- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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In the two months since the Chicago Bears overhauled their coaching staff, we've seen and heard almost nothing specific about the style of offense new coach Marc Trestman will run. That's not a coincidence, given NFL teams' protection of schematic clues. But in the latest ESPN.com Offseason Playbook, former scout Gary Horton gives it his best guess.
You need an Insider subscription to view the entire analysis, but here is most of what Horton wrote about Trestman's likely scheme:
"Considering pass protection will also be a real issue, we will likely see some CFL looks: shotgun, three- and five-step drops, a really fast flow offense with a large volume of plays and some no-huddle. The same can be said for slant passes, quick outs and sight adjustment by quarterback Jay Cutler and his receivers -- especially when he reads the blitz. With coordinator Aaron Kromer on board from New Orleans, expect lots of seam routes with motion and more incorporation in the screen game. This is going to be a fast and furious offense that will be fun to watch, but will they have enough of a physical quality to close games out if they have the lead?"
I would imagine that final task could be left to backup tailback Michael Bush, but the first step is getting a lead. If Horton is right, we'll see a lot less downfield passing from Cutler and a more nuanced short game. Last season, Cutler ranked second in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks by averaging 10.03 air yards -- the distance the ball travels past the line of scrimmage per throw, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
For context, consider that Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford averaged 8.46 yards and the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers was at 7.82 yards. The Minnesota Vikings' Christian Ponder checked in at 6.43 yards, lowest in the NFL.
We aren't likely to have a great understanding of Trestman's offense until the regular season begins. If Horton is right, and what he wrote makes sense, it will look much different than what the Bears have done during most of Cutler's tenure.