Chicago Sun-Times

4 days to Camp: It's wide open when it comes to Bears' receivers

| 34 Comments | No TrackBacks

earl727.jpg

Saving the biggest puzzle for last, we conclude our position-by-position training camp previews with, what else, the wide receivers.

Projected starters: Devin Hester, 5-11, 190, 4th season, Miami; Earl Bennett, 6-0, 204, 2nd season, Vanderbilt

Others

Devin Aromashodu, 6-2, 201, 3rd season, Auburn
John Broussard, 6-1, 181, 2nd season, San Jose State
Rashied Davis, 5-9, 187, 5th season, San Jose State
Juaquin Iglesias, 6-1, 205, Rookie, Oklahoma
Derek Kinder, 6-1, 202, Rookie, Pittsburgh
Johnny Knox, 6-0, 185, Rookie, Abilene Christian
Eric Peterman, 6-1, 202, Rookie Northwestern
Brandon Rideau, 6-3, 198, 3rd season, Kansas

Projected depth chart

WR: Hester, Davis, Knox
WR: Bennett, Iglesias, Rideau

2009 salary cap numbers

Devin Aromashodu $465,200
Earl Bennett $595,409
John Broussard $390,200
Rashied Davis $1,581,666
Devin Hester $6,885,833
Juaquin Iglesias $554,900
Derek Kinder $319,416
Johnny Knox $361,060
Eric Peterman $310,666
Brandon Rideau $465,200

Number of wide receivers on the roster at the start of the 2008 season: 6

Projected number of wide receivers on 2009 roster at start of the season: 6

The skinny: From general manager Jerry Angelo on down the Bears know they don't have this position where it needs to be. Angelo acknowledged the Bears would have used their first-round draft pick on a wide receiver had they not traded the pick to acquire Jay Cutler. Then, he tried to trade for Anquan Boldin when the draft began. Finally, the Bears did enough snooping around on Plaxico Burress to earn their Jr. Inspector Clouseau badge. Think right about now Burress wishes now he'd done his couple months in the pokey? It looks highly unlikely that Burress will help Cutler and the Bears this season and that puts the onus on Cutler to make some of these players better. Ideally, the Bears would be in a situation where they would only keep five receivers on the roster, but if Iglesias (third round) and Knox (fifth round) earn roster spots, as expected, they'll probably need to try to cover for the inexperience with numbers. Say what you want, and we're not demeaning any of the players at this position, but it's a quantity over quality matter here. Quite frankly, that could help Rideau in his bid to win a job.



So how much better can Cutler make the Bears' receivers? There is certainly something to a quarterback making a wide receiver better but he's not the difference between Eddie Royal's 91 catches as a rookie last season in Denver and Bennett's 0 catches as a rookie last season. Cutler isn't going to clone Brandon Marshall in the Olivet Nazarene dorm rooms, either. He can make the receivers better and that starts with them developing a trust and a rapport. Cutler has to know what the receiver is going to do before he does it. That comes with reps, lots of them.

Hester performed better in the final third of last season, but the idea that he's going to become a No. 1 wide receiver is a stretch. How many wideouts are really in that category? Ten? Maybe 12? Hester isn't going to approach the kind of production and dominance you see out of an Andre Johnson or a Larry Fitzgerald. That's not the kind of player he is. That doesn't mean he doesn't have the skill and opportunity (see Cutler) to be productive and good this season. That is provided the Bears have enough other targets around him to spread defenses out. Tight end Greg Olsen should do a nice job occupying the middle third of the field. It's up to someone on the other side of Hester to produce. Bennett gets the first chance by default, and he's got a track record with Cutler from the receiver's freshman season at Vanderbilt. It's going to be interesting to watch them work together, and you'll get a sense for how things are coming along in preseason.

