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Bears' Turner likes his options on offense
By Lindsey Willhite | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/10/2009 12:04 AM

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After living for a little more than a week in an Olivet Nazarene dorm room, Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner relished the chance to sleep in his Northwest suburban bed Saturday night.

But while the players savored a Sunday in Chicago without work, Turner and the rest of the Bears' coaching staff returned to Bourbonnais early to push around X's and O's.

Make no mistake. Turner devotes time every day to discovering new ways to exploit Jay Cutler's right arm.

"It's not just me," Turner said. "We as a staff, we're always looking. The biggest thing is, how can we get our playmakers the ball?

"It's simple: The better players you have, the more you can do. When you have players that are intelligent and have versatility - not that we haven't in the past - but we have a lot of athletes. Then you can do more."

Cutler's arm serves as just one new piece to the suddenly intriguing puzzle that is the Bears' offense.

There's Matt Forte's enlarged brain and Greg Olsen's increased brawn. There's Orlando Pace's rare blend of brains and brawn - center Olin Kreutz calls Pace probably the greatest left tackle in NFL history - protecting Cutler's backside.

And if Devin Hester had a nickel for every time Bears coaches have praised his hefty improvement since the 2008 season ended, he'd be getting paid like the No. 1 receiver he believes himself to be.

"Not only is it Forte's second year in the system, he's extremely smart football-wise," Turner said. "Greg Olsen can line up at tight end and block the power running game. He can go out and line up like a wide receiver. You can put him in the slot.

"Devin can do the same thing. He's a very instinctive, smart player. And you can move them around. Every time you move them around and put them in different places, you've got a chance to create a matchup in your favor. That's what we're always looking for: matchups."

Lest Bears fans get too giddy thinking the upgraded passing game might lead to a Super Bowl, Turner offers a cautionary tale.

"Obviously, the better players you have, the more fun it is," Turner said. "But still, talking about all that creativity and all that, we're not going to go overboard.

"I told our guys we're going to win by being able to run the football and executing the basics. The other stuff will give you a play here and there."