After the team’s first pre-season game on Friday, a loss to the Carolina Panthers, it is clear that the Chicago Bears still have work to do on offense.
On the team’s first offensive play, quarterback Jay Cutler threw an interception on a pass that was intended for wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.
Cutler took blame for the interception during a sideline interview during the game.
“Wrong shoulder, bad ball,” Cutler said of the pass. “I have to put the ball on Alshon’s (Jeffery) other shoulder.” Jay Cutler, ESPN Chicago
Despite the interception, Cutler rebounded as he finished his only quarter of play by completing 6 of 8 passes for a total of 54 yards.
Cutler was encouraged by the way the Bears’ offense bounced back after the early miscue.
“It was an unfortunate start, preseason, first drive like that,” Cutler said. “I thought we bounced back well, got a few first downs. (There’s) a lot to work on. So we’ll take a look at the film, get back to it on Sunday.” -Cutler, ESPN Chicago
Of the ten plays that the first-team offense played, there were a total of nine passing plays and one running play. The reason for that, as Marc Trestman addressed after the game, was Cutler would check out of running plays after reading the defense.
“I think the thing that you don’t see is there were a number of called runs, but he had the option to throw it,” Trestman said. “Because they were in the box and doing those other things, we had great success. But the number of runs that we ran and the number that were called are two different things. That’s what doesn’t show up at times. When they’re taking things away, we don’t want to waste a play. We’re gonna take the ball and throw it.” Marc Trestman, ESPN Chicago
There is no doubt that the Chicago Bears will predominantly be a passing team this season. But, don’t overlook running back Matt Forte. Forte will be a vital part to the team’s offense this season even if that is as a pass-catcher.
Overall, the Bears’ first-team offense was not bad. In fact, the Bears’ offensive performance on Friday was a perfect starting spot for the team to build on in the next three pre-season games.
The Bears are learning a new offensive system, it is not going to look great instantly. But that is what training camp and the pre-season is for. By the time the Bears open the season against the Cincinnati Bengals on September 8, there is no doubt the offense will be more in sync than they were on Friday.