Davis was completely out of position last season through no fault of his own, and the Bears would be best served to return him to the slot and leave him there. If he can get some confidence back in his game, he'll be able to make contributions. After that, it's a cast of completely unproven characters. Iglesias and Knox have draft status, as does the seventh rounder Kinder. No one seemed particularly wowed with Iglesias during the offseason program and Knox needs to prove his speed will translate when the pads come on. The good news, especially for Iglesias, is you can't put much of anything into the offseason workouts. Rideau received opportunities with the first team during OTA's and and that means nothing now. If he can continue to get those chances and capitalize on them, he'll be able to play when it counts in preseason. Then it will matter. He led the league with three touchdowns in preseason last year and all that did was land him back on the practice squad. He's got good size and long arms and if he can play like a big target, he could emerge as a possible contributor.

The upside: If you're going to shoot big, shoot real big. The upside for Hester would have to be about 70-75 catches and eight to 10 touchdowns. That would probably exceed the expectations of most. The Bears would then get 40-50 receptions out of Bennett and find a reliable third target to come up with 20-25 catches. Factor in the tight ends and running back Matt Forte catching the ball out of the backfield, and Cutler has just had himself a solid season. Be realistic about the rookies. Keep in mind that the franchise record for receptions by a rookie wide receiver is 45 by Harlon Hill in 1954. Since then, Willie Gault in 1983 is the only rookie to reach 40 catches.

The downside: The Bears have lived the downside. They're acutely aware of what the downside looks like at this position. You should be too.

On the hot seat: Everyone but the players. Bennett is being thrust into a starting role that he really hasn't done anything to earn. If it doesn't pan out for him, or the other options that are tried, who is really to blame here? The Bears have done a haphazard job of finding players for the position, and they really haven't looked that hard since launching Muhsin Muhammad and declining to slap the franchise tag on Bernard Berrian. It would be unfair to place great expectations on this group because, you know what, we doubt there are many at Halas Hall with great expectations here. The Bears are hoping a Pro Bowl quarterback, a good tight end and a sound running game help them get by with these wide receivers.

Final thought: This is still the team that gets off the bus running, right?

Previous previews:

Quarterback

Defensive end

Running back

Defensive tackle

Fullback

Linebacker

Offensive line

Cornerbacks

Tight ends

Safeties

Special teams

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/24601

34 Comments

The WR's will be alright. Let's just let the kids play, before we start calling them worthless. A lot of guys are caught up with TITLES! No. 1 WR, No. 2 WR, etc., etc.. And the fact of the matter is, they don't account for much of nothing! What does matter, is if these guys can get a lil seperation and catch the ball when it's thrown to them. That's it, that's all!!! An example I'll use is Wes Welker. He is not a No. 1 WR. Nor would he be considered one, if he became a free agent. Yet this dude still goes out and catches 111 receptions. More than anyone on his team. Including the great Randy Moss! Now some will argue that Moss drew a lot of coverage. Yes, that's true. But that doesn't mean that Welker was uncovered. The bottom line is, that he got a lil seperation and caught the ball when it was thrown to him. So lets not make it more than it truly is! Now that we have a QB that will actually pull the trigger and not check down, I believe we will see a lil more from our WR group.

Another thing to look at is the damage that Orton was able to do with Brandon Lloyd. Of all people. If the coward would have played the entire season, things might've been different. Is Lloyd considered a No. 1 WR? Hecks No! But they did do a lil damage. Now we have guys that are just as talented, if not more, and a QB that will pull the trigger. Our group should be alright.

Not really sure who I'm pulling for to make the team. Ultimately, I want the best 6-7 guys to make the squad. I'm kind of partial to the younger guys, due to all the complaining about them being a weak group and the constant cry for a more experienced guy in the group. If we sign a guy, cool. If not, then I'm cool with that also. But I will not call them worthless until they prove that. Just catch the damn ball!!! Go Bears!!!

Devin Hester $6,885,833 Thats a lot of money for average play.
Rashied Davis $1,581,666 Thats a lot of money for drops a lot.

