By Chris Emma–
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (CBS) — An NFL offensive coordinator can be viewed by players as the gatekeeper to production and big money, more so than what the role entails. Managing egos is just as important to the actual management of a game.
Coordinators can often be the target of criticism, rather than the recipient of praise. Relationships can often be rocky, but it simply comes with the territory when you have the keys to the car. So what the Bears are saying of Adam Gase after their 37-13 win over the Rams on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome is a testament to his work.
“Gase called an absolutely flawless game,” said Bears tight end Zach Miller, who scored two touchdowns.
Added running back Ka’Deem Carey: “We’re really rolling right now as an offense. Adam (has) us doing a good job right now.”
Facing the NFL’s fourth-ranked defense in terms of yards, the Bears racked up 397 yards and 37 points. Chicago showed its home-run ability, with an 87-yard touchdown pass to Miller and 83-yard catch-and-scamper for rookie running back Jeremy Langford, who hasn’t looked one bit out of place in filling Matt Forte’s big shoes.
Gase has made Jay Cutler into a Pro Bowl quarterback this season. He finished Sunday’s contest 19-of-24 for 258 yards and three touchdowns, compiling a 151.0 quarterback rating. In the first half, he finished with a perfect 158.3 mark.
More notably, Cutler did this without Forte, Eddie Royal and Kevin White and with Alshon Jeffery playing at less than 100 percent after injuring his groin in practice last week. Miller has become a playmaker for the Bears’ offense, Langford is emerging as a bright back and Carey provided a change of pace.
The Bears are thriving in Gase’s system.
“I love the fast pace that it goes at,” Carey said of Gase’s schemes. “The defense gets its hands on their knees, they get confused, they get tired. That’s when big plays happen. I’m on the same page with him on that. I try to get the boys on the line real fast, so we can go faster and wear them out, so when it’s the fourth quarter, they don’t even want to play. I love the Adam Gase offense.”
Success for the Bears’ offense starts with Cutler, the franchise quarterback who was viewed as an exile to many after the change in regime. He began the season making the Bears look competent, and now he’s bringing out the best in everybody.
On the season, Cutler has thrown for 2,045 yards and 13 touchdowns, with only five interceptions. His 151 passer rating on Sunday is a career-best mark and a credit to his stellar play as of late.
“He continues to kind of amaze me with what we are doing and how hard he works out,” Bears coach John Fox said of Cutler.
The cruel reality exists for Chicago that Gase may be on borrowed time. He was brought to the Bears after a breakdown in negotiations to make Gase the 49ers’ next head coach. Essentially, Fox knew he could be renting the gifted offensive mind. Now, the Titans and Lions are among the teams that could potentially target Gase as a head coach.
Right now, the Bears are producing with their offensive coordinator pushing all the right buttons. The credit is most certainly deserved.
“This is exactly the offense I love,” Carey said. “I love it.