Plain and simple, the Bears should end up being a top-10 offense in 2018.
And Bears fans shouldn’t be surprised by that.
That may be a bold statement, considering the group last season was ranked towards the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category. But with how general manager Ryan Pace approached the offseason, the team’s offensive woes are about to change.
Here’s why the Bears will make major strides on offense this season:
To start, head coach Matt Nagy was put in charge to transform the abysmal Bears’ offense of a season ago into a unit that can be dynamic, innovative and more importantly, dangerous.
With Nagy’s aggressive playcalling combined with the versatility that the new look offense will have, this should make the Bears a much harder team to defend. The new system will utilize run-pass option plays, have second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky primarily in the shotgun (which he is familiar with from his North Carolina days), and have a variety of different route combinations.
Nagy won’t be alone in changing the identity of the Bears’ offense and that is why he brought Brad Childress out of retirement to be his offensive consultant. Childress will help teach the intricacies of the system to the rest of the offensive coaches.
Free agent signings
Pace was aggressive in his fourth go-around in free agency and now the Bears have some much-needed weapons for Trubisky to throw to.
New No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson said in his opening press conference that his job is to make Trubisky’s job “easy.” With Robinson’s versatile route running, ability to create seperation and potential to win against one-on-one matchups, he can do just that.
Tight end Trey Burton is the man that will line up in multiple spots on the offense. One play he could be in the backfield as a fullback and the next he can be split out wide against a linebacker and ready to run a go route. Burton provides plenty of options for the offense and Nagy will utilize him effectively.
Then there is Taylor Gabriel or “Turbo.” In Kansas City, Nagy had Tyreek Hill run behind opposing defenses, and that will be Gabriel’s primary role in Chicago. The Bears didn’t have many big plays last season, but that can change with a speedster like Gabriel.
The common denominator between each of the free agent acquisitions is that they will all be entering their fifth year in the league. Trubisky is now surrounded by a group of veteran pass catchers, which will help make the transition into the new offense much smoother.
All the Bears need to do to become a top-10 offense is gain 80.4 more yards per game compared to last season. And with Robinson, Burton and Gabriel the Bears can easily account for those yards themselves.
Here is a more in-depth look to those stats.
Trubisky has already been referenced a few times and for good reason, he will be the most important player for the offense in 2018.
Going into Year 2, Trubisky will be with his second head coach and a new playbook, so it will be vital that he understands and learns all the nuances of what will be a more in-depth offense this season. Players are going to be open in this new system and it will be up to Trubisky to be able to find the open man and deliver an accurate ball.
The Bears will also be getting receivers Cameron Meredith and Kevin White back from injury. Meredith had a strong finish to his 2016 season and will look to continue that success two years later after tearing his ACL last season. As for White, he just needs to stay healthy (easier said than done), but if he can do that he should benefit from all the other weapons around him.
Tight end Adam Shaheen should also see a lot more playing time than last season and will make for a great duo alongside Burton.
And you can’t forget the running game with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Opposing defenses will have to respect the Bears’ passing game, which will take defenders out of the box, allowing Howard to become a more effective runner. As for Cohen, well, he will actually be on the field. Nagy is going to use Cohen in ways that former offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains could never dream of.
Of course you have heard this one before, but it’s worth nothing. In one season the Rams went from worst to first in total points scored.
After the Rams fired Jeff Fisher and hired Sean McVay as head coach, the offense made an astounding leap in 2017. With Second-year quarterback Jared Goff playing in a system that catered to his strengths, he helped his team get to the playoffs.
The Bears are hoping they can be last year’s Rams. To help make that a reality, Trubisky roomed with Goff this offseason to see how he handled his first season, and with Goff’s guidance that should put Trubisky in the right direction to elevate his game in Year 2.
The Rams laid out the blueprint; the Bears followed it – hopefully they see similar results.
In 2018, the Bears will get a slight head start to their season.
Due to the Bears having a new head coach they will get to start their offseason workout program two weeks earlier. Also, since the Bears will be playing the Ravens in the Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2, the team will get an extra week of practice.
Even though an additional week may not seem like a huge advantage, for a team that has plenty of newcomers any extra time will be cherished and used wisely.
Whether people want to believe it or not, the Bears are ready to be an offensive juggernaut this season. The foundation has been set, the players have been acquired and now it’s just up to the Bears to execute. No more excuses, the Bears are ready to become a top-10 offensive unit.