I agree with Reggie. Lets not start making prejudiced opinions. The main problems last season as far as the passing game is concerned were:
1. Orton could not throw the ball deep and accurate enough.
2. Too many drops from the WR corps.
3. Opposing team DBs cramping the space and not allowing our WR to break the coverage. I say a lot of it is due to the inexperience.
4. By far one of the biggest problems on our offense was the inability to sustain drives. Sometimes it looked as if the Bears thought having the greatest number of punts is the winning ticket.

We got problem#1 solved. There is nothing the coaches can do about #2 except have the WRs practice more and more but come gameday is the WRs drop the balls there is nothing you can do. I am not sure if problem #3 is solved. Sure Hester has gained all of what 1 year worth of experience? And all our other WRs have not played a single game?
With our TEs, RBs, Cutler with a small amount of contribution from our WRs we should see longer sustained drives leading to more points this season. I dont think its realistic to expect our WRs to get as open as a cow grazing the prairies but at the same time trashing them even before we have seen them in a real game is unrealistic too.

Prejudiced? Sorry I have to disagree with that, as The stats are not prejudiced, they are reality, and the reality is, we do not have an experienced WR ont he Roster. Don't prejudge the (basically) rookies? cmon, be for real, they have no experience, I love Hester as a WR but even I would not consider him a No. 1 yet, I do like our potential but to build a team on potential is just plain stup..I feel Brad said it best, (see below) Now I am not saying I do not like our young WR, I do especially like Hester and Bennet and the potential of the rooks we drafted, Davis?? maybe the slot will help, but if I am going into battle I would for sure want some vets somewhere in that position as opposed to potential.


'`So how much better can Cutler make the Bears' receivers? There is certainly something to a quarterback making a wide receiver better but he's not the difference between Eddie Royal's 91 catches as a rookie last season in Denver and Bennett's 0 catches as a rookie last season. Cutler isn't going to clone Brandon Marshall in the Olivet Nazarene dorm rooms, either.
Hester performed better in the final third of last season, but the idea that he's going to become a No. 1 wide receiver is a stretch. How many wideouts are really in that category? Ten? Maybe 12? ''

Potential?? what will that buy at the front line?? Thats like saying the draft picks we gave up for Cutler are ProBowlers everyone.
I saw where the Ravens picked up a Vet.

Thank you ever so much Brad, for the 'snooping around'comment and the fantastic award: 'Jr. Inspector Clouseau badge!' ...sooo funny...Stealing that(smile) if I may.

i said it once and i will say it again. Compare Hesters first two seasons as a wide out with Curtis Conway's first two with the bears, then look at Conway's third season,and the fact that that was Erik Kramer's first non-injury season with the bears and look at the production of conway. The offensive coordinator was the same,and now take into consideration that Conway and Hester really aren't that much different in terms of skill, speed, height, weight etc. i would take conway's third year numbers and i still believe if healthy, we will get that from hester. Look at Berrians third year, 2006. Look at his progression year from year. We had the same offensive coordinator, and berrian was similar to hester in size, speed, skill as well. The third year is a huge year for a reciever and i think Hester will break out, the trends point me in that direction

Randy, I get what you are saying. But when you talk about stats you can only talk about Hester and Davis, not the rookies. I agree that Hester's and Davis's numbers have not been too good but all I am saying is dont jump to conclusions. We have a really good QB who can make real good throws. Why don't we wait for the season to start before even beginning to form opinions? Especially with the rookies who have not played a single game.
And why so hung up on the WRs? As long as the offense puts up points on the board by any means who cares? Infact it's better because the probability of a player scoring points is now spread wider between the RB, the TE and the WR, and we have pretty good RBs and TEs. The DC would have quite a lot to deal with if he has to make sure that all the 3 positions are covered which could mean less double-teams and more potential to score points.

