Psst, Here's the Bears Offensive Strategy Secrets........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. soulman

    soulman

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    Bears’ strategy: Get Matt Forte the ball
    BY ADAM L. JAHNS ajahns@suntimes.com August 1, 2013 8:36PM

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    Updated: August 2, 2013 10:54AM
    BOURBONNAIS -- Here, there and everywhere. If you had to sum up how the Bears plan to use running back Matt Forte in three words, that would about do it.

    But the success of that plan is in the details. For as much as this season is about finding out whether Jay Cutler is a franchise quarterback, it’s also about maximizing Forte with different looks and schemes and making him the complete weapon he should be.

    Last season, that simply wasn’t the case as it seemed as if the Bears were unsure how to use arguably their best offensive player. This season, Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer appear to have devised an offense that ensures different results.


    “Our idea is to get [Forte] the ball as much as possible,” Kromer said.
    And it’s how he’s getting it and what his options are at that point that will look different.


    Take the run game, for instance. Forte said the Bears utilized “a lot” of man-blocking schemes in 2012. Now, it’ll be a mixture with a big portion being zone blocking, where linemen work together to block an area as opposed to having predetermined players to block.
    It’ll give Forte more options as runner, and it’s what he was part of at Tulane.


    “[Man-blocking schemes are] good, but also difficult to block sometimes because defenses are always moving and nobody is going to be in a stationary place,” Forte said. “I like zone schemes, inside and outside, because it gives you a chance to read the play and use your vision as a running back.
    “You can be patient and pick a hole to go to. If it’s a faster defense, sometimes you can press the hole and cut back. If it’s a two-gapping defense, you can just press, hit one hole and go.”


    The Bears can be very tough to overcome when Forte is going. The Bears are 14-1 when Forte rushes for 100-plus yards. The fact that he has only 15 games of 100 yards rushing or more may be a sign that Forte could have been used better, because he certainly has the skills and versatility to be an elite back.

    “Last year, they ran a lot of outside man-scheme plays, where they blocked down and pull around, and he had the speed to do that and patience to get on the blocks,” Kromer said. “I think you’ll see a variety of run styles this year scheme-wise, whether it’s inside, outside zones. It’s all different types of schemes to try and help him change what we’re giving the defense, and really he’s talented enough to do anything you ask.”

    And then there’s the passing game. Forte had career lows of 44 receptions and 340 receiving yards last season. Don’t forget Kromer is coming from New Orleans, where Saints running back Darren Sproles had 86 and 75 receptions respectively in the past two seasons.

    “[Forte] can make all the runs and he can run all the routes,” Kromer said. “We feel like we should utilize him as a receiver as an on-the-line player, getting open at the line of scrimmage, and coming out of the backfield and getting open in passes.”

    Trestman said Forte is “at the top of everything” when it comes to grasping what the offense demands of him – and that’s a ton. Running backs coach Skip Peete called him a “very, very smart football player.”

    “It’s quite a bit of verbiage and one or two words will indicate what your assignment will be and you’ve got to study,” Peete said. “And obviously these guys are studying because they come out there and there’s not a lot of questions of what do I do.”

    Can the Bears’ offense actually be funneled through Forte?

    “Well, he’s such a talented player that you ought to,” Kromer said. “You have to really have a play count -- how many times does this guy touch the ball? -- because he’s that kind of player. You want to get enough touches to him to help you win the game.”

    Like Cutler, Forte appreciates the changes the Bears have made offensively. He points to the additions of left tackle Jermon Bushrod, and guard Matt Slauson up front and the arrival of tight end Martellus Bennett, whom he praised for his blocking prowess as much as his pass-catching.

    “We have a lot of talent,” Forte said. “I don’t think there’s going to be one specific face [of the offense], but I’m excited about this offense because there’s a real good chance that I can succeed both in the passing game and in the running game.”
  2. soulman

    soulman

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    On of the reasons I posted this and highlighted so much is to show just how poorly Mike Tice understood Matt Forte's real ball playing skills and the potential of his contributions to his offense. I don't recall Forte ever being so underutilized in any season previous to last year. Tice's way of doing it was so wrong in so many ways and within this article most of those reasons are exposed. For instance;


    1) Tice liked to use a man a lot of "man-blocking schemes" and that's OK when your primary back is a North/South power back like Michael Bush but that's not the best approach when your top back is Matt Forte. Although he has some skills as an inside runner he's definitely not a power back. He runs way too high to be able to generate power that way. He's tall and he runs tall leaving his midsection and hips open to tacklers because he doesn't really lower his shoulders and power through tackles. If he breaks a tackle it's with his legs and overall strength and athleticism.

