There’s no mistaking who’s in charge of the Bears offense, but first-year coordinator Mike Tice believes in listening to input from his players before making key decisions.
“I think it’s very important to have a line of communication with the quarterback and the running back and the wide receivers,” Tice said. “Why call things they’re not comfortable with?
“If we’re calling things they’re not comfortable with, they’re not going to make the tough throws. If we’re calling runs the running back doesn’t like, he’s not going to hit it up in there. If we’re calling routes the receiver doesn’t like to run, he’s not going to run it with any type of authority or any type of confidence.”
Quarterback Jay Cutler has enjoyed working with Tice.
“Mike probably has one of the toughest jobs on the field just being able to take everyone’s input, different ideas, and being able to dissect it and figure out what the best is for this offensive football team,” Cutler said.
“We’ve got a lot of bright minds out here, a lot of guys that have been in a lot of football games. He’s doing a great job. He’s accepting that role and really relishing it.”
To learn more about Cutler, Tice no doubt is leaning on quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates, who helped the Vanderbilt product develop into a Pro Bowler during three seasons together with the Broncos.
“I’ve been with Jeremy before,” Cutler said. “He has a really good understanding of what I like, what I dislike. I don’t really have to say much to ‘JB’ about a certain play. It’s just kind of a look here and there.
“Mike, we’re trying to explain everything to him. I’m trying to give everything that’s on my mind, what I dislike, what I like, what I love, what I hate, what I think is going to work. That’s why he’s got a tough job. He’s got to take it all in and figure out what’s best for us offensively.”
One aspect of the offense Cutler especially likes is the freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage.
“I think it makes everyone’s jobs a little bit easier because we can put ourselves in a good play,” Cutler said. “If we’ve got something bad and the defense is going to take it over, then we can go ahead and audible and get out of it and get into something that hopefully we can execute.”
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