Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler passes on chance to lobby for Plaxico Burress, Brandon Marshall

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Jay Cutler is ready to roll with the wide receivers he has on the roster right now.

Really, what else could the Bears' new quarterback say Wednesday afternoon when the team completed its offseason program. Players will show up Thursday, but the final day is usually reserved for a bowling outing. There will not be any more work on the field.

"I'm 100 percent comfortable [with the wide receivers],'' Cutler said. "I think we added some depth with some younger guys and then some of the older veterans are stepping up and playing well. So I think we've got more than enough to compete.''

It's easy to link Cutler with his former teammate Brandon Marshall, who has made it public he would like to be traded out of Denver. The Bears would seem more likely to pursue a guy like Plaxico Burress. With the Broncos already holding the Bears' first-round pick in 2010, the Bears don't have a lot of ammunition to trade. Then, they would have to hand Marshall the contract he's seeking that has him upset in the first place. Marshall has had more off-field trouble than Burress, who faces gun charges in New York.

"I haven't talked to Brandon Marshall,'' Cutler said. "He's a great player, Brandon is, and I played with him for three years, put up a lot big numbers with him, and wherever he ends up, obviously he's going to be successful. Whether or not it's here, that's up to the guys upstairs, but as of right now, I'm 100 percent happy with what we've got."

The Bears have touched base with Burress' agent Drew Rosenhaus about the player.

"If it [the Bears land Burress], it happens,'' Cutler said. "I'm not going to speculate on whether or not we're going to go get him or not. The guys we have right now, I'm 100 percent confident in and comfortable with. We'll just have to wait down the road and see what happens with that.''

Devin Hester and Earl Bennett spent most of the time with the first team at practice. Brandon Rideau and Rashied Davis were also worked in.

"I think we've got one,'' Cutler said when asked if the team had a No. 1 wide receiver. "I think we've got one in Devin, and I think Earl is going to be dangerous on the back side as well."

*** Linebackers Brian Urlacher, Hunter Hillenmeyer, Nick Roach and Joey LaRocque were sidelined. Urlacher is dealing with a groin injury. Running back Matt Forte (hamstring) was also out. Check back later on for more updates.


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16 Comments

If the Bears really are taking a hard look at Plax, then I am not so sure they are as happy with Bennett as they say. Their talent evaluation has been so bad for so long it's hard to get a feel of the talent level on this team. They keep guys who are bad players longer than most teams and often release guys who are solid players without ever giving them a shot. It's easy for them to know if Plax and Cutler are good because they have already proved it, but for guys who have not proved it yet or have not gotten a shot, well they just don't seem to have a clue.

To be fare to Bennett he is playing out of his natural position, the Bears have a lot of guys who fill the mold of Slot reciever and a couple that belong at Flanker but they don't have a true Split End. The only thing you really need to be a Split End over a Flanker is the ablity to beat the Jam and the best ones tend to be built like a cross between a reciever and a TE. You generally need a guy who can do what a reciever and a TE can do, a big bodied threat down the field who can block, beat the Jam and be a big end zone threat who can go up and get the ball rather than grabbing it on the run all or most of the time. Fitzgerald is the prototype were Smith is the exception. I am not so sure Bennett fits that billing, in fact I don't know of a guy on the Bears who does.

Wow 100% settled with what we have now. I guess the easiest way to tell will be opening day in Green Bay that will tell the entire NFL how competent the Bears receiver core is and what types of numbers they can help Jay put up. This may work since the surprise will be hedged towards the Bears in how Green Bays secondary will have to cover them in the game. I will give the edge to the Bears here but live Lovie said earlier keep the door open for someone to help. Nothing will be worst than having a sub par season based on poor route running, poor defensive hot reads, dropped passes and injuries. Unlike the Bulls maybe this time the Bears could pull it off and wind up a division champion.