I agree with Biggs, we don't really have a true #1 on the roster. It would be nice to get a 60-70 catch season out of Devin Hester. And I see no reason Hester can't, especially with Cutler gunning the ball now. Hester started to come on late last season, he should only get better in only his second season as a starter. If Hester and Cutler can get a rapport together, and with Cutlers strong arm on top of his accuracy with the deep ball, Hester could have some monster numbers yardage wise. Hester should do fine as Chicago's flanker, and in the slot Rashied Davis will do fine at a position he is better suited for. Jay Cutler's ability to buy time in the pocket will also do wonders for the receivers.

What Chicago needs is a split end, 2nd year receiver Earl Bennett will get the first shot at the job. At 6-0 Bennett isn't as big as your prototypical split end, but that doesn't mean he can't do the job. Also, I see Bennett has bulked up to 204lbs from his 190lb frame as a rookie. Bennett's biggest problem as a rookie was the playbook and having to learn all three positions as a rookie, the fact Chicago basically came out and told everyone this proves he should be catching on playbook wise. I doubt the Bears would have wanted anyone knowing about Bennett's playbook problems had he still been having problems with it. The fact Bennett and Cutler worked together will work in Bennett's favor also. Bennett put up some monster numbers in a tough SEC conference, he's the SEC's all-time leader in catches, so he has the hands. If Bennett can carry over his ability to seperate he could be a good one in the makings.

Of the rookies Juaquin Iglesias could contribute early, he's got some good hands and pretty good size at 6-1 205lbs. 7th rounder Derek Kinder could be one to watch also, he's a former semifinalist for the Biletnikoff and was named first team All-Big East as a junior. Kinder could surprise being a couple seasons removed from his torn acl. And Knox has got the 4.3 speed but he's pretty raw. It should be interesting to see who comes on out of the rookies, I like Kinder, we'll see, camps right around the corner can't wait to watch #6 gun it for the Bears GO BEARS!!

The facts are that rookies typically (more often than not)can't really be counted on to be a go to guy when the pressure is on such as in the playoffs.

The Bears will do fine during the season with Hester, Olsen and Davis catching passes and don't let me forget Forte out of the backfield.

If the Bears truly expect to make it to the Super Bowl and maybe even win it, it is truly most likely to do so they need a veteran WR to compliment Hester. Like it or not they truly need that veteran presence to help during the season but more importantly in the playoffs.

The Bears will have opportunities to pick up a vet WR after cuts or even with a trade of Bears starters that may be on the edge of being cut themselves like Hillenmeyer or McKie etc.

They need to make the move to obtain a proven vet, Brandon Marshall may be one to be picked up. Everyone was astounded when the Bears traded for Cutler well it can be done again to obtain Marshall. It would be a good move and I believe the Donkey's are in a rebuilding mode, want good attitudes on the team therefore Marshall may be expendable.

JA, if you pick up Marshall, statue number two will be erected in Chicago in your honor.

JA make it happen.

Reggie are you kidding me? Your putting Welker in with our guys? First off he is in a different system, he is in probably the best passing system in the NFL. Second Welker was always good even in Miami, he started 1 game his first season and accounted for 434 yards and 29 receptions, his second season he started 2 games and accounted for 687 yards and 67 receptions, his 3rd season he had 1175 yards in 13 games started and 112 receptions and last year he had 1165 yards in 14 games and 111 receptions. Please point out to me when he was as bad as any reciever on this team.

Hester is in his third season as a reciever not his first or second, Bennett could not get open when he was on the field last year and Davis is brutal. Your saying give them a chance but they had a chance last year and they did nothing with it. In fact last years group was better than this years. This group actually got worse.

By Arjun on July 27, 2009 8:36 AM
I agree with Reggie. Lets not start making prejudiced opinions. The main problems last season as far as the passing game is concerned were:
1. Orton could not throw the ball deep and accurate enough.
2. Too many drops from the WR corps.
3. Opposing team DBs cramping the space and not allowing our WR to break the coverage. I say a lot of it is due to the inexperience.

