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Monday, April 27, 2009

The 2009-2010 Chicago Bears: The Greatest Show on Field Turf?

It would be nice if the Bears did go to field turf. The grass is all-natural, like many of the women I would like to date, but for playing in the 21st century, an offense-friendly system that assists these millionaires in slobber knocking the visiting team's defense makes sense.

But today's psychic vision is one of joy as Lovie & Co. drafted potentially a pass-happy group of players in the mold of Air Coryell and Mike Martz.

Lovie Smith knows what the Greatest Show on Turf looks like. He coached the defense of the 2001 St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl losers by a hair), when QB Kurt Warner went from the cute grocery bagger to 1st-team chick magnet (but married) in the span of two years in the late 1990s.
Kurt got the MVP hardware too. Imagine a Chicago QB with that...

So what about that team and this team? Why are the Bears prepared to be the 'Midway terrific offensive attack' instead of the brutish Monsters of the Carnival?

Since off-season moves and the draft count essentially together, here's the breakdown:
  • Traded for all-pro QB Jay Cutler, who has a great arm to go deep always with

  • Snatched up LOT Orlando Pace - a familar cog in the St. Louis Ram system

  • Drafted WRs Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox(right). Iglesias is more of a possession style receiver with 4.54 speed but a solid West Coast material. Meanwhile, Knox is a burner at 4.34 with agility and hands.

This goes along with RB Matt Forte's agility to catch the ball tremendously well out of the backfield (64 rec) and WR Devin Hester's home run ability. Meanwhile, TE Greg Olsen is a matchup headache for anyone.

Pass protection is critical to the success of this scenario because at least two of the five receivers will run a deep in, skinny post, comeback, speed out, or shallow cross. (Hester and Knox seemed to be suited for this.) This system was mastered by Mike Martz in St. Louis but gives props to Sid Gillman and the ultimate refinement by NFL coach Don Coryell. (With QB Dan Fouts, John Jefferson , Wes Chandler Kellen Winslow, Charlie Joiner doing the on-the-field stuff, that's all.)

The Bears have the needed players:

  1. QB with ability to throw for over 4,000 yards accurately
  2. Running back versatile enough to catch 60-70 balls and run for 1,200 yards and block
  3. 2 WRs with sub 4.35 speed. Hester, with work, can become a lethal deep ball man. Knox smells of being that special deep-in guy.
  4. Olsen gives them a proven TE that creates the headache in out routes or down the middle.
  5. O-line of LOT Pace, C Kruetz, ROT Shaffer (another acquisition) and Chris Williams (from Vandy, Cutler's alma mater) should be able to execute this blocking scheme.
  6. Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner certainly can open up the playbook - brother Norv Turner might even help.

That's my prediction. Let's see what transpires.

4 wide outs, weapons galore!!
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