Chicago Bears to Install Read-Option for 2013

By Dale Casler
Tim Fuller- USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears‘ new head coach Marc Trestman plans on installing the read-option next season. Is this good news or bad news for quarterback Jay Cutler? Is the offense a flash in the pan?

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin seems to think so. I think as long as there are mobile quarterbacks to run the offense, it’s here to stay for a while. While the offense ultimately cost Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III his knee, it still led to success on the field offensively last season. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers also saw positive results.

Cutler is neither one of these three quarterbacks, however. He does have the ability to maneuver outside the pocket, but it’s typically the result of a broken play and bad blocking. I’m not so sure it’s an offense Cutler will be thrilled about running. He has the arm to throw on the run, but just doesn’t have the young knees that Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson have.

I am intrigued to see how it will work. Any success with the offense is going to rely heavily on some zone blocking from the offensive line. This has been a unit that has seen one upgrade in tackle with the addition of Jermon Bushrod. But historically, I’d say they haven’t blocked anyone in the passing game since 2006.

Coach Trestman gets a pass here until fans see how he will utilize the read-option. It may indeed work out. On paper though, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to keep putting your quarterback at such high risks of getting injured. So you can’t protect Cutler in a traditional sense, but you plan on installing an offense where he’s basically running for his life on most downs?

It could get ugly. And on the other hand, it could be exactly what Cutler wants. Maybe he sat down with Trestman and said ‘if I am running for my life anyway, why not give me an offense based around that?’ I guess only time will tell.

There aren’t many more options the Bears can give Cutler short of simply finding a good offensive line. Until he gets a minimal level of blocking in any sense, he’s always going to be that quarterback that has all the skills but never manages to succeed. It’s time the Bears give the guy a little help. Bushrod was a good start.

The draft will answer many questions as to just what the Bears think they need for 2013. What didn’t work it 2012 doesn’t matter anymore. None of those coaches are no longer around. Now we get to see if the Bears hired an offensive genius or a coach of men.

Maybe both? Maybe neither? Either way, the read-option should be neat to watch unfold with Cutler running it.

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