Read-option possibility for Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    New league trend could be good fit for Cutler to confuse defenses a bit more

    By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter

    7:26 p.m. CDT, July 30, 2013

    BOURBONNAIS — The building blocks for the read-option are right out in the open for everyone to see in the first week of training camp.

    From the shotgun formation with an offset running back, quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard have used mesh-point action that would be the starting point for a read-option play. It's the kind of fake handoff designed to hold the second-level defenders or strong safety just a split second.

    Maybe it's a sign of things to come in the build-a-Bears offense that Marc Trestman still is supplementing at Olivet Nazarene University.

    The quarterbacks have been running a dash (half roll) off the play fake, moving outside the pocket where a throwing lane should open off play action. When they hand the ball off, it's an inside zone play much like what the Packers do with Aaron Rodgers on occasion.

    In the progression of a play, the next step would be a zone read for the quarterback, the kind of offense that shook up the NFL last season and sent defensive coaches scurrying to the college level this offseason for answers to stop it.

    There is no reason the Bears shouldn't toy with the mechanisms in the offense. They had plenty of trouble stopping it themselves last season against a trio of young, mobile quarterbacks — the Panthers' Cam Newton, 49ers' Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks' Russell Wilson. Six of the seven longest completions the defense allowed in 2012 came against those three.

    Kaepernick made his first NFL start against the Bears in Week 11, a 32-7 blowout for the 49ers at Candlestick Park, and ran the ball only four times for 10 yards. In the playoffs, he ran for 181 yards and passed for 263 and two touchdowns in a 45-31 victory over the Packers.

    Are we going to see Cutler pull the ball back and keep it on the edge?

    "I don't know," McCown said. "We'll see what happens with it. Obviously, it's prevalent in our league right now so there are merits to practicing it if anything just to give your defense a look."

    The first question has to be whether Trestman believes Cutler, who has the seventh-most rushing yards for a quarterback since 2006, can execute the scheme?

    "Jay has the skill set to do just about everything, anything," Trestman said. "We are trying to give him the things he has had the most success with first.

    "Whether we'll do it, I don't know. We've studied it."

    Trestman acknowledged the Bears are using elements of it in practice but said they have not had Cutler study the read-option yet. Trestman had parts of it in his offense in the CFL last season, specifically designed for Montreal Alouettes backup quarterback Adrian McPherson when he entered the game in short-yardage situations. But it was more a wrinkle of the offense than a staple of it. Most CFL teams have mobile quarterbacks so the option is in their playbooks.

    "There is no question Jay is athletic enough," McCown said. "All three of us could get it done if we needed to. It's going to have to be a part of (the offense) a little bit because we are going to have to give our defense looks on it because it's so successful in our league. We're all waiting to see if the defenses can stop it."

    The Bears will have to prepare for the read-option against the Redskins' Robert Griffin III, who they face in Week 7. According to the Washington Post, Griffin averaged 16.4 yards per completion after fake handoffs using the read-option and 8.2 yards when he ran it himself.

    The biggest discussion in Washington is centered on the health of Griffin, who is returning from a torn ACL. The Bears are mindful that Cutler has suffered two concussions in the previous three seasons and they don't want to expose him to unnecessary danger.

    But if Cutler hands off a few times, runs a couple of play fakes during exhibitions and then keeps it (himself) in a zone read just once, it's going to give the Bengals plenty to think about for the Sept. 8 opener.

    If opposing defensive ends keep crashing down inside to stop the run, it's going to create an opening on the perimeter.

    "You have to at least talk about it," McCown said. "That's always part of the chess game. Even if it is not on the menu, you want your opponent to spend time talking about it.

    "We'll see where it is going. Just keep watching."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...t-0731-bears-chicago-20130731,0,2978879.story
  2. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    No way I can see this happening. Once in a hundred plays maybe but not as a regular strategy.
  3. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Boy, I have no data point on this. I actually hope to see it... Only because it would show a HC with a sack that is not afraid to keep up and maybe even innovate (something other than the Cutler sack play that Tice brought in).
  4. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

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    Might as well try it. Cutler can't seem to succeed in anything other than a Martz offense.
  5. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    Yeah, maybe use it sparingly and/or situation based.

    My only concern is exposing Jay to taking it on the edge as a ball carrier. I think it takes a different type of QB who is accustom to those hits all the way through college to run this as a staple. I don't think that this would be a great idea on a 3rd down or a goal to go situation, as Jay is a very tough competitor and I have no doubt that he would put his head down to try to convert in opposed to getting out of bounds or sliding, that could be a very costly decision for our whole team.

    Another concern that I have with Jay is his ability to properly read the read key. It is not as easy as it looks, and takes years of practice in order to be able to read it correctly. DEs in the NFL are very athletic, making the read that much harder. This is where RG3, Kap, Newton ect have a distinct advantage and usefulness, their experience in doing this throughout their career. A bad read is going to result in a negative play, plain and simple. The scheme is not complicated one bit to defend, any HS coach could spew the ideology. I think what made it so successful last year was the commitment to it, and the QBs who were very, very good at making the correct read of their key. Can Jay do this? Maybe, but when if ever has he been asked to make that read.

    All in all, I wouldn't mind it every now and again. It would keep the DEs and LBs on their toes and any option play puts the front in advantageous scheme. I would actually like to see them toy around with it but Jay would have to be smart and be very selective on when to try to make a play and when to just get down on the keeps.
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  6. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    My Gut reaction is that no way is a read option a good idea for Jay. But the one thing that has always aggravated me about the Bears is that the coaches have always taken the approach that we are going to line up and beat you. This applies on both Offense and Defense. What you saw when they went to the line is typically what you got, misdirection had nothing to do with the Bears.

    So the option game is a little bit about misdirection, at least the defender had to take that extra half of a second to react to what is going on with the ball.

    I don't like the idea of Jay keeping the ball, but the reality is that if it is going to be effective, he would have to hold onto the ball at least once or twice and get a decent gain out of it.

    I hope it is not going to be a regular part of the game plan, but the idea that we could run it to keep the defense on their heels is an exciting new concept for the Bears.
  7. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    They said this MONTHS ago. Trestman was to have said (but not outright quoted) that they plan to try it out. Cutty has too many concussions as is, so I say no to this. Don't care if it helps us jump up in YPG, because it puts the QB at risk of getting injured.
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  8. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

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    You know what Grizz...you hit this one out of the park. If the site wasn't so jacked right now, I'd hit you up with icons and symbols showing what serious badassery we got in this post. Totally agree with everything you posted bud.

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