Chicago Sun-Times

Cutlermania: Six non-quarterback items to watch at Denver

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The backdrop for Sunday's tuneup for the regular season at Denver is going to be all things Cutler.

Cutler and Josh McDaniels. Cutler and Pat Bowlen. Cutler and his former teammates. Cutler and the Broncos fans. And you have to figure NBC will sprinkle in a liberal dose of Brandon Marshall and how-not-to-behave. But beyond these juicy storylines there are plenty of football items that need to be followed. Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo already have a good idea, a very good idea how the 53-man roster is going to shake out. But this is the game where players can confirm their appearance on that list or confirm that they will be elsewhere in 2009. Let's jump in with a look at six areas worth paying close attention to during the game. Go ahead and weigh in with your list as well.

1. Pass rush. Smith went out of his way to praise the pass rush last week against the New York Giants who were missing a handful of players, notably both starting guards. Denver has one of the best young offensive lines in the game, led by bookend tackles Ryan Clady and Ryan Harris. Cutler was sacked only 11 times in Denver last season and that wasn't just a product of his athletic ability and pocket presence. He had an emerging line in front of him. Let's see how the Bears get after ex-Bear Kyle Orton in the first half.

2. Corner play. The plan is for Charles Tillman to come off of the physically unable to perform list by Friday, and Zack Bowman has been doing some stuff at practice for about a week now. They're projected to be the starters when the season opens Sept. 13 at Green Bay. Given their injury history, it's fair to believe the Bears are going to need more help at some point during the season. Nathan Vasher played better last time out against the Giants, and Trumaine McBride has managed to make himself a part of the equation. The defense needs one of these guys to be a reasonable option because they will likely be called on at some point during the season.

3. Receiver toss up. My guess, this is just a hunch, two receivers make it out of the trio of Devin Aromashodu, Rashied Davis and Brandon Rideau. These guys are going to need to maximize their opportunities, particularly the ones they get with the first team. You can put together a well founded case for Davis being one of the two based on his abilities on special teams. Cutler seems to prefer the bigger options. Ultimately, the play on the field is the biggest factor and Rideau helped himself with some work on special teams last week.

4. Adrian Peterson vs. Michael Gaines. The venerable running back Peterson has had his back against the wall most of the summer. It's clear he is the fourth option now as a running back with Garrett Wolfe ahead of him. He's a contributor on special teams and a roster spot could come down to Peterson vs. Gaines. How the Bears decide which is more needed, a fourth running back or a fourth tight end? Kellen Davis seems to have stepped forward and made progress from an unfulfilling rookie season. If he's made enough strides, does that minimize the need for a player like Gaines? Watch for how they are both utilized.

5. Hesterized. Devin Hester will get some action as a punt returner for the first time in preseason. I'm not sure you knock the rust off something like that in one outing, and it does make sense to limit him in preseason. I just wonder how the punt return team collectively, as an 11-man unit, breaks out of what was a season-long slump last year. Hester is the start of it and he needs to be more decisive when he catches the ball.

6. Commando, and I'm not talking about the California governor. They call linebacker Darrell McClover "commando" and he's back on the scene for a role on special teams. Coordinator Dave Toub is usually given a roster spot to get one guy who serves as a core, four-phase contributor for him. You'd have to think that is what McClover was re-signed to do. Whether he fills the role remains to be seen, but he'll make it more interesting at the bottom of the depth chart at linebacker. Jamar Williams has an undisclosed foot/ankle injury. Hunter Hillenmeyer has been in a battle most of camp and played well at Buffalo. Undrafted rookie free agent Kevin Malast has done some positive things. Rookie fifth-round pick Marcus Freeman probably will not make the team. Does McClover pose a danger for Hillenmeyer, who is probably an average special teams contributor?

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Flying to Denver in the morning for what will be my first Bears game! I can't wait. Very excited to Urlacher for the first time live since he donned 44 as a free safety/punter/kick returner/wide reciever here at UNM. Very excited to see Cutler in a Bears uniform. Can't wait to see Orton.

