Offseason Playbook: Bears

A look at Chicago's philosophy, team needs and a key free-agent move

Originally Published: March 6, 2013
By Gary Horton and Field Yates | ESPN Insider

 Jay CutlerTim Fuller/USA TODAY SportsJay Cutler must transition to a new offensive system from coordinator Aaron Kromer next season.

In a new offseason series, Insider takes an in-depth look at NFL teams before free agency begins March 12. What is each team's philosophy on offense and defense, biggest needs and one player who could make for an ideal signing in free agency?

Team philosophies

Offense -- With a new head coach in Marc Trestman -- considered an offensive guy -- the Bears' new schemes are somewhat a mystery because of his recent background in the CFL. You get the feeling that these coaches are going to play it close to the vest until preseason. We know that it will be a very sophisticated and complex quarterback-friendly offense with more passes than runs, especially since this is a subpar offensive line that will struggle to open holes in the run game.

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?

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.