Bears

Adam Gase has these Bears on the run, in more ways than one

gasecutlernew081415.png

Adam Gase has these Bears on the run, in more ways than one

The specifics aren’t really important as much as the overall. And while individual plays and schemes were generally vanilla, the underlying offensive philosophy wasn’t.

The ’15 Bears ran the football, just as offensive coordinator Adam Gase said they would. Interestingly, they did it in a hurry much of the time.

In Thursday’s first half the Bears went to the line of scrimmage without a huddle 16 times. Two of the snaps were nullified by penalties but that still had them running 14 of their 29 plays in the half without a huddle.

“I like it,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “I like it a lot. It gives us a lot of time on the clock; if we want to change a play, want to go to something else, we can. I think it kind of wore the defense out as we progressed throughout the game. The way the game got going there toward the end, I think that was because we ran so many plays.”

[RELATED: Preseason about just seeing what you want to see]

Gase, in line with the thinking of coach John Fox, said that the Bears will run the football. Without starting running back Matt Forte, the Bears rushed for 166 yards and two touchdowns, and, more important, did it with a balanced game plan that may be the template for 2015.

Gase stayed the course despite a spate of offensive penalties and gave the offensive line a chance to right itself. He called six run plays vs. three passes in a first quarter that saw the Bears manage just 49 yards. But the pattern was set: The first half ended with the Bears throwing on their last seven plays, in a hurry-up situation over 1:02. But prior to that, Gase sent in 11 running plays and exactly 11 pass plays.

The game planning may have been simple and intentionally non-revealing, but the overall was revealing: 33 runs, 34 pass plays, and the latter with those seven straight in the final hurry up minute of the first half.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

“All the running backs did great tonight,” said quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who played the majority of the game. “I thought they did a great job, as well as the offensive line up front, opening holes for those guys.”

Not that the past means anything, but in last year’s opening first half under Marc Trestman the Bears piled up 14 points and 197 yards but in what turned out to be an ominous foreshadowing, threw the ball 24 times and ran it just 12. Meaning: a 67-33 pass run ratio. For the Trestman regime, the ratio turned out to be 63-37.

That time, and not so much the football, is passed.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on ChicagoBears.com at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.