I hope to meet Josh McDaniels personally, so I can thank him for donating a young, strong arm, mobile, cold-weather, all-pro QB to my Beloved Bears. What a nice guy! Should we send him a fruit basket?

"Should we send him a fruit basket?"

Wait till we get Marshall. Don't want to spoil McDaniels.

You did not just make a Commando reference. "Excuse my friend he's dead tired."

I gotta go with a blocking TE. I like AP but the Bears struggled in short yardage last year. By the way I agree with your six things to watch but you left a seventh out that I heard you mention on the radio. Watch the safety play as well as the corner play.

Wrig the only reason I can think for the Broncos to suspend a guy for two weeks is because, they either are planning on training him or he is hurt. However I don't think they would trade him to the Bears, McDaniels would get hammered for that. He would probably try and trade him to the Chiefs or Pats, or Jets or Browns, or anyone but the Bears. By the way "DOWN GOES CASSEL, DOWN GOES CASSEL." Well KC has there built in excuse for the season of suck even though Thigpen is actually a Matt Cassel clone.

By the way Brad could you please find Lovie and smack him in the back of the head. When your QB is walking into something like this in a preseason game and states it is just another preseason game like he should. Why on Earth does the head coach come out the same day and say they are treating this like a regular season game? First even if you are going to treat it like a regualr season game, don't let the Broncos know that. Don't put the extra pressure on the team to preform like that in preseason. Don't risk your new QB in a preseason game like that. Not to mention he has enough pressure walking in there under the given sircumstance. Why add more, why? Second, does he realize that if they look bad in a stinking preseason game after saying we where playing full go that he just made his team look real bad. Is he trying to create a confidence problem? He has done a good job of that with Hester, is he trying ot do it to the rest of the team?

You're crazy to think that getting a malcontent like Brandon Marshall would make the Bears better!!! What an idiot.

Not long ago it was "self-evident" that the Bears had no wide receivers. Now we're talking about the problem of figuring out which ones to keep. But no one sees the obvious solution: end the Hester experiment. The emergence of Aromashodu and Rideau alongside Bennett makes it clear that Hester is overmatched at the position—he's not as good as those players, and Cutler doesn't trust him as much, for obvious reasons. The good news is that he's learned enough to be a really useful gadget option. So send him back to special teams and bring him in for specially designed plays to scare the jocks off defenses. But keep the trio of Davis, Aromashodu and Rideau. Problem solved.

Creighton --

The third game is ALWAYS the dress rehearsal. It has been for years.

Lovie did nothing wrong by saying that his team is going to go into the second half. He simply stated the obvious.

And frankly, it's good to put the pressure on them. That way, you see who rises to the occasion. I also think it is good that Cutler will face some degree of pressure. It puts him in a playoff-life atmosphere in a meaningless game. We will get to see how he and others deal with the pressure collectively. What receiver will help Cutler the most of the bubble guys? What corner will do something to make Orton look like the pedestrian he is?

Of course, anyone should have known you would find some reason to complain.

But this is pretty weak.

I am surprised to see that you think Freeman won't make the team. I thought he would be a nice young player to have on the team for when Briggs moves into the middle when Urlacher is done.

I agree with Creighton in that I am more concerned about the safety play than the CB play. Both are problems, but I would rather make sure that either 1 of 2 options becomes clear: 1) Payne can be a viable free, and Afalva can get the job done at strong, or 2) Manning finally becomes the free safety we need him to be, and Afalava becomes the nickel sub (Manning moves to the slot, Payne slides to free, and Afalava comes in at strong)

As far as the AP vs. Gaines, how about a take from Brewster's Millions? None of the Above! Gaines has not made any kind of impact so far, while Davis and Olsen have both improved their blocking significantly and appear to be a solid tandem for the future. If I had to pick someone to keep, it would be Gaines, but I would use him as the short yardage fullback as his primary role.