How can you agree with him and then say one of the main problems was that the recievers dropped to many passes. Dropping passes is not on Orton it's on the recievers. Hester dropped his share of passes last year and if he can drop them from Orton he can drop them from Cutler. By the way it's not called "Cramping the space" it's called jamming and good DB's around the NFL do it all the time. The Bears have always had a problem with it, one of the main reasons is they don't have a split end or a real threat at reciever who can muscle the DB's. You don't see guys trying to Jam Ward, Fitz, Smith or Johnson because guys like that will make you pay. I have said it a hundred times over, the Bears cannot beat the Jam.

Last thought Conway was actually in a running offense and was never really given much to work with when he was with the Bears early on. Turner runs a WCO, you know a pass first offense, they actually pass more then they run and always have when is the OC.


I agree that the third year is a huge year for a receiver but I think a better comparison to Hester is Steve Smith from Carolina. He also shows improvement from year to year and his third year is where showed people where he would be at as a receiver. You just can't compare Hester with Berrian...Hester 5-11 (yeah right), 190 lbs, 4.44 40 yd dash. Devin Hester displays quick, shifty movements in traffic and a good top end speed. Berrian 6-1, 185 (yeah right), 4.38 yd dash. Bernard Berrian is a straight line runner capable of one move. These guys are totally different players in terms of size, speed and skill. I hope that Hester blossoms this year and Bennett shows that he can be a dependable go to guy because we really haven't had that in a long time. I am in a holding pattern on all the remaining receivers including Davis.

Will the current group strike fear in opposing defenses? No, likely not.

Will having these guys sit on the bench help them to develop? No likely not.

Are the Bears a pass first to open up the run team? No, definitely not?

Will Hester/Knox's speed and Culter's ability open up the field? Yes, quite likely?

Isn't Olsen more of a WR in disguise anyway? Yes, quite likely?

Where the heck is that Tyrenne guy who caught that pass in the SB? Was he a headline grabber? No, he wasn't?

Is Ron Turner's philosophy to pull the defense in and take occasional shots down field? Yes.

Do we have enough to execute this philosophy? Yes.

The one place where have a 'Go to #1' could potential hurt, is when they get behind and MUST pass. If the Bear's can stay out of that position more often than not, than I don't think this will be a problem at all.

God, the cool-aide taste great! I can't freakin' wait

I don't know who will come out of the bunch to play, but somebody will. Remember the Pack in '07? Driver was supposed to be over the hill. Jennings was in his second year as a second round pick from Nowheresville. Jones was a rookie third rounder from San Jose WhichState?

And Favre comes out and said they are young but the Pack has as much talent as anybody he's played with. Nobody believes him. They go out and have a great season passing the ball and almost make the Super Bowl. (You may also note that Jones disappeared when Favre left)

The reason is that elite quarterbacks always find somebody to play catch with. It's as simple as that. The Bears have a whole list of talented, but young receivers. Cutler will find a couple that he likes, believe it. It's going to be OK, and it's going to be fun to see which cream comes to the top.

Cutler throwing to these guys is a lot better than Orton throwing to Hester and Hakim Nicks. Actually I think it's better than Orton throwing to Burress, Hester, and Nicks.

Creighton, learn how to read and type before you go attacking my post! And get your facts straight before you go spewwing out your constant garbage, that does nothing but ruin this blog. Never once did I compare Wes Welker to anyone on the bears roster. And never once did I say he was a bad player. I said he is not a No. 1 WR. Plain and simple. But he catches the ball when its thrown to him, regardless of his title. You create controversy for no reason. You spend entirely too much time trying to prove other bloggers wrong! Instead of actually contributing to the blog, you take away from it with your non-stop, mispelled and inaccurate attacks on others. Going to several different websites to pull stats don't impress me or anyone else. We all can do that. Most just speak off the top of their heads and give their good hearted opinions. Leave people alone and get a life!!!! Go Bears!!!

