The Bears’ offense might be run-oriented, but wide receiver Kendall Wright believes it’s capable of much more if needed.
“If we had to open it up, we could,” Wright said. “It’s not a weakness over here at receiver. We won’t be a weakness if they call on us to be that group to start us off, move the chains and do whatever we need to do to get the offense going.”
The question isn’t as much whether the receivers and tight ends are capable of that, but rather when — or if — they’ll get the opportunities.
While offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains might plan the attack, coach John Fox leads the mission, and his influence on the offense is understated. Fox is the one who wants to keep quarterback Mike Glennon’s passing limited — a concerted effort to limit turnovers, as was the case at times with Jay Cutler.
The Bears’ game plan against the Falcons in Week 1 was clearly conservative; more than half of Glennon’s 40 passes came during the fourth quarter, when he needed to throw.
“For us as receivers, we’ve just got to be patient and block for the backs,” Wright said.
But don’t be surprised if that changes Sunday against the Buccaneers or as the season plays out, especially if rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky takes over for Glennon.
Losing receivers Cam Meredith and Kevin White undoubtedly hurts, but Loggains’ cupboard isn’t as bare as some think, thanks to some offseason decisions. Signing Wright, receiver Markus Wheaton and tight end Dion Sims deepened the roster but also diversified an offense that finished 28th in scoring last year. Speed, size and true slot receivers were added.
Drafting tight end Adam Shaheen in the second round and running back Tarik Cohen in the fourth added more size and speed to the mix. As Week 1 showed, Cohen can do just about everything.
The problem is, he’s the only aforementioned player who had a worthwhile performance against the Falcons. Sims’ first reception came on the last play of the third quarter. All of Wright’s production came in the fourth. Shaheen played only eight offensive snaps. Wheaton (broken finger) didn’t dress.
In general, Loggains’ offense still is learning what it does best. It’s too early in the season and there are too many new players to say otherwise.
The Bears featured 26 different offensive lineups in Week 1, tied for the fifth-most in the league. And more are coming. Cohen and Shaheen, for instance, played only two snaps together. How about Cohen and Wright in opposite slots?
“There’s a lot of talent to spread the ball around, but there’s only one ball,” Wright said. “Whoever it is making the play, you’ve just got to make it. We obviously have people in every position that can make plays.”
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