New offensive coordinator Mike Tice sat down with Tom Thayer for an extended interview carried on the Bears website ChicagoBears.com and it provide some good talking points, which I got into with Danny and Matt on The McNeill and Spiegel show on WSCR-AM 670 The Score.
Specifically, Tice talked about the importance and priority of having quarterback Jay Cutler comfortable not only in the pocket, but from different launch points. Hes obviously spent time with Cutler and talked about drawing from some of the things that worked when Tice was with Daunte Culpepper in Minnesota and with David Garrard in Jacksonville.
He can make all the throws, Tice said, noting that he will retain control over the protections. We have to give him the opportunity to make all of those throws.
More important perhaps, Tice made it abundantly clear that his will be a balanced offense, not based on adherence to theory but to what works. Its going to be what the defense gives us, Tice said. If there is a good count of defenders in the box, the Bears run. If its a bad count, we better be able to throw it.
That wasnt always the way with former coordinator Mike Martz, as Danny, Matt and I covered.
Martz didnt give his quarterbacks the option of audibling, so if that count changed, the play couldnt. Martz was rigidly wedded to an approach that had worked and stuck to it even when it didnt.
As I mentioned, a reason for Bears optimism with Tice is that while it could be argued that Cutler played his best football under Martz, it was equally true that he was at his best when Tices influence was strongest over the offense.
Twice over the past two seasons, Martz was reined in and Tice given greater voice in game-planning. Both times -- the 2010 off week, after game 3 in 2011 -- the Bears offense took off without resorting to runaway passing. Exactly the opposite, in fact.