in Denver, look for Chicago tight ends Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark to see increased playing time this year.
What about the Devin Hester project?
The two years spent on transforming Hester into a No. 1 receiver must continue. Although Hester may not end up being the “guy,” his flashy style could make him an effective No. 2 or slot receiver.
Do the words Eddie Royal ring a bell?
It remains to be seen whether Davis, Bennett, or draftees Johnny Knox and Juaquin Iglesias can step into the Brandon Marshall role—one that stretches the third level of the defense.
One thing that is for certain is the workhorse behind the newly acquired Cutler, running back Matt Forte. Forte, now in his second year will only add to his production in the West Coast offense.
As for the defensive side of the ball, the presence of Ron Marinelli instantly brings back the swagger that is the Bears’ D.
Now reunited with Lovie Smith, the defensive line coach will bring pressure through various forms of stunts and formations. The addition of Jarron Gilbert should also add depth to an already formidable D-line.
It was noted in this offseason that Lovie Smith will be more involved in the defense.
Defensive coordinator Bob Babich was effective; however, in 2008, the Bears only had 28 sacks—13 less than in 2007.
Marinelli, in addition to Smith, will right the Tampa Two defense and get better production from their players and disrupt opposing offenses.
With OTAs now in full swing, two questions must be answered.
Can Rod Turner create an offensive scheme that will cater to Jay Cutler’s strengths, and how fast can Rod Marinelli reshape the “Monsters of the Midway” defense?
Stay tuned. Preseason mini-camps and the answers lie just around the corner.