Shoop's version of the West Coast offense calls for short accurate passing, and a powerful brutish running game "We want to have a balanced offense and keep teams off balance by mixing the run and pass." Says Shoop about his game planning.
When this offense is executed properly, it is a thing to behold, not complain about. It gets the job done on most Sunday's and last year's record was an indication of that. Albeit this team has just lost 4 in a row, but it isn't the scheme that is the problem, it is the lack of execution.
In order for this offense to run its course, you need the aforementioned running game. The Bears just have not had that in any game this season. The running game is averaging less than 83 yards per game on the ground, not even close to the league average. If Anthony Thomas can get up and chugging again, it will open up this passing game and allow, Chris Chandler or Jim Miller to pick apart the secondary with short quick accurate strikes, the way that the offense is designed to.
The ground game is by far the most important part of this team right now. Forget the banged up defense, and the home field disadvantage and any other excuse you want to put out there, the ground game is the key. If the Bears are able to sustain, those clock eating drives that they were last season, it keeps your defense off the field and right now that's what they need. The Bears must be patient and hammer away at opposing lines. Run, run and run some more. I know it is hard to run the ball when you are down by 14 points, but the scheme only works with a balanced attack. The only way to get that balanced attack is to have the other team's defense fear the running game.
Sure its hard to run when they stack eight in the box and dare you to throw it deep, but credit John Shoop for sticking to his game plan. The game plan that has been in place for almost two seasons now and produced a division champion.
This offense is not the Oakland Raiders or even the run and shoot Houston Oilers these don't expect them to be. Why scrap the plan and start throwing the ball all over the place and creating turnovers for the other team.
Making changes to the game plan in place I am not opposed to. I loved the way Chris Chandler was able to step in and run this offense pretty flawlessly. His two-minute drill at the end of the half was a perfect example of what this offense can achieve. I think running a no huddle offense more can benefit the Bears, like I said before short and quick passes are a staple of this offense. I enjoyed watching Jim Kelly do it in the early 90's and think that Chandler, who was named starter yesterday, can have the same success. This offense is going to be just fine, as will this team. Shoop will make the necessary adjustments to the attack and Chandler has been around this league long enough to burn teams if they stack the box against Thomas. We all know he throws a great "deep ball" and he will use it at the right times. I think its about time to get off John Shoop's back and let him do what he does best win football games.