If the Chicago Bears’ offense was a stock, you’d want to buy low right now because it’s evident (to us, anyway) that the arrow is clearly pointing up.
The Bears have a strong foundation with an offensive line that Pro Football Focus recently ranked among the top half of the league. There are new players acquired via free agency and the draft that fill needs at skill positions and represent fits in what a modern offense is supposed to look like. And there is a coach in place who can put it all in motion with aggressive, modern play calling.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal believes Matt Nagy’s new offense brings a level of intrigue that wasn’t there during the three years John Fox was running the show as a head coach. And that this offense piques interests on so many levels despite not being centered around the quarterback says a lot about what has happened and what could happen moving forward.
Wait, what? The Bears did everything in their power to build an offense around Mitch Trubisky, but he’s not the focal point of the offense? Alright, let me try to explain Rosenthal’s logic, which stems from the concept of the Bears following the Los Angeles Rams’ path to success.
In short, the Rams’ offseason overhaul of its offense allowed Jared Goff to play a supporting role in his second year as a pro. Los Angeles made running back Todd Gurley the offense’s centerpiece, then added pass-catchers in the draft, free agency, and via trade. With all this talent in place, Goff’s life under center became infinitely easier. From there, Goff let his abilities flow by getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers rather than carry the load on the strength of his arm talent.
And just as it started with Gurley in the backfield, the Bears’ road to an explosive offense begins with Jordan Howard leading the way.
Howard shares some similarities to Gurley, which makes it all the more intriguing. Both are talented rushers who were the the lead backs in offenses that lacked both steady quarterback play and creativity from their head coaches and offensive coordinators. And both had question marks regarding their hands and thus overall value in the passing game. Gurley took a big step up in 2017 as he improved his pass-catching ability and took advantage of the attention defenses had to put elsewhere because of the receiving options on the outside. Howard vows to improve his hands and is in a position to take advantage of opposing defenses not being able to key in on him.
Trubisky was never going to make the much talked about second-year leap on his own. And judging by how the Bears attacked the offseason, they knew it too. A year ago at this time, Trubisky was viewed as some sort of quarterback savior. Now, all he has to do is settle into his role and let the new wave of talent around him do the heavy lifting.