Reporting Dan Bernstein
By Dan Bernstein
CBSChicago.com Senior Columnist
(CBS) — Don’t do this whole thing again. Not in your fourth offense in Chicago.
Training camp is all but over, and the familiar cycle appears to be repeating itself: new system or coordinator, bouquets of platitudes and superlatives tossed in every direction about how everybody loves everybody and everyone’s brilliant and this time it’s all going to work, and then the same excuses made for why it looks like it always has.
The line needs to come together, the defense is ahead of the offense, it’s just preseason or practice, and it will be fine when the games matter. There are some new ones this year from Marc Trestman and Aaron Kromer, too – the linemen are tipping passes during drills against coaches’ orders, and the play on which the most recent interception occurred happened to be the under-rehearsed one, just coincidentally, of course.
Run the play. The whole play, too, even those pesky second and third reads being drilled into your head. Make the throw that’s there.
You say that’s what you plan to do, but it never happens. You lock in on your pet target before the snap and during your drop, and force a high-risk pass. Or you get sacked, or you scramble around until your pet target comes open and force a high-risk pass, or you scramble around and then get sacked.
The completions always look great, because highlights are created by combining risk with the superior athleticism on either end of the sequence.
But this offense is about method, not the madness to which Bears fans have grown accustomed and weary. It sounds comically simple, to find the open guy instead of fixating on the one who’s covered.
There was no point embracing Trestman’s weird science if all the new terminology and philosophy is superfluous window dressing for the Cutler Offense that has transcended Ron Turner, Mike Martz, the emasculated version of Mike Martz, and Mike Tice, not to mention the heap of quarterback-coach bodies discarded out back in a pile among broken clipboards and tangled headsets.
Find the right guy, sustain a drive, and dictate tempo. That’s the head coach’s voice in your head now, and he’s calling stuff for a reason, pursuant to an actual plan to facilitate more scoring. He needs you to think like he thinks, by which I mean not too often like an idiot.
You got gobs of money spent to beef up your protection. Uncle Phil even bought you a brand new tight end to threaten the vertical seam, if you recall. It’s your toy, so play with it.
Brandon Marshall is tall and rangy and really good, we understand. He’s easy to see at the line, too, and will be sure to tell you each and every time he thinks he can take his guy. Greg Olsen was also tall and fast and knew how to put his hand up to wave to you down the field, and was readily available for drinks. All fine.
Dom Capers is chuckling to himself right now, Jay.
The Packers’ defensive coordinator has had you wired since you both got to your respective jobs in 2009, and his players have already let slip publicly that their strategy is to wait for the inevitable chances you give them to take the ball, chances that always come. He knows that no coaching change matters as long as this remains true.
Trestman is here as the last-gasp bet that this can change, at long last, by virtue of his experience with the position. That’s the deal. Trestman arrives as the final fixer, armed with convoluted words and new-age psychological tactics to mount the latest nature/nurture challenge to your enigmatic game.
Bears fans should ask that you listen to another noted problem-solver, Pulp Fiction’s Winston Wolfe.
Pretty please, Jay, with sugar on top. Run the play.
Dan Bernstein joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995, and has been the co-host of Boers and Bernstein since 1999. Read more of Bernstein’s columns, or follow him on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.
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