Chicago Bears Offense – The Hype and The Doubts


I wanted to follow up my article about reasons to believe the hype about the Bears defense with one about the hype on offense, but I ran into a problem: there’s not much hype. In fact, much of the hyperbole about the Chicago Bears offense is negative. That leaves me with sorting out the rubbish from the reality, and in the end, I may be accused of offering some hype of my own. But I can cope with that reputation.

Let’s start with one of the few topics which could be considered hype- Kevin White. I know he’s unproven and has never played a down in the NFL. I also know that wide receiver is one of the toughest positions in football at which to make the transition from college to the NFL. But let’s make an analogy.

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  • Let’s say that, at the end of your freshman year in college, you are offered a chance to take a masters level honors course the following fall in your best subject. It’s daunting, but, you believe in yourself. A few weeks before classes are to start, you are told you can’t take the class yet. There is no reason; it’s just fickle fate. But they tell you that you can audit the class if you want. After you get over your anger, you decide to treat the setback as an opportunity. You attend every class, read and study all the books, get to know the professor and his expectations, and you get to see all the tests, even though you don’t actually take them. Next term, you actually take the class. How would you possibly not get an A at the end of the term?

    That is what Kevin White has done. He has learned the offense, the coaches and the quarterback. He has even studied his own physiology to improve his awareness of his condition and how to stay healthy. He has learned how to spot warning signs before they become problems. Bears coaches and management don’t seem to be able to say enough good things about Kevin White, but, it is not hype. Kevin White will shine this year- period.

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    The next biggest hype around the offense has been around rookies Jordan Howard, Daniel Braverman and Ben Braunecker. They are truly unproven and trying to make quantum leaps. But make no mistake about it, all three sport extreme tangibles and intangibles. Right now, the talk is only hype and no, I’m not making any bold predictions. But if you are a Bears fan and not extremely excited about these kids, call your doctor and take a physical. That’s also good advice if you are a Bears hater and not worried about them- odds are that at least one of them will give you heartburn or worse.

    There are also some things that I think many people are being short-sighted. The top of that list is Dowell Loggains. No, he is not Adam Gase, but he is running Gase’s offense. When was the last time an offensive coordinator leaving the Bears did not mean a whole new offense and new terminology? For that matter, when was the last time an OC left this team without fans offering to tar and feather him and run him out on a rail? (And there are so many rails to choose from in the Windy City.) Since Ed Hughes’ three-year downward spiral after the ’85 Super Bowl, the Bears have gone through a series of 10 flops at OC. Now they have had one good enough to land a head coaching job and leave behind his scheme and a replacement who has more experience than Gase did when he was first promoted to OC- this is a good thing, folks!

    May 21, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains during organized team activities at Cleveland Browns practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
    Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports /

    Loggains also takes something Gase did well and, according to Kyle Long, does it better. From Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago: “You know I say over and over again that guys on this coaching staff hold you accountable. That could have been said with Gase too, but this guy [Loggains] will seek out a little face-to-face with you in order to get the point across. That’s what you need sometimes,” Long said.

    This, by itself is very encouraging, but, now contrast it against something Loggains said during rookie minicamp, when asked what was the biggest thing he and Gase did to help Jay Cutler have such a good year in 2015 (According to ProFootballTalk): “I don’t think Adam or I should take the credit, I think Jay made the choice to improve and work on things we asked him to work on.” That is a smart coach. Hold the players accountable and give them all the credit. Here’s another bold prediction: this man will be successful.

    As far as I can decipher, PFF (Pro Football Focus) seems to think that the Bears coaching staff is really something special, too. They ranked the Bears roster as the 30th best in the NFL, yet predicted a record of 8-8. Now, I’m not a math major, but I’m pretty sure that if only two teams in the whole league have worse talent, a whole bunch of “better” teams have to lose more games than you for you to finish at .500. I’m pretty sure they are not implying that Virginia McCaskey is going to go out and win games single-handedly, so apparently they think the Bears have one of the best coaching staffs in the league. And, by the way, they arere right- about the coaches, not the roster.

    Then I see that Jeff Dickerson of ESPN says that Zach Miller is filling the Bears biggest need. I agree with him that Miller is talented enough to fill the bill if he can avoid injuries. If he does so long enough to allow Braunecker to make a successful transition to the NFL, all the better. But, I find it very comforting that the Bears biggest need is to fill the shoes of a guy who was traded for being a malcontent- notably griping that he wasn’t getting enough touches. I see his point. He was huge in Aaron Kromer’s offense, but had less than 5 catches a game under Gase. Replacing him is the Bears’ biggest need? I’m not sure I agree, but it sounds great!

    As Eddie Royal said this week, potential is not enough. At this time of year, though, potential is all we’ve got, and I see more potential in this Bears offense than I have seen in any Bears offense in over 30 years. A number one offense? That would just be hype. Better than last year? If they can avoid major injuries, that is a lock.