It's obvious Jay isn't trying to upset anybody but Ibet if he was asked off of the record he would state how much Marshall or Burress would help us out he's just trying to make the young players feel he has confidence in them but even he won't deny how much one of those guys would upgrade our offense.

wow, that tells me Cutler wants Burress (he's not stupid) but he's mature enough to say the right things! So much for the non maturity bs.
I like Hester and Bennet alot - but we need that experienced WR to go to the Super Bowl - which I feel we can do this year. The D vets are not getting younger.

`Cutler placed a call to Burress shortly after he was traded to the Bears, and the Bears have touched base with Burress' agent Drew Rosenhaus about the player.'

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall during that conversation! The Bears players as a whole seem to endorse Burress, but I am sure it will come down to money and who gives Burress the best opportunity to go back to the big dance. and which GM/Coach feels he is over his mental malfunction.
Burress or Harrison are the most likely candidates as Brad and others have pointed out - we have no more trade bait lol imagine Da Bears with no trade bait left! I don't think I ever saw that in all my years as a Bears fan.

You make some excellent points annonymous, we (and the Bears) have no idea what we have in WR, but the Coach/GM keeps leaving the door open to picking someone up. If they think Bennet can't do it - then maybe he can do it LOLOL as you are right Bears Coaches/GM seem to get rid of the players that wind up on other teams, and keep the ones that don't accomplish much. Which is one of the main reasons for liking the Cutler trade, we know what we have in Cutler as opposed to 2 birds in the bush.

Rosenhaus and JA seem to be able to business very well together. Burress will want to go to a team that he feels can win now(and does anybody beleive that would be the Jets or Bucs?). Cutler has reached out to Plax and yet has said all the right words so as not to alienate the young guys. The team leaders of the Bears have given JA their blessing. I believe all things point to Burress as a Bear! Go Bears!

I'm so tired of hearing people talk about the Bears needing WRs. Ok, sure the Bears don't have an established All-Pro WR yet, but that is mostly because of the past QB position. Now that Mr. Angelo pulled off the impossible by signing Cutler, watch the Bear WRs come to life.

When will people learn that a team doesn't need All-Pro WRs to win! If these big time WRs were really that important, than Chad Johnson and Anquan Boldin would have beed traded by now. Teams around the NFL all realize that you don't need to give up 1st round picks for WRs because the average player that you get in the 4th round can step up with a big time QB. That IS what will happen this year with the Bear WRs. The QB and offensive line are the most important parts of an offensive. If you have those positions settled, than you can plug ALMOST any RB and WR in the scheme and it will work.

I've said it for years and different teams around the NFL has proven it over and over that the WR IS OVERRATED!!!

I really like our WRs, especially Devin Hester. Hester is a really great weapon. However, with Jay Cutler's ability, I think the other WRs will have a great year too and this time next year nobody will be talking this shit.

I think that the Bears should trade Rashid Davis and Kevin Jones for Marshall, that way our passing game would look like the Broncos last year with the addition of a kick a** RB/receiver in Forte and the Broncos' offense will look the Bears last year except for a kick a** RB like Forte. Completely ironical. But if all ye fails then certainly sign Plax.

Go Bears.

Is anyone surprised that Marshall wants out of Denver?? What receiver in their right mind would want to play with Kyle Orton as the QB?? I told you all and I'll keep on saying it.....ORTON SUCKS and everyone knows it!!!!!!!!!!GO BEARS!!!!

Why are we still talking about Orton?

I think back to the 2006 SB when Rex threw those two interceptions. He said afterward that he threw them up high to give Moose a chance to go up and get it. They simply looked like dying quail thrown in desparation to me. And then you think what a Larry Fitzgerald or an Andre Johnson would be able to do with it. They would be able to come down with those. That's what you'd like to have; someone who can come down with the ball in a jump-ball situation.

Devin Hester is quick and fast and has the ability to break one, but he's not a go-to guy when the QB's in trouble, because he needs the ball to be thrown to catchable spots; he's not going to out-muscle and out-leap defenders. The same can be said for most of the other receivers on the Bears' roster.

I hope Brandon Rideau emerges to become that guy. I don't know if he's strong enough, but I think he has a chance.

Cutler's mobility, and upgrades at OT, should give him a chance to scramble, buy time and create opportunities for the young receivers to uncover.

