Chicago Bears: The versatility of Trey Burton on full display
We finally got our glimpse into what Trey Burton can be for the Chicago Bears offense. The amount of versatility he can display could be overwhelming
A debate point throughout the summer was how valuable Trey Burton would be for the Chicago Bears offense. Statistically speaking, there was no historical data to point to that called for Trey Burton getting the type of money in which he did on the open market.
However, all summer Matt Nagy stressed that he had a plan for Trey Burton. He acknowledged that Burton is not going to be like Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen concerning tight end usage. He has classified Burton as a “U” tight end which is a move player.
On Saturday, we saw Burton move all over the field. In the links displayed below, you can see the full versatility in which Trey Burton offers
Early into his stint on the field, he is being used in-line and blocking as a traditional tight end. From there, Burton is lined up in the slot with three other wide receivers on the field. Trey Burton lined up one-on-one with a safety in the middle of the field with almost no help over the top.
The team also lined him up out wide to the right, with three wide receivers in a trips formation to his left. Burton is now lined up one-on-one with a cornerback, where he presents the distinct size advantage.
They lined him up out wide again, but this time as a part of the trips formation. Burton had Kevin White and a tight end to the inside of him. The two players to the inside of Burton rushed upfield and eventually turned into blockers as Burton ran a quick slant in a play that would turn into a tight end screen with blockers out in space.
The Chicago Bears also motioned him to the fullback spot, where he can flare out of the backfield as a pass-catching option, likely lined up on a linebacker. Or, he could block from that position.
The following two plays can demonstrate why he is so lethal in this offense. As mentioned, he can get lined up against linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties whenever the Chicago Bears want in the passing game. The reason in which they can do that is that teams have to respect him in the running game.
Trey Burton is a former quarterback and has shown little as a blocker in his career. However, without a presence of blocking from that fullback spot, he is not going to get the mismatch that he wants from that fullback spot.
In the play linked here, you can see Burton pulling from his tight end spot up the middle. He puts his body into 96, Shelby Harris and drives him back a bit, extending a Jordan Howard run. Burton does not have to be lethal in the blocking game. But that type of power and ability to move while blocking in all Burton needs to continue to get the defenses respect.
The last play highlighted here shows what Burton can do with this respect. Burton motioned from right to left pre-snap. At the snap, he pulls back across the line of scrimmage. With similar intentions of blocking, like the play against Shelby Harris, the linebacker steps up to take Burton on.
Little does he know that Burton is ready to turn on the jets and run past the linebacker, who is charging at Trey Burton in the wrong direction. This type of misdirection is going to set Burton up with the football in his hands and yards to run.
The Chicago Bears targeted Trey Burton on third down. They targeted him in the red zone. Trey Burton lined up outside, in the slot, on the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. They threw to him from these spots, ran screens from these spots, and had him block from these spots. We saw the full arsenal of why Trey Burton is a “move” player and a “mismatch weapon.” It is going to be tough to slow down the dynamic versatility that he brings to the table.