Spaeth: Tice's simplified offense a boon to Bears
It's a simple offense. But it has "lots of stuff" in it. Spaeth knew, going into this season that it was a powerhouse offense.
LINK to the article Spaeth: Tice's simplified offense a boon to Bears
May 23, 2012|By Vaughn McClure, Tribune reporter
Veteran tight end Matt Spaeth sees a noticeable difference in the offense from last season and it’s not just because the Chicago Bears added All-Pro receiver Brandon Marshall.
"We’ve got a lot of stuff in this offense, but it’s a lot simpler," Spaeth said. "I think you’re going to notice on game day that we’re going to be really confident in what we’re doing.
"I can only speak for last year and it was, at times, very confusing. You were still kind of second-guessing yourself as to what you were supposed to be doing. And when you’re doing that, you’re never playing full-speed. ... We have pretty much our whole offense in already, and guys get it. It makes sense."
The media get a first chance to view the revampedhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png offense during Wednesday's organized team activities at Halas Hall.
The Bears elevated offensive line coach Mike Tice to offensive coordinator and brought in quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates to help implement the scheme. Tice, a former tight end, understands the importance of that position in the offense. His background should only benefit projected starter Kellen Davis, Spaeth and the rest of the tight ends on the roster.
Last year, Davis and Spaeth combined for 25 catches and 256 yards. Davis had five touchdowns and Spaeth recorded two.
Former offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s system relied more on blocking tight ends. In 2009, under Ron Turner, tight end Greg Olsen caught a team-high 60 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. Fellow tight Desmond Clark had 19 catches that year, while Davis added nine.
"Absolutely, I think the tight end will have a role in this offense," Spaeth said of Tice's scheme. "It’s tough to say how much because we’re just getting started. We don’t know what our identity is yet. But we know what we want to do. As of right now, I would say yes, the tight end is going to be involved a lot more."
The Bears signed Spaeth to a three-year contract last July and he has a base salary of $1.76 million this season. He also was a role player in Pittsburgh behind Heath Miller. His career-high in receptions for a season was 17 in ’08.
"I think people get on me for not catching enough passes. Well, I wasn’t necessarily brought here to catch passes," Spaeth said. "I want to catch passes. But whatever they ask me to do to help the team win, that’s what I’m going to do."
Although there was plenty of offseason chatter about the Bears needing to add a pass-catching tight end in the same mold as Olsen, who was traded to the Carolina Panthers for a third-round pick before the start of the 2011 season, Spaeth expressed a lot of faith in fellow tight end Davis.
"I think Kellen is a tremendous, tremendous talent," Spaeth said. "He’s a freakish athlete. His best stuff is yet to come."
The Bears hope such is the case.