Bears Recognize Growth In Budding Offense

June 14, 2019 - 11:05 am

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- It was a year ago that the Bears were just beginning to install the pieces and plans of coach Matt Nagy's offense. Now, they can sense how it's all different.

After spending the 2018 season establishing their offense, the Bears are now thinking of how good it can be.

"We're trying to be the best offense in the NFL," receiver Allen Robinson said as the Bears wrapped up their offseason program Thursday.

The Bears will reconvene in Bourbonnais in late July with big hopes as they open training camp. For players like quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the report date at Olivet Nazarene can't come soon enough.

The Bears went from worst to first in the NFC North and established themselves as contenders in 2018 despite an offense that ranked 21st with 343.9 yards per game. Those inconsistencies were expected with schemes and personnel so new. 

Now, the differences from a year ago are clear, with the Bears believing better is on the way.

"Drastic," receiver Taylor Gabriel said. "Drastic. Drastically (different), just because we're not trying to learn the offense. We're not trying to learn the X's and O's in where we're supposed to line up. Now, we're kind of going off of tendencies of the DB, of the coverage, of what the defense is doing. So, that's a drastic change from last year.

"We're not installing. We're not trying to figure out where we have to line up. Now, we're just figuring out on situations, what if this situation happens? What if it's a cloud corner, a turkey hose shot for Mitch. So, that's expanded. I feel like just in the sense of just the wide receivers, the terminology that we have -- what we want to do and also what Mitch wants to do.  

"(Trubisky is) confident in what he's looking at. He's not just trying to figure out what the play is.  Now he gets to look up and look at the coverage. So I feel like, like i said, it's just a drastic change from last year."

Trubisky is in agreement with his teammates, believing the offense has made great strides. That starts with him as the quarterback.

"I got a lot better grasp of the offense," Trubisky said. "We’re way ahead as far as timing, operation, getting to the line of scrimmage, getting in and out, adjustment on all of our plays and just knowing where to go with the football. Especially against all of these different looks that we’re seeing that the defense is throwing at us. So, I feel like we’ve done really well. I feel like I have improved my game. We just have to keep getting better."

Nagy has referred to Trubisky's stage of development as the 202 level, one in which he recognizes not just where his receivers are going but also what the defense will present. While Trubisky showed promise in his second NFL season, many of his struggles were related to growing pains in the offense.

The Bears had games in which the offense performed at a high level but others in which it struggled to move the football. They are aware of the "peaks and valleys," as Robinson termed it. 

This time around, the Bears hope to have a high-octane offense that's one of the league's best.

"We've been able to turn it on," Robinson said. "But our goal is to put our foot on the gas and keep it on the gas."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.