Newcomer to the Chicago Bears on track to call the defensive plays

Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) /

At the end of the 2021 season, I don’t think anyone would have thought we’d have to still defend Roquan Smith — especially at this point in the offseason. The Chicago Bears linebacker is constantly overlooked. He keeps being snubbed in both the Pro Bowl and 1st-Team All-Pro nods, for one. Two, you have sites like Pro Football Focus (PFF) giving him a ridiculously low grade. When you compare Smith’s stats to the other top options, he clearly is undervalued.

Most Chicago Bears fans and even analysts assumed that Smith would wear the green dot and call plays on game day. He was the guy to do so last year for the Bears. However, as we sit today, newcomer Nicholas Morrow has been calling the plays at OTAs.

Nicholas Morrow is calling plays on defense at OTAs for the Chicago Bears

There could be a couple of reasons that this is the case. First of all, the Chicago Bears used to run a 3-4 scheme, and now they are switching to a 4-3. Not that I think Roquan Smith can’t handle the extra responsibility of calling plays while learning the new system, but Morrow has more NFL experience in the system. In fact, Morrow has played all three linebacker positions within this scheme. Giving the playcalling to Morrow could allow Roquan Smith to play free.

Another reason that Morrow could be calling the plays is that the Bears might want Morrow to get some experience now, but could still give Smith experience calling plays later this offseason. In Indianapolis, both Darrius Leonard and Anthony Hitchens took turns calling plays when they were manning the middle. Is Matt Eberflus looking to do something similar this year with both Morrow and Smith? Or, maybe Eberflus wants to test them both out to see who does it best?

In my opinion, I think having both Morrow and Smith able to handle wearing the green dot on their helmets just adds more versatility to this group. The coaching staff obviously believes they can trust both linebackers. I’m excited to see these two work this year and hopefully, the new scheme adds to Roquan Smith’s ability to dominate on the football field.