Audibles working even with 'strangers' up front
November 28, 2012, 11:58 pm
One of the changes brought to the offense with the installation of Mike Tice as coordinator was the license for quarterback Jay Cutler to audible. One of the most impressive elements in last Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Vikings was Cutler being able to use audibles despite a makeshift offensive line that had three new players by the fourth quarter.
“Coach Tice came in with a good game plan and we had some good audibles if we got an unfamiliar defensive package,” said Jonathan Scott, starting his first game as a Bear at right tackle. “Jay did a great job controlling that environment. We had some second- and third-down conversions that really changed the game.”
For his part, Cutler was not going to audible to a play with complexities beyond the capabilities of a group still getting to know each other. And against Seattle, ranked No. 7 in sacks per pass attempt, that will remain the order.
“We just have to be careful what we ask those guys to do, make sure they’re on the same page and protect them,” Cutler said. “You don’t want to do a lot of ‘sevens’ [step drops] and chuck the ball 40, 50 times. They’re not programmed for that. They’re in new positions. Some guys haven’t even played guard. We just have to be smart with it.” Not lost in translation
A second novelty was the thought process that both Gabe Carimi and Edwin Williams went through “translating” plays from their usual positions to the assignments with the new ones.
Carimi, a tackle was playing his first game at guard. After the call in the huddle, Carimi made a quick mental adjustment from the tackle assignment that was second-nature to the one for a guard.
“The plays are different so you have to know what the play calls are because you’re doing different blocking,” Carimi said. “There were a couple things where I was a little off about but it went pretty well.”
Of course, Carimi had a translator immediately to his left: center Roberto Garza, whose responsibilities include knowing every assignment on the line.
“He was telling me what to do,” Garza said, with a wink. “No, Gabe’s a professional, he knows what he’s doing, has played offensive line a long time, and he did a helluva job stepping in.”
Williams’ practice position has been primarily center this season, with Lance Louis, Chris Spencer and Chilo Rachal comprising the depth chart at guard. With them out, Williams had to do some translating of his own, although he has played guard in each of the past two seasons although with Tice as his position coach and Mike Martz as coordinator.
“You make the changes but once you get into the rhythm you don’t have to think about it too much,” Williams said. Bears Pulse
In case I forget to mention it (again), check out Bears Pulse
on game days at CSNChicago.com. It’s bringing together a lot of Bears coverage from everywhere and it’s where I’ll be covering the Bears-Seattle Seahawks in-game via Twitter (@CSNMoonMullin
). Lots of fun and lots of action.
What’s particularly fun about it is that I can pass along side info about game happenings as we learn about them in the press box and from material you can’t find in just any book.
, Jay Cutler
, Chicago Bears
, Minnesota Vikings
, Mike Tice
, John 'Moon' Mullin