Thayer: If Clausen Starts, Bears Should Expand Offense Against Raiders

CHICAGO (CBS) — If the Bears go with Jimmy Clausen at quarterback again Sunday against the Raiders, radio analyst Tom Thayer said they shouldn’t go with another conservative offensive game plan if they want to get their first win of the season. Starting quarterback Jay Cutler is questionable for the contest with a hamstring injury, so Clausen could get the call again.

“You should get a larger game plan, because if you’re more in command at the line of scrimmage, verbally, because they’re at home, I think you should have more uses of all your weapons,” Thayer told WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Kerner. “I don’t think it should be limited at all. I think it should be expanded, if anything.”

In particular, Thayer said the Bears should get rookie running back Jeremy Langford more involved in the game.

“That just expands the game plan from there; what you can do with him, what to expect out of him, and the good things that Matt Forte is doing,” Thayer said.

Regardless of which quarterback is taking snaps for the Bears offense, Thayer said he doesn’t think the Raiders will change much about their defensive game plan.

“It’s still about attacking the quarterback, trying to win the down, so you can get into a winning position defensively, and the next play, and try to allow them to get into an attack position,” he said.

Thayer said the Raiders have a quality pass rush, led by defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Aldon Smith, and he thinks both Cutler and Clausen would be inviting targets for the Oakland defense.

“They can get into mismatches, and they can chase quarterbacks, so whether it’s Jimmy Clausen, where they don’t feel he knows it very well, or it’s Jay Cutler, and they wanted to challenge the health of the hamstring issue that he’s had the last couple weeks,” Thayer said. “Those are still really inviting to the Raiders, so I don’t see them changing very much, no matter who’s playing quarterback.”

The Bears host the Raiders at noon Sunday at Soldier Field. As always, you can listen to the game on WBBM Newsradio 780. Pregame starts at 9 a.m. You can also watch the game on CBS 2 at noon.

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