Bears offense will be fired up

Speed will be of the essence — especially between plays — for coaches and players

In music, tempo is measured in beats per minute. In football, tempo may be measured in drops of sweat per minute.

The reason Bears have been practicing fast is they want to play fast, with tempo.

Their sequence of their plays will be paced more like the climax of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" than Brahms' Lullaby.

This is the most relevant thing we learned at Marc Trestman's first minicamp, and it is a departure from the way the Bears have been playing offense.

"We're going to try to play as fast as we can," new offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said.

Going as fast as possible is nothing new for Kromer. He was part of the Saints offense that was a blur between plays.

"We went as quickly as we possibly could as long as we knew our assignments," said Saints import Jermon Bushrod, the new left tackle. "We didn't want to let the clock run down too far. Get in, get out of the huddle, hustle back to the line."

What's the rush? When it comes to offensive football, haste can make defensive waste.

"You are keeping the pressure on the defense," Kromer said. "You're not letting them digest what's happening. Then you're dictating the tempo of the game. They'll have to do something to get it to slow down or stop."

When offensive players play fast, they force defensive players to do the same. That can lead to fatigue, mental lapses and an inability to substitute.

"The more you go tempo on offense, the more you can confuse the defense," Bushrod said. "The more we know what's going on and they don't, the better off we'll be. We're just trying to keep the defense on their heels."

The Bears are not the only team striving for tempo. Tom Brady's Patriots are the NFL's kings of tempo. Nobody does it better.

The Lions are fast movers. The other day Peyton Manning made a point to say he would like the Broncos to play with more tempo. And new Eagles coach Chip Kelly plans on having offensive players moving so fast that their game tape may look like time-lapsed photography.

The Bears won't be going all Kelly on us though. The difference is they presumably won't be using the no-huddle offense anywhere near as much as Kelly did at the University of Oregon. The no-huddle is tempo squared.

The Saints did not rank higher than 24th in the NFL in no-huddle use in any of the last four years, according to STATS. Last year they used the no-huddle 5.2 percent of the time.

Tempo starts with the play call. It has to get to the quarterback almost before the echo of the whistle sounding the last play.

That will be on Trestman. He will call the plays and he will call them directly to Jay Cutler. There will be no middleman.

"It's a way you can get it quicker to the quarterback," Kromer said. That's the other advantage of it. You want to get the play in as fast as possible to let the quarterback gather as much information as he can of the defense. So as soon as the play is over, we're going to try to get the next play in."

At select times, Cutler even may be calling the plays. This is common in two-minute, no-huddle situations with veteran quarterbacks. But it's not like he will be drawing up plays in the dirt.

"The game plans are specific, and you can't get too far out of the box as far as play calls go," Kromer said. "As we grow to trust each other and understand what we both are trying to get done, between the coaches and the quarterback, that's always viable."

Which brings up another point about tempo. There needs to be a comfort level with all of the key players for it to work. All it takes is one dazed look to slow the fast break.

And with a new playbook, dazed looks should be expected.

The Bears offense should be able to move faster in September than May and faster in 2014 than 2013. The coaches have realistic expectations about how fast they will be able to move fast.

"We'll do as much as we can," Kromer said. "The more we can handle, the more we can do."

So the Bears offense hopes to perform at the tempo allegrissimo. But there may be times, especially early next season, when they need to slow to andante.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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