No-huddle on the horizon for Bears’ offense
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org October 9, 2012 11:33PM
Chicago Bears tackle Gabe Carimi (72) is on the field in the first half of the exhibition season opener against the Denver Broncos Thursday August 9, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:25AM
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler already feels pressure being in the position he’s in. But he’s ready for more of it.
Insert the no-huddle offense.
Offensive coordinator Mike Tice indicated Tuesday he may hand more control to Cutler — or ‘‘real good, focused free rein,’’ as he put it — on the line of scrimmage by using more of a no-huddle offense.
It’s safe to say Cutler is all for it.
Pressure and everything.
‘‘You have to make it happen,’’ Cutler said Tuesday night at a Nike store event introducing the Bears’ Hyperwarm clothing line. ‘‘If you do it a couple of times and you get into a lot of third-and-eights and third-and-nines, then it’s not worth it. But if you’re being successful on first and second down, then keep doing it.’’
As adept as the Bears have been at scoring defensive touchdowns, and for all the emphasis coach Lovie Smith puts on such plays, there will be no pick-sixes in some games. The Bears’ offense at some point will have to find and maintain a rhythm and really produce. The no-huddle may help there. Unlike some other pass-happy teams in the NFL, the Bears have rarely used the no-huddle.
‘‘They give me two or three plays — a list of plays — and we have a package for each game that we like to go to,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘But you can catch defenses off guard, you really can, and you get into a rhythm if you’re a little stale, if you have a lot of three-and-outs, stuff like that, or you’re coming out of the half or after a turnover.’’
Tice said the Bears ran ‘‘the most extensive no-huddle’’ of the season in their 41-3 dismantling of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Bears briefly ran it in the second quarter. Tice said he was happy with Cutler’s performance during it, although he acknowledged a drive stalled.
“[Quarterbacks] try to operate the game plan,” Tice said. ‘‘We did have some no-huddle the other day where we gave Jay some really, really good chances to do either-or, and I thought he did a great job with the no-huddle. We like him managing the no-huddle.”
Of course, finding an offensive rhythm may mean Cutler calls for-runs at the line of scrimmage. The Bears are coming off a 214-yard rushing performance against the Jaguars that included running back Matt Forte surpassing 100 yards for the first time this season. Tice said it was the offensive line’s ‘‘best game and probably the most physical since I’ve been here in three years,’’ and the Bears overall have been very vocal recently about getting their run game going.
‘‘We just have to be smart with [the no-huddle] and do it at the appropriate time,’’ Cutler said. ‘‘The line does a great job with the running game.
‘‘What you hate to see is, you go no-huddle, and first or second down, you get one yard, then you have third-and-long. That’s the thing you hate to see. You hope that doesn’t happen.’’
Contributing: Sean Jensen