Let me just say right now, for the record, that Brad Biggs is a blessing to Bears fans everywhere. While other news outlets, writers and bloggers have taken the last few weeks as an opportunity to vacation or bask in the calm before the storm that we all know as 2009 Bears training camp, Brad has taken his coverage to another level. Since I live outside of Chicago this is exactly the kind of coverage I would expect to pay for in an NFL season preview publication (which wouldn't be as good btw). To top it off he has been incorporating Football Outsiders data! Thanks so much for all you are doing. It is a great escape from this crazy world and time that we are living in.


People!

Hold on we will see soon enough I am not concerned at all about our receiving core at this point. However, the individual that compared Hester speed wise to Berrian is way off. Hester is probably two steps faster than Steve Smith that is saying a lot; I agree with the post of comparing Hester to a young Steve Smith vs. Bernard B.

As I posted before if the defense tries to jam a true burner and miss that means he is running stride for stride with a Hester there are probably 2-3 DB's in the league that can run with Hester, and I know the 2-3 is not on the G.B. Packers.

Think back to the years we were developing Berrian teams were afraid of his straightaway speed not his route running ability; it is my belief that Hester route running is better than Berrian.

Stay Tuned for the 4X1 relay Hester puts on 9/13/2009.

By Creighton on July 27, 2009 10:08 AM
How can you agree with him and then say one of the main problems was that the recievers dropped to many passes.
Creighton, did you even understand what I said before you shot off your mouth, like always? WRs dropped passes that should have been caught last season. Period. No excuses. However you cannot simply trash them for the upcoming season based on their performance last season. Sure it can be a pointer but they could also improve and become dependable. There is no way to gauge that unless they play a few games. And 'cramping the space' or 'jamming' - who the hell cares, you understood what I was talking about. That's the point.
How was that not clear in what I wrote? How do agreeing that the WRs dropped passes last season and then saying we should hold off before we trash them contradict each other? I just stated a fact but mentioned we should not be drawing conclusions just based on last season's performance. How is that contradictory? Seriously dude, you need to clear your head before you post.

Wow. Brad speaks and the world listens. I've seen his comments about Juaquin Iglesias reprinted on at least three different fantasy sites today.

For instance on Fanball.com's NFL news: "Rookie Juaquin Iglesias has apparently been unimpressive so far this offseaon, according to the Chicago Sun-Times... Iglesias is no longer the front-runner to be the Bears' slot receiver this season, and doesn't figure to make much of an impact in the team's receiving corps in 2009."

We need a vet to cause a psychological distraction for the opponents so that Hester will be taken on single handedly. This way confusion will strike the opponent and our offense if well oiled will be an excellent and potentially deadly machine.

Go Bears!

Now will everyone drink a nice cup of shut the f up? and please read Hanz post.
The Vet WR does exactly that.....he would in no way hamper our young WR. He would force the D to play Hester and company honestly, - he could only help. I agree I like our potential but a vet would really open up the field and teach the young WR a thing or 2
But for anyone to say we will be fine with the WR we have now is pure speculation - which is bs.

hoj:
Best blog all summer! Short, simple, to the point. No over-analysis needed. Just cold hard facts that actually address the point. Well done my friend. (No offense to any other bloggers. You've kept me entertained all summer with fascinating trash talk, over analysis, and kool-aid. I don't know how I would have made it through the summer with out ya. Keep it up. Season's not here quite yet. Just felt like a little dap needed to be sent hoj's way.)

Here's my two cents on Cutler and Da Bears receiving corps:

I'm a fourth generation Bears fan and the day we become a passing first team with a weak defense is the day I choose another team. Chicago should only host a team that is black and blue that will punch you in face and spit you out on the field.

Which is why I'm so glad to have Cutler you say?! Yes. No more stacking the box with all 11 defenders. Opposing defenses will have to respect the deep ball now which means I'd like Turner to run the ball and then run the ball some more. When they come try and try to stop the run, bomb it to Hester, Knox, and Co. and then it run it some more. I've heard a lot of fans say they like to see Hester with 80 catches and 800 yards. I'd like to see him with 40 catches for 1000 yards combined with a butt load of carries for Jones and Forte equaling 2000 yards at least. It's time to lead the league in rushing again. Pass for show, run for dough.

