They are big, immobile and can’t block anybody but — unlike the Bears’ offensive line — the five orange safety cones that head coach Lovie Smith brought to practice late last week allowed the offense to successfully run some plays, which Smith credited for his team’s improvement in Sunday night’s 39-10 thrashing of the Vikings.
The cones are undrafted free agents that had spent the past few years stacked on top of each other in Smith’s shed and were especially impressive at giving quarterback Jay Cutler time to find open receivers in practice, when confused defenders tripped while trying to jump them or went out of their way to go around all of them before pursuing the play.
“Heck, yes I was impressed with the way the cones protected Jay,” Smith said in a post-game press conference. “Turns out you don’t need to be mobile to be a good offensive line. You just need to be stationary and not jump offsides all the time.”
Offensive line coach Mike Tice was equally high on the cones and the progress, though he was concerned about how the new group would fare in a real game in case the actual offensive line would again prove itself to be ineffective.
“I wonder about getting the cones out of the huddle and set up before the play clock runs out,” Tice said. “But, I mean, we have six other positions on offense that could help with that.
“Like, if everyone were designated a cone that they were responsible for carrying to and from the huddle… I think that would probably work just fine.”