When the Chicago Bears take on the Houston Texans Sunday night, they will see an offense that’s built awfully similar to theirs. Head coach Greg Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison come from the Mike Shanahan coaching tree.
They run the same bootleg play-action offense as they did when they coached alongside Shanahan with the Denver Broncos (Kubiak coordinated the Broncos for 11 seasons, Dennison was coordinator from 06-08 before occupying the Texans OC position in 2010).
The Bears have quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates who comes from that same head coaching tree, and is trying to carry out the same offensive approach to the Bears. Both teams have big strong mobile QB’s that can make plays in-and-outside the pocket.
Matt Schaub is the more conservative QB of the two; Jay Cutler a bit more athletic and willing to take chances with the football (which explains why Cutler has twice as many interceptions as Schaub).
Arian Foster is arguably the best running back in the league and his back-up Ben Tate can start for a most NFL teams. Similarly, Matt Forte is a top-level talent at his position, and Michael Bush can also start for a most NFL teams.
Both teams have skill positions that are highlighted by two guys you can say are top five at their position in Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson.
What holds the Bears offense back from reaching the Texans level is talent and consistency from the offensive line. The Bears offense is going through the same growing pains the Texans went through with their offense when Kubiak arrived there.
The Texans offense didn’t take off until the front office shored up the offensive line and the unit started playing consistently. The Bears offense has the potential to reach the Texans level, but will need plenty of help from the offensive line.
The talent is there for the Bears, along with the coaches who want to run that same offensive approach. The line needs to play with better consistency for this Bears offense to reach that same level of success as the Texans offense.