I could care less about this years receivers. They're fast enough to keep safeties back. What else matters? Run the ball and play defense. This is Chicago Bear football we're talking about right?

Go Bears! Pop those cheese-heads and purple p*n*s eaters in the mouth.

I think the bears will be OK but i still think they should go for an Anquan Boldin,Plaxico Burress or a Brandon Marshall type of player or they should go for a Buffalo Bills WR we all know they have plenty of good ones I´d prefer a Marshall or Boldin, Boldin because we all know hes a great player and Marshall because I think him Hester and Cutler could be unstoppable all I ask for is a Pro-Bowl WR but please not another Muhsin Muhammad we all know how that turned out GO BEARS!!!!!

ahhh...hey reggie and arjun....dont you LOOSERS now who you our dealing with???? on this blog i am GOD ans everyone now taht i m allawys right and i only give facts!!! so wehn i tell you loosers that you said wes welker plays for the bears teh those are YOURE WORDS!!! so didnt you loosers now taht wleker plays for the patriots??? man teh both of you are SO STUPID!!! hyu hyu hyu...

oh ans i havent forgotenn you brando....did you see how many people were asking for me wehn i was gone????? did you notice them saying hey crap-ton see you in pink=panties for tyhe steelers game???? or gee crap-ton are you sure you can fit in your moms underwear?? yea i bet youre jellous at all the attention/

but you guys now me old crap-ton....just trying to be posative...

p.s. "I will be outside soilder field in a hot pink panties that say spank me"....so bring your camperas loosers!

What irks me about Earl Bennett is the fact that he got absolutely no catches last year. As Brad points out, plenty of rookie WRs go out and catch some passes. You don't even have to go as far as DeSean Jackson and Eddie Royal. Of the 15 WRs drafted during the first 3 rounds in last year's draft (remember there weren't any WRs taken in the 1st round), Bennett and the Bucs' Dexter Jackson (only played in the first 7 games of the season as a kick returner) were the only rookies to not catch a single pass. Doesn't that bother you, that he is all of a sudden considered a front-runner for the starting job? Is he really the best we got? Sure it's early in his carreer to pass judgement on it, but...

Calm down everybody...take a deep breath. Our beloved Bears have taken monumentous leaps forward this off-season that have truly impressed this old man and yet all I read is negative comments. Lets discuss the Positives;
1.Matt Forte
2.Greg Olson
3.Orlando Pace
4.Healed injuries
5. and oh yea....JAY "freaking" CUTLER!!!!!!!
We do have that long list of players(see above)that get paid to catch the ball the same as every other reciever in this league. With an improved O line, a SOLID run game, not 1 but 2 GREAT TE's, and Jay "freaking" Cutler slinging the rock we will win 10 games easy and possibly 12-13. Calm down people, and take the time to enjoy ALL the GOOD!

GO BEARS!!

who cares. Don't use them (receivers). Never have, never will. We
have a running game and 4 quality tight ends. That's what Ron Turner
does. That's what Ron Turner is. Worry about receivers with another
O coordinator. This one isn't going to use them.
One serious point though. Orlando Pace is a great pass blocker,
the rest of the O line are strong run blockers. There is a huge
difference between the two types. You can't just learn to consistently pass block in just the time frame of one season. The
O line is really where our worries begin and end.

Having a Pro Bowl QB sporting one of the best arms in the NFL, an improved offensive line, a solid running back with good hands, a good tight end tandem, and one of the shiftiest & fastest wide receivers (albeit unproven), provides our young, unproven receivers with a great (and rare) opportunity to impress and have a breakout season. Frankly, I would happy to see Bennett, Iglesias, Knox, Kinder, or any of the rest seize that opportunity. I am hopeful the talent is there for something special. Go Bears (from da middle of da Pacific)!

