It was the spring of 1959 when the Coasters released the first of their three top ten hits that year, Charlie Brown. By early summer, half of America sat waiting for the chorus, “Why is everybody always pickin’ on me?”
The song is still fun today, and could quite possibly also be the theme song for the Chicago Bears’ offense.
This week it was Jamie Dukes, former offensive lineman with the Atlanta Falcons and current analyst with the NFL Network. Dukes joined Mully and Hanley on 670 The Score following the Bengals game and suggested the Bears’ offense hasn’t really changed at all.
Really? That’s not what everybody else has been saying. Let’s take a look.
In 2012 under Lovie Smith and Mike Tice, the Bears averaged 23.4 points per game, 310.6 yards per game on offense, 123.1 rushing per game, 187.4 passing per game, 36.5 percent third-down efficiency and 5.2 yards per offensive play.
Against the Bengals, the Bears scored 24 points, produced 323 yards of offense, 81 yards on the ground, 242 through the air, converted 42.9 percent of the time on third down and averaged 5.3 yards per play.
Hmm ... could Dukes be on to something? Maybe.
But if you understand that statistics can lie and know to look a little deeper, you can all go all Lee Corso on Dukes with a not-so-fast-my-friend.
Pull back the covers and it appears a big part of the Trestman plan is success breeding more success. He’s trying to get the fundamentals in place before he starts playing with the bells and whistles.
The reality is that the Bears’ offense was very different in the first half against Cincinnati than it was in the second. Asked what halftime adjustments he made, Trestman said none. He just wanted to “keep Jay clean” in the first half, in essence saying, “Let’s prove to ourselves we can block this and then we’ll go for more.”
In the second half, Trestman said he just started calling more of the plays in the game plan, once he knew they could block them.
Jay Cutler hedged when he was asked Thursday if he thinks the offense is restricted at this point.
“Yes and no,” he said. “I think, at the end of the day, we want to make sure we protect and we’re able to get rid of the ball. We don’t want to take sacks. We want to keep the front five confident, keep me confident and believing in those guys. But, at the same time, we’ve got to play football. If that requires us taking a shot or getting five [receivers] out, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Which brings us to another point about where the offense is at now and where it’s going: It’s hard to get five receivers out if you’ve only got three.
That Marquess Wilson was inactive against the Bengals and Joe Anderson dressed but didn’t take a single snap on offense speaks volumes about where Trestman believes his receiving corps is.
It’s not to say the kids can’t play, but apparently they’re not ready yet.
So far, it appears that Kyle Long and Jordan Mills are ready. But they’re not playing because they were so ready Trestman couldn’t keep them off the field. They’re playing because they have to.
Anyone who suggests this offense isn’t dramatically different from what Bears fans are used to just isn’t paying attention to personnel groupings, play-calling and execution.
I’m not a fan yet. I just know there’s still a lot we haven’t seen.