Cutler was able to connect with a rookie over 90 times last year. Marshall is definitely talented, but he was a 5th rounder. It could not have been easy to predict the success of the Bronco's passing game given the pedigree and experience of their wideouts.

As far as playing split-end...it definitely takes unique talent to play on the line and beat the jam. Strength and size are certainly beneficial attributes to possess, but speed and quickness can be just as effective.

Watching highlights of the OTA practices, Hester is incredibly explosive coming off of the line and moving in/out of his breaks. I am not the biggest fan of his hands downfield, but beating the jam should not be a problem.

Last year, we saw how the commitment to a veteran can stall the development of younger prospects. I am very optimistic about Iglesias and (especially) Knox. It would be unfortunate if their development was slow-tracked in order to accommodate a potentially disruptive personality.

the bears need plax period, this group will not lead the bears to a win in the superbowl. you notice i said win in the superbowl. you need at least one game breaker in the big game. the giants won because plax caught that pass when it looked like they were going to lose. plus the type of pass jay throws is perfect for plax. even if he doesn't play till the second half he'll give the team the type of boost necessary to go all the way. this is not the young recievers fault because the bears wasted money and time on recievers
who had no business on last years team. i feel that jay will bridge
the gap from them missing time on the field last year. remember those great coaches asked bennette a rookie to learn three recievers
positions last year, so they wasted a whole year of playing time. the coaches won't do that this year. the devlopment of young players
is key to a teams salary cap and team's future. it'll be good for the young guys to be able to play and grow till plax come in go bears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous,

Being happy with Bennett has nothing to do with interest in Plax.
Right now, they just are not settled on a number one and number two receiver. It's all up in the air. To improve your chances of improving the wide receiver corp, you need to have some proven players in the group. That is where Plax comes in. It is surely possible that without Plax, we will find our number 1 and 2 wide outs out of the current group....but currently, that is an unknown.

By midseason, we will all know whether Bennett was a good choice or not. Hopefully, we will also know what we have in the rest of the wide outs as well.

Creighton:

I hear you on Plaxico but still feel team chemistry is more important to ensure team success. Yes the Giants won it all with Plaxico but it wasn't just Plaxico in that game, the TD he caught to win it he was wide open, no contest.

The big play in that game was the scramble and miraculous catch to allow for the TD by Plaxico and Manning.

Plaxico begs out of practice and was a problem in NY and Pittsburgh. Why do you think he was cut?

Why pick up a bad apple and risk ruining the entire bushel?

Burress could have killed someone with that gun, he will be going to jail. Why would a team like the BEars tacitly support such a criminal? And yes, if convicted he would be a criminal.

dahlilama;
but I wonder why the Bears players are in favor of Plax coming here? including the most important player - the QB? and coulda shoulda woulda is not a criminal (of that ilk) - that would be murder which no one has even suggested.
We could probably do with a different experienced WR, but I feel the Coaches/GM will look at Plax and decide if he is mentally a risk factor and I will go with what they decide in that regard, however for Cutler to call Plax is a very big deal, and speaks volumes of how the players feel about him.
An incentive laden contract never hurt anyone - including the fans

Val; by midseason it will be too late to go back and pick up a experienced WR. Too late is a major problem

I feel there are several experienced WR available, any one of which I would like to see as a Bear - Plax is the best of the bunch and it depends on what the GM/Coach feels after evaluation.

Yeah, Val, I agree we are not settled on a No. 1 yet. Cutler supported Hester as No. 1 - but thats just good sense on his part, everyone and his brother knows Cutler would like Plax/Marshall. But Hester supported Cutler back at him too, so a good move by Cutler in supporting his guys. Cutler has said all the right things - which a immature player would not have been able to pull off, so I have no doubts about Cutler's maturity, I just feel Ditka etc.. are helping Lovie by motivating Cutler.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on June 17, 2009 2:09 PM.

Lovie happy with roster as it, but doesn't rule out Plaxico Burress was the previous entry in this blog.

Safety picture begins to clear; Hanie in position as No. 2 QB is the next entry in this blog.

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