01 October 2007

A Modest Proposals on the Improvement of the Chicago Bears Offense

[This is the first post of BLOGTOBER, That's right, October will be so bloggy around here that the entire month has been re-designated as BLOGTOBER (and yes, BLOGTOBER must be typed in all caps, every time)]

Watching the Chicago Bears offense operate has been painful this season. Their biggest failures have been at their 'skill' positions, QB and RB. Yet they have the most exciting offensive threat in all of football in Devin Hester. While watching many of the highlight packages of the week's games, a few of the commenters mentioned that the Bears would be better served by getting Hester more involved in the offense (especially after showing the highlight of him scoring a TD off of a punt return yet again, he has 7 returns for touchdowns in 20 regular season games, not counting the Superbowl opening kick-off return for a touchdown against Indianapolis).

How to reconcile this contradiction? How to get Hester more involved in the offense while simultaneously solving your QB and RB problem? I have a modest proposal on solving all the Bears' offensive problems. MAKE DEVIN HESTER YOUR QB! That's right, I'm suggesting a 'back to the future' approach to football would be the best bet for salvaging Chicago's season. It would require a massive shift to the roster, but if you make a series of trades with a dozen teams all in the same week, I think you could do it without alerting the other teams to your radical and daring plan.

The first step is to get rid of all your traditional QBs and all but your fastest two wide outs. Trade those players for a bunch of 2nd string offensive linemen, focus on young, intelligent, but slightly undersized linemen that the other teams wouldn't miss (especially linemen who aren't too good at pass blocking, but are decent run blockers). Next, find a way to get the Giants to trade away their back-up QB Jared Lorenzen, his 6-4 285lb built like a tackle frame will be key in your new offensive schemes.

After executing all these trades, designate all those new linemen as your WR, TE and RB corps. Why all the extra linemen? Cause you are going to run a new twist on a very, very old fashioned wingback style attack with Devin Hester surrounded by 9-10 300 pound blockers on most plays. Line up in a deep shotgun each play, run a bunch of plays where all those extra linemen do pulling and trapping schemes, and let Hester explode through those holes. In essence you'd be turning every play from scrimmage into a punt return like situation. The opposing defenses wouldn't know what hit them. DBs would get pancaked if they come up to the line of scrimmage, and even linebackers would have trouble getting through to make a tackle when your smaller pulling guards are following right behind your initial strong side blockers. This formation would be somewhat vulnerable from pursuit from the backside, but given Hester's speed, and teaching Lorenzen how to become a good weakside blocker, you'd most likely have at least one or two holes every play which Hester could explode past the initial line of defense, and once he's in open space challenging linebackers and DBs, I like his chances of getting at least 3-5 yards each play, and with a single cut or missed tackle, he's off to the races.

NFL defenses do not have the personnel to handle that many 300 pounders on an offensive squad, couple all that meat with Hester's blazing speed, and you'd have an offense that would be able to eat up 4-6 yard chunks with every play. Once teams over commit to stoppng the run, that's when you use Lorenzen and your remaining wide outs (and even Hester from the backfield) to challenge the opposing defense with a deep pass now and again. Mix in the remaining wide outs every so often for reverses, fake reverses and swing passes, and you'd have an unstoppable mix of offensive tools.

It's worth a shot, the Bears can't do any worse on offense than they have been lately. Grosssman and Greise are abyssmal. Devin Hester remains the most exciting player in the NFL, get his hands on the ball every offensive play and utilize that speed to terrorize opposing defensive coaches. Lovie Smith can impose his will on the opposing defensive coordinators by crafting an offense for which modern teams have no answers.

Can somebody explain to me why this isn't worth trying and why this wouldn't work?

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