    Matt Forte is a classic read and run "cutback style" runner so to set him up for that you need to run him behind a "zone-blocking" scheme that opens up lanes for him to "one-cut" and run through. Denver ran this scheme for years and made 1000 yard plus runners out of 6th round draft picks and undrafted free agents like Terrell Davis. How the defense responds to the blocking gives him his "read" and where he has an opening, then it's just the old Lombardi approach of "run to daylight". Tice's approach had him hitting specific holes on certain plays and if the blocking wasn't there and he couldn't bounce it outside he got stopped. Often for no gain or in the backfield. This approach should lessen that if not eliminate it entirely.

    The odd thing is that Tice HAD a back to run his style run game with in Michael Bush yet seldom used him even when it was obvious Forte's style of running wasn't working against certain defenses. Maybe it was due to Bush's injury but I think that's being too generous to Tice. I believe he simply didn't know how to evaluate his players well enough to put them in a spot that best suited their skills. From this article you can see that this coaching staff has a far better understanding of it and is planning accordingly. Jesus and Mother Mary, thank God for that!

    2) The other issue is where in the hell was Forte in the passing game last year? By not lining him up properly or requiring him to provide supplemental pass blocking he practically forced Cutler to overuse Marshall and underuse Forte. Not only did he catch fewer passes but his average per catch was about 2 ypc less than it was before. So when he was being used he still wasn't being used efficiently enough. Even Martz didn't screw that part up. Forte is an offensive weapon that for whatever reason Tice chose to keep holstered far more than drawn. He really is that good.

    Read the comments Kromer, Trestman, and Skip Peete made about him. Kromer says; "He can make all the runs and run all the routes". Trestman says; "He's at the top of everything when it comes to grasping what the offense demands of him". Skip Peete says; "He's a very, very, smart football player". These guys can all see it and new coaches don't throw around praise like that lightly. Martz seemed to as well, so why couldn't Tice? Well I guess we know why which is why he got fired. Hell I'd have fired him just on the basis of not using Bush enough alone after I'd signed him to a $14 mil deal.


    So I think our days of scratching our heads and wondering what our OC and HC are up to that once limited the opportunities of one of the other best "offensive weapons" we have on this team are over with. Jay Cutler should be thrilled to have Forte back in the passing game as well. If anything it should boost his completion and reduce his interceptions in proportion. Matt Forte is a hell of a football player and if he can stay healthy and he's used correctly he'll be every bit as valuable to the Bears as Adrian Peterson is to the Vikings. It's just all about "doing it" and not just "saying it" which seemed to be Mike Tice's specialty. His battle cry should have been; "Remember the Hester Package" :rolleyes:
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  3. Papa_Bear_7

    Papa_Bear_7

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    Can you use an abundance of highlighting in your second post? It seems to be the only way I can make it through long posts. ;)
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    good find Soul. Good read, I think you're going to see Forte have sub 300 carries, but well over 300 total touches(carries+rec's).
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  5. soulman

    soulman

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    I would have PB but sometimes it gets on matsellah's nerves, LOL. J/K mats! :p

    More often than not I've been brief in my recent posts but this one just screamed for more! Haha.

    Of course some of that was caused by not being completely comfortable with the new format just yet. However, I'm getting it down now and that could be a very bad sign. :oops:
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  6. soulman

    soulman

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    Ric from the comments I've read coming from both Kromer and Trestman they know they need to get him in space where he can use his, speed, moves, and athletic ability to break big plays. Martz got this but Tice never did.

    I think you're right. Compared with last season we'll see him used less as a ball carrier and Bush more but the big difference will be in the number of passes he gets and his overall "touches". Screen, swings, seam route and wheel routes from the slot or even flanking him out wide in the red zone I think are all stuff we'll see him doing. I think they'll even have packages with both him and Bush in the backfield together and use motion. They're both very good backs and we need to take advantage of the way they compliment one another.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    I agree, I was suprised I heard Allen was in the backfield and not Bush when Forte was lining up out wide. I wonder if Bush has some kind of undisclosed inj since I haven't heard much from him. But Bush is good at catching out of the backfield also, and a bigger run threat then Allen, although Allen is more of a home run hitter, still Bush in the backfield w/Marshal/Jeffery/EBennett and Forte all spread out would create huge holes for Bush to hit huge gains in run and pass, and it would be confusing as hell for the D to figure out where the ball could go.
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston

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    I like Bush. And michael is a pretty good running back too.
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  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Right not Ford is a long shot to make the team, he's well behind Allen for the #3. Everyone says he has tons of potential, but I think it'll be PS for him this year.
  10. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe

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    Lets just hope he stays healthy this season so he can maximize his talents . Seems to get dinged too often so hope his luck is better this season .

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