Gentleman, just got back last evening from AZ. A week of hiking, sky diving, rock climbing and drunken debauchery does well for the body and mind. If you ever get the chance to see the Grand Canyon it's absolutely amazing and, if you're the daring type, there are open-air place you can climb out on where it's nothing but you, a 3x5 rock ledge, and a long-long-long plummet to your demise. Unfortunately for some of you, I survived!

I am looking very forward to camp as I believe Brandon Rideau will be the starting WR opposite of Hester. Keep in mind the guy has shown great hands, he's got very good size and simply makes plays. He reminds me of Marcus Robinson. In my opinion Robinson (when healthy) was the best Chicago receiver I have seen in my life. I'm not saying Rideau will be that, but he's got the tools he just needs the opportunity. For those who remember Robinson at his finest, keep in mind how long it took him just to get on the roster after NFL Europe stints.

As far as the rest ... I'm sure we'll see it shake out in the preseason and through camp. I am READY for the season and cannot wait. A friend of mine from work was teasing me because when Chicago has a night game I take the following day off. He told me even though I got 4 weeks vacation I'm going to have to put off any more travel until they suck again lol

Lots of interesting commentary today. The season must be getting close to getting started. I definitely like Knox and Iglesias, an the more experienced receivers are better than they have been labeled.With Forte and Olsen catching slants and passes on the flats when needed, ball control should be tremendously improved, paving the way for a lot of chances for receivers to get some separation. I think they all will have solid years as long as Cutler gets some protection and there is some imaginative play-calling.

Rashied Davis had enough chance already. He is a waste of roster spot.

Devin Hester is arguably the most explosive player in the NFL. Between Hester, Forte and Olsen, Cutler has 3 targets with pro-bowl potential.

For the first time in decades, there appears to be tremendous depth at TE.

If one additional receiver shows the ability to stretch the field (knox?), run the slant and/or crossing route (iglesias) this could be a productive group of pass-catchers.

It is doubtful that the receivers would be getting so much attention if it weren't for the acquisition of Cutler. Not only do teams have to pay excessively for solid QB talent, but then the organization is obligated to build around the passing game.

Question: Would the organization and fans feel more confident in the passing game had the team kept Orton and selected Maclin #18?
Before the draft, was WR considered a weaker position than QB?

Yes.

I mean, yes, before the draft, WR was a weaker position than QB.

I don't think anybody here believes Orton is a better QB than Cutler, but I would venture to say that "Orton and Maclin" vs. "Cutler and anybody that couldn't beat out Rashied Davis last year" makes it unnecessarily interesting. But of course, we would still prefer having Cutler.

Oh come on. What's wrong with wanting a bonafied WR opposite Hester? Everybody knows the Bears haven't done a very good job of obtaining talent at WR. Otherwise, a Hester that doesn't have to exert so much at WR may have aready had that kick-returns-for-TDs record wrapped up. If the Bears had its current lineup, AND just two or even one-and-a-half above average WRs, AND Hester was still RIDICULOUS concentrating more on kick returns; now THAT would be a scary team!

There are plenty of teams that don't have a number one receiver but still win. The main thing this year would be to get 4 yards or more a carry. This will open up any passing game(receiver). Lets not forget the several passes down the field last year that were over thrown. Lets not forget Hester, Lloyd, and Booker had easy touchdowns if the ball was on target. The wideouts last year were a lot worse. The bears offense will probably look boring but I think they will score points on long running the ball play action pass drives.

""I saw where the Ravens picked up a Vet.""


Randy, Drew Bennett retired 2-days after signing on with Baltimore.
It appears he tweaked an old knee injury during his tryout.


Go Bears !!

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 27, 2009 5:12 AM.

Pass happy: Just how many wins is Jay Cutler worth for Bears? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears bracing for training camp without top corner Tillman is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.