By Adam Hoge-
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (CBS) — With the read-option quickly spreading across the NFL, it’s only natural for every training camp across the country to overreact when a touch of it is thrown in the offense.
The Bears have shown minor wrinkles of the read-option so far in training camp, but don’t expect it to be a big part of the offense, if at all.
Just ask the quarterback.
“None,” Jay Cutler said when asked how much the read-option has been worked on in practice.
The truth is that it’s a little more than none, and it’s fair to expect some signs of an option sometimes on inside handoffs that could also be pulled in for a quick pass. Just don’t expect Cutler to be pulling the ball in and taking off down the field with it, even if the head coach says he could be good at it.
“The thing about Jay on a read option, Jay knows how to get down,” Marc Trestman said after Wednesday’s practice. “Jay knows how to play the position when he’s running out on the field. You guys have seen him more than I have over the years, but what I have seen is a guy that knows how to take care of himself most of the time.”
It would probably be smart to take that quote as a bluff. Those who have seen Cutler play during his time in Chicago know that no, he hasn’t really done a good job of taking care of himself in the open field. He’s been willing to take a hit and put himself in danger for an extra yard. This is the same guy who helicoptered himself into the end zone against the Lions in his fourth game with the Bears back in 2009.
Trestman knows that, but he may be trying to keep opposing teams guessing by keeping the read-option rumors out there. Chances are though, they won’t put No. 6 in too many extra vulnerable situations. He already faces plenty of those.
Exactly a week after saying that not every player on the team had bought in to the new coaching staff, Cutler changed his tune Wednesday.
“Everyone’s bought in, so we’re good now,” he said, albeit with a hint of frustration after being asked about it again.
So it only took a week?
“100 percent,” the quarterback replied.
Bowman Stepping Up
With Tim Jennings getting a day off for personal reasons, Zack Bowman moved up to the first team and continued to look good. He’s really resurrected his career in the last year, first by embracing a big role on special teams last season and now by looking like a reliable backup option should either Jennings or Charles Tillman go down.
The Bears terminated the contract of defensive end Turk McBride and reached an injury settlement after McBride ruptured his Achilles Monday. To replace him on the roster, they signed undrafted free agent defensive end Josh Williams who played his college ball at Kansas. He will wear No. 72, which is shared by offensive lineman A.J. Lindeman.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.