Fixing the offensive game is what Marc Trestman was brought for, and the changes he’ll make in the coming months will probably focus around helping Jay Cutler play to the best of his ability, and mostly not worrying about his offensive line crumbling every time there’s a blitz coming his way.
In three of the last four seasons, Cutler was among the top 10 most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL, including a league-high 52 in 2010 and placing fifth in the NFL last season, hitting the grass 38 times, and it probably would have been more if he wouldn’t have missed a game after suffering one too many hits on one not so pleasant Sunday afternoon.
So beside the personnel changes, what is Trestman planning on doing? Well, creating an offensive scheme that doesn’t develop as slowly as it did with Mike Martz calling the offensive plays, too slow for a team that couldn’t put on a decent blocking scheme way too many times. While Cutler found a very good combination with Brandon Marshall, Trestman’s plan is to make him have a little bit more trust in some other players, and start looking for more short passes.
Aaron Kromer is the new offensive coordinator, and his successful job with the New Orleans Saints as an offensive line coach (not so much his interim head coach time during the first six weeks) is what Trestman and the Bears are counting on to work, just like it did for Drew Brees in the last four seasons.
Cutler will no longer have to worry about staying inside his protection. The Bears will probably use and inside-out pass block, which means they try to eliminate inside pressure and blitzes by having strong play from their guards and centers instead of spreading out anticipating the edge blitz, which makes the pocket fall apart. Cutler himself will need to see more three and five step drops and start looking for more screens and slants, with the target being him taking a lot less punishment than he has in the past.
This means Brandon Marshall will still be the number one target, but not as dominant or targeted as in 2012, catching 118 passes for 1508 yards for 11 touchdowns. Those were fantastic numbers, but the Bears need to give Cutler a bit more options to throw to, including running back Matt Forte, who’ll start being more involved in the short passing game, probably back to the numbers he saw during his rookie year (63 receptions).
The arrival of tight end Martellus Bennett should be another weapon the Bears use in the short game and in the end zone, while they’re hoping that Alshon Jeffery, entering his second season in the NFL, is set to have somewhat of a breakout year, and turn the Bears into a really threatening aerial-attack team, while being able to keep their quarterback off the ground and a little less frustrated than usual.