Read-option in the Bears' offense? Maybe yes, maybe no

Read-option in the Bears' offense? Maybe yes, maybe no
July 31, 2013, 4:45 pm
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Jay Cutler has been well served in the past couple seasons when Mikes Martz and Tice designed plays to get the veteran quarterback out of the traditional pocket. Best guess is that coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer will do some of the same with him in 2013 and he has operated with more than straight drop-backs and handoffs this training camp.

But as for the read-option in vogue with mobile young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III in Washington, Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco and Russell Wilson in Seattle, “None,” Cutler said on Wednesday as to the amount of read-option he’ll be running, literally and figuratively.

“No, we’re not going that way with this offense,” Trestman said. However, the Bears could, or at least would like you to think they might.

“The thing about Jay on a read option Jay knows how to get down,” Trestman said. “Jay knows how to play the position when he’s running out on the field.

“What I have seen is a guy that knows how to take care of himself most of the time. There are moments where a quarterback has to give it up for the cause so to speak, but he’s a smart player. He knows when to get down. He knows when to get out of bounds. And I think he can handle those types of things.”

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Cutler turned 30 in April. He missed a game in 2010 with a concussion against the New York Giants and another last season when he failed to get down on a scramble and was leveled by Houston linebacker Tim Dobbins. The hit cost the Texans linebacker $30,000 but it cost the Bears their quarterback.

He was lost for the second half of the 2010 NFL Championship game after suffering a knee injury. And while he may know well when to “get down” most of the time, his competitiveness may overrule the moment: The Bears’ 2011 season effectively ended at 7-3 when Cutler tried to make a tackle after an interception against San Diego.

Installing a read option which exposes the quarterback to hits either when he has the football or has just pitched it to a back places Cutler at risk with a play design that he would be using at age 30 for the first time since his years at Vanderbilt.

And the Bears are not initiating game-planning-by-press-conference, either.

“To be honest, as an offensive coach, I would never like to divulge what we’re doing offensively,” said Kromer. “You’ll see some things out here. We’ll do some things in walk-throughs that we don’t want to divulge. So I don’t like to talk scheme in the media.”

There, perfectly clear. Maybe yes, maybe no.