Tight Ends Focus of  Offense

We have been talking two tight end formations since Greg Olsen was drafted last year.  By the looks of it the Bears are working hard to make sure they can get Olsen and Desmond Clark on the field together often.

While the identity of the starting wide receivers remains a mystery a week into training camp, the Bears are using more double-tight formations than ever. One of the dominant ones in the passing game has been the Ace package, in which Greg Olsen replaces fullback Jason McKie. It's an interesting formation because Olsen has been lining up all over the place -- at fullback, in the slot and split wide. He and Desmond Clark are paired with two receivers in a one-back formation, and the possibilities are numerous.

The idea is to get a favorable matchup with Clark and Olsen on smaller or slower defenders, but to make it work, the offense must prove it is not only willing, but also effective in runningl out of the formation.

In practice, the defense initially defended the Ace with a nickel package, taking strong-side linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer out in favor of defensive back Danieal Manning. The offense ran the defense out of the look, and now it's a matter of down and distance. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner expects that what will happen during the season, but Olsen is a wild card for opponents.

''We've got two real good tight ends,'' Turner said. ''We've got to get them on the field. We're working those guys in a lot of different places and trying to do some different things with them.''

Assuming the Bears defense returns to form which I think most of think it can, a solid run game and productive tight ends will go a long way to getting us back to the  playoffs.

 

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