Historically, the Chicago Bears have always been known for their dominance on the defensive side of the ball, and have found themselves ranked as one of the top defensive units numerous times. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about the franchise’s track record on offense.
There have been very few times that the NFL has seen the Bears near the top of the list when it comes to putting points on the board. Since the Super Bowl era, Chicago has been ranked second in the league in scoring only three times. The 2013 season was the most recent instance, while the other two occurrences were in 1985 and 2006 (the years they went to the Super Bowl).
One other occasion when the Bears had a somewhat high-powered offense was in 1995, when they were eighth in the league in scoring. This was the first time in franchise history that Chicago had two 1,000-yard wide receivers (Curtis Conway and Jeff Graham) and a 1,000-yard running back (Rashaan Salaam). Last year became the second time the Bears had ever seen such production from their offensive weapons, with receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and running back Matt Forte.
With the players Chicago have going into 2014, in addition with the offensive mind of head coach Marc Trestman, the Bears’ three-headed monster could accomplish that feat yet again. However, will Trestman be able to push the Bears’ offense even further and make them the highest-scoring unit next season?
Trestman has a total of 18 years of coaching experience in the NFL. In eight of those seasons, Trestman has held the title of offensive coordinator with several teams, and of those season, Trestman has held that position for consecutive years with three teams. Of the three organizations he was OC for, Trestman’s stints with the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders were his most successful.
From 1995-96, the 49ers were first and third in points per game respectively with Trestman as their coordinator. In 2002, when Trestman was bumped up from senior assistant to offensive coordinator, the Raiders went from fourth to second in the NFL in scoring. Furthermore, Oakland went on to play in Super Bowl XXXVII, and quarterback Rich Gannon was named league MVP.
Trestman was, however, the OC for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998-2000, but they ranked 15th, 30th, and 29th in the league in scoring respectively. The offensive personnel in Arizona was nowhere near what the Niners and Raiders had in the past, and what the Bears have now.
Looking forward, Chicago has all of the pieces in place to potentially have the most explosive offense in the league for 2014. But, can they be potent enough to outscore Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos? Last season, the AFC champions averaged 37.9 points per game, which is a far cry from the Bears’ 27.8 average.
Even with the credentials of Trestman, and the offensive weapons the Bears have, it will be a huge order to fill to try to do what the Broncos did in 2013. However, if there was one team in the NFL who could give Denver a run for their money, it’s definitely the Chicago Bears.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller.