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This year, the TE Tandem Will Keep Young WRs Riding the Pine

Soon after the blockbuster trade for Jay Cutler, Bears fans turned their collective attention to the seemingly puny wide receiver corps (there’s always something with us, isn’t there?). After flirtations with Boldin and Burress, it looks like the Bears will enter the regular season with their current stable of young receivers. I’ll admit, I was initially intrigued at the prospects of adding a veteran to help show the young guns the ropes. But if the Denver game is any indication, maybe it’s time for us to let go of our obsession with the receivers on the other end of Cutler’s lasers.

Of the Bears 34 offensive plays with Cutler under center in the first half, the Bears lined up…

  • With 2 TEs and 2 WRs 23 times.
  • In a standard I formation (2 RBs, 1 TE and 2 WR) 5 times.
  • With a 3-WR set just 6 times.

What’s this mean? In 82% of their offensive plays in the first half, they only had 2 WRs on the field at the same time. And for nearly 70% of the total plays, they went with Olsen and Clark at the same time, often with one or the other split out wide. It’s just one game, but if we’re only going to have 3 or more WRs on the field 3 out of 10 offensive plays, maybe it’s time to stop agonizing over which receivers after Hester and Bennett are going to make final 53-man roster.


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