ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.--I'm going to hit a quick rundown of 10 points coming out of the Bears' 27-20 loss to Buffalo Saturday night in the preseason opener.
1. I thought my colleague Mike Mulligan said it best when he pointed out Tony Dungy and Mike Ditka have questioned the leadership ability of Jay Cutler, and the quarterback made the point worth pondering again in post-game remarks. Cutler was asked an innocuous question about what happened on the interception by Leodis McKelvin on an underthrown. Cutler appeared to throw off his back foot, and he pretty much implicated wide receiver Devin Hester.
"Devin is more of a go-get it guy, he is not really a back shoulder or jump up and get it [guy],'' Cutler said. "You learn from it. We made some mistakes. It's the first preseason game. Luckily enough, we have some time to correct them and keep going."
Say what you want about the quarterbacks that came before Cutler, and Kyle Orton's three-pick stinker Friday night in San Francisco said a lot on its own, but those guys never placed their receivers in front of the bus.
2. Great move by Lovie Smith to rest running back Matt Forte. There is no need for a running back to play in four exhibition games. Smith informed Forte at breakfast Saturday that he would not be playing. Forte hoped to get some action but LaDainian Tomlinson has gone entire preseasons without touching the ball.
3. If you're not worried about the Bears' secondary, you must not have watched the game. Trent Edwards was 10-for-10 and his replacement Ryan Fitzpatrick was 13-for-16. No, they didn't hit the Bears for much deep stuff, but nobody did last year and the Bears still finished 30th in the league in pass defense. Keep in mind, the Bills were without Terrell Owens. Buffalo systematically picked the secondary apart. Alex Brown did pick up a coverage sack, and Corey Graham looked smooth blitzing off the edge as the nickel back to get another sack. Here's what is scary about the defensive backfield right now, the Bears are counting on injured guys to come to the rescue. They're also counting on Nathan Vasher to bounce back. If they're playing blackjack here, it doesn't look like they're holding any face cards at this point.
4. Strong safety Al Afalava moved around pretty well. Looks like he is on the inside track for a starting job but that means Kevin Payne will be at free safety.
5. It's not going to surprise anyone if the Bears consider going with two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. They thought about it last year. Brett Basanez is going to have to get much better. One of his three picks wasn't his fault, it went off Johnny Knox's hands, but it was a bad outing. Meanwhile, Caleb Hanie looked decent. He picked up where he left off last season by making plays with his legs.
6. You have to wonder if the Frank Omiyale era has begun at left guard. Smith said Josh Beekman would start there. Beekman is healthy and played with the twos.
7. Undrafted free agent Kevin Malast was credited with seven tackles by press box statistics. Look for the Bears to keep a linebacker on the practice squad. He and Mike Rivera have both had some moments in training camp. Malast helped himself here.
8. Maybe I missed something, and that is entirely possible, but the solid camp Mark Anderson has been enjoying didn't translate into the game. He was completely out of position when Edwards bootlegged around left end for a 14-yard gain on fourth-and-one, and Anderson's pass rushes took him wide and beyond the quarterback.
9. Looked like defensive tackle Marcus Harrison was playing with pretty good energy and he got a nice push upfield on a number of plays.
10. The Tommie Harris watch begins again in camp on Monday. Will the defensive tackle play Saturday against the New York Giants?