The Marc Trestman Era will open at Soldier Field on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. He is the first offensive minded Head Coach for the Bears since they hired Mike Ditka in 1982. He will likely be the most progressive offensive minded Head Coach the Bears have ever had. The new era bring a lot of excitement and a lot of new things to watch for. Here's a look at the five most intriguing stories in the opener.
How Will Jay Cutler Perform in his First Legitimate Action in Trestman's Offense
The last time Trestman ran an NFL offense for the first time with that team was in 2002 with Oakland. He became the Offensive coordinator when Bill Callahan was elevated to Head Coach after Jon Gruden left for Tampa. In their first game of the 2002 season, the Raiders exploded for 28 points in the first half en route to a 31-17 victory over Seattle.
Cutler is working with his fifth offensive coordinator in six seasons. Cutler said earlier this summer that it takes three season to fully install an offense.
When Rex Grossman was with the Bears, his performances were usually referred to as good Rex and bad Rex. Cutler seems to be more revered than Grossman was. His performances have been nearly as up and down as Grossman's were. Trestman should be able to reign him in.
Accuracy has never been Cutler strength. His 60.8 percent completion percentage ranks only 13th among active passers.
Matt Forte's Involvement in the Offense
One of the staple's of the West Coast offense is the involvement of the running backs in the passing game. In his first year as the offensive coordinator in Oakland, starting RB Charlie Gardner had 91 receptions for over 900 yards. With the Bears facing the Bengals seventh rated pash rush, Cutler might have to look for Forte often.
How Well Will Rookie Right Side of the Offensive Line Play
Kyle Long and Jordan Mills will be making their NFL debut today against arguably the best defensive line in the NFL. Cincinnati's 3-4 defense produces a ferocious pass rush. This will be the first time since 1983 the Bears are starting two rookies on the offensive line. Long's athleticism has been praised and Mills grabbed the starting right tackle job as fifth round pick. How well they play could determine the Bears success on offense.
How Much Playing Time Will Jonathan Bostic Get?
Bostic caused a sensation with his lay out of San Diego's Mike Willie in the preseason. He has been praised as Brian Urlacher's replacement. D.J. Williams was signed to a one year contract to be the starting middle linebacker. His injury plagued preseason has not gotten him off to a good start. He was second on the team in tackles to fellow rookie Khasem Green in the preason.
How Well is Brandon Marshall Recovered From Offseason Shoulder Surgery
With the preseason basically meaningless for starters, its hard to gauge how Marshall's shoulder will respond to a hit over the middle. He was target the most of any player in the NFL in terms of percentage of passes thrown his way. The Bears can't rely on him as much as they did last year. Alshon Jeffrey, Forte and newcomer Martellus Bennett all have to step up in the passing game.