Bears unveil "no huddle" offense


Bears unveil "no huddle" offense

An offense is more dangerous when it is more versatile. The more personnel groupings, offensive sets, or more plays you make a defense prepare for, the harder their job becomes. The Bears unveiled a new offensive wrinkle Friday afternoon at training camp that had been sorely missing for quite some time. This style of play took the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls. The new wrinkle by the Bears is known as the "no huddle" offense.

Im not suggesting the Bears are going to be the Buffalo Bills, utilizing this style of play during all 16 games this season. Instead, it is important to know this is a tremendous weapon which can create difficulties for a defense when necessary.

Why is it great?

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been jumping in and out of no huddle offense for years because it changes the tempo of a game and it creates better matchups. Here are a few examples of when Jay Cutler could utilize the "no huddle" offense during the season:

1. The Bears have 3 wide receivers on the field and just finished a pass play on the first down for seven yards. Cutler notices one of the cornerbacks got rolled up and is limping badly. Cutler immediately screams, attack, notifying all players on offense the Bears are going into no huddle offense. Cutler now goes to work calling plays to expose the injured player. The injured cornerback fights through it during a couple of plays, but the defense has to waste a timeout to regroup and replace him. The opponents fourth best cornerback now has to enter the game. The Bears then have the advantage because they made their opponent waste a timeout. Now, if Chicago elects to stay in no huddle," it may force their opponent to go into base defense without their top group.

2. The Bears transition to regular personnel on first and 10, which comes out to two wide receivers, one tight end and two running backs. But they elect to go with pony backfield. This term refers to when you substitute out the fullback with a halfback. So in this example, Matt Forte and Michael Bush are in the game. If the Bears call regular personnel, the defense is going to call regular personnel to match up. In our example, they would want three linebackers (4-3 defense so SLB, MLB, WLB) in the game to match up effectively. The Bears motion Matt Forte out of the backfield into the strong side slot position. The defense adjusts by walking the strong side linebacker out on Forte.

Ladies and gentleman, we have our matchups. Cutler announces attack again and changes the play to a 40 draw run play to Michael Bush, because the defense has just taken another defender out of the run box. It is now six on six in the run box without the strong side linebacker who is better suited to stop the run. Jay may elect to stay in no huddle, calling pass plays with Matt Forte who would destroy any SLB in the league now.

There are many more examples, but the no huddle offense is a nice weapon to have in your arsenal. Defenses normally panic and play base defense until they settle down, figuring out how to attack it. An offense can steal a series or two in a game if they jump in and out of no huddle.

Neat Tweets: The Bears were one yard away from a pretty neat finish

Neat Tweets: The Bears were one yard away from a pretty neat finish

The Bears and Patriots played a wild game yesterday, with the outcome literally coming down to the final seconds/yards. 

The Bears didn't get their intended result, and BearsTwitter let 'em know about it after the game. 

Here were the most neat tweets from Sunday's loss:










Shoutout to broadcasts in other languages, they're legitimately always 100X more entertaining. 

Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers


Evaluating Blackhawks options after Anton Forsberg is placed on waivers

The Blackhawks have said all along that they don't plan on carrying three goaltenders, but wanted to do so during the three games in four days stretch just in case, with Corey Crawford coming back from a 10-month layoff because of a concussion.

After being encouraged by how Crawford has responded to his return, the Blackhawks placed goaltender Anton Forsberg on waivers Monday morning. Teams have 24 hours to put in a claim for the 25-year-old goaltender and would have to keep him on their NHL roster for 10 games and/or 30 days before he's eligible to go through the waiver process again.

His chances of getting claimed by any of the other 30 teams essentially depends on which teams believe Forsberg would be an immediate upgrade over their current backup — or starter, for that matter — or whether there's an injury to one of the team's two goaltenders that requires a placeholder, like we saw the Carolina Hurricanes do by claiming Curtis McElhinney from the Toronto Maple Leafs after Scott Darling's injury in the preseason.

If Forsberg goes unclaimed, the Blackhawks can assign him to the American Hockey League with the Rockford IceHogs. With Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen sharing the goaltending duties in Rockford, it's possible Lankinen gets sent to the Indy Fuel in the East Coast Hockey League to get consistent starts under his belt.

A third option, one that isn't very common but we've seen in the past as recently as last October with Maple Leafs goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo, is that Forsberg can be loaned to any AHL team while still being a part of the Blackhawks organization. This would allow the Blackhawks to keep Delia and Lankinen in Rockford while Forsberg gets his starts in the AHL, too.

Or, the Blackhawks could simply trade Forsberg to another NHL team that could stash him in the AHL, as long as he clears waivers. They did it last season with Chris DiDomenico, who cleared waivers as a member of the Ottawa Senators but was then traded to Chicago for Ville Pokka days later. Had DiDomenico been claimed by the Blackhawks, he would have had to stay on the NHL roster as noted above.

Forsberg was 10-16-4 with a 2.97 goals against average and .908 save percentage in 35 appearances last season but has not appeared in a game yet this year. He was acquired as part of the Brandon Saad package for Artemi Panarin in June 2017.