I liked McClover as a special teamer, but do you sacrifice another roster spot of someone who can help on defense or offense for a guy like that? Linebackers make up the core of special teams, but why not let those guys be the ones who can also come in on defense. McClover is basically a slightly larger safety without great speed. You can't use him for any significant time on defense without exposing a serious liability.

I am also very interested to watch how our offensive line handles the 3-4. The Pack are a lot further along than I thought they would be, but if nothing else, we should see a reasonable example of what their pressure could look like. No one on the Broncos is anywhere near as talented as the guys on the Pack's defense, but at least we get to start slow this week and next week with Denver and Cleveland. We really can't ask for a better preparation run for the next two weeks than facing two 3-4 defenses. Should make us more prepared for opening night.


Excellent observations today, Brad. I can hardly wait for tonight's game. I think this will be the biggest test for the Bear defense because the Broncos really have an excellent offensive line.As you stated, the thing to watch is the pass rush. Orton takes more time than a lot of quarterbacks, but is very accurate when not pushed. At least down-the -field passes over thirty yards should not be too big a worry. I can at least kill part of the time today before the game watching the Cubs try to stay in the hunt for a play-off spot.

I do not see the game listed on TV in the Indianapolis area. Can someone tell me what Network might possible carry it in Indy?

I agree let AP go, we have seen him enough already. but I actually I like the idea of Lovie saying that, cause our D and O needs that pressure right now, we played poorly against the Bills and great against a team w/o key players. We probably need the pressure so Lovie can see how our gys handle the pressure before its a real situation. Which ones step up and which ones don't. So for the Broncs to know this makes them play harder too - a real game situation instead of a meanningless stat builder against the Giants with key players out.
If we look bad in this game, well not sure what to think but at least we might have a glimpse of what we really have.
woah, So Lovie praised the Dline for that pressure against the Giants? I will ask again, how many sacks (not pressure) did our first unit have against their first unit.??
This is going to be a real story - how our D does against their Oline Now thats pressure. If the game is not on in Indy - !@#$$ I guess Ill wait for NFL to show reruns (and tape)
lol give my regards to McDaniel NM Bear!

btw. I had my Fantasy draft and yeop, you guessed it NO PACK ON MY TEAM!! Maybe stupid but I have 3 Bears, I missed Forte :( but got Olsen. and Gould/Hester oh yeah and Briggs.

Hey, Amos, have you forgotten that Cutler was also a malcontent? Is he going to make the Bears better? Marshall is a proven receiver, and almost everyone except me and a few others has been saying the Bears are weak there.I think he is certainly worth considering. I still like the receivers the Bears already have, but that does not mean the book should be closed and that their names are carved in granite. If better options are available, they should be considered carefully.

not sure why Im so slow this morning, but I just really realized - the Broncs are going after Cutler no matter what (just read the Sun-Times article Brad)nice article except the only thing is I would not put down Cutler so much for the trust thing, who would trust your own Boss when he tried to get rid of you? In my line of work Loyalty is very important, no trust - guess what? no me. bottom line, there are back stabbers in every business and if you can't trust your own Boss then its time to look elsewhere.
anyway...The Broncs are going to try to kill Cutler, and Lovie had to let his players know this is important to play up to our best abilities - cause the Brons are going to anyways. We really need to protect Cutler in this game! oh yeah and kill Orton who I like but not tonight. :)

First off, I absolutely agree with Michael K.

Secondly, with regards to Hillenmyer. Wouldn't his off the field work give him a leg up on making the roster over the other LBs in contention? He is the union rep for the team, isn't he? I've also heard he works with players on life skill stuff like managing their money and life after the NFL. Seems those sorts of thongs would really help his shot at a roster spot, everything else being close to equal.

I really like Marshall and I feel he would help, but lets be for real here, our D needs a great DL/DE or our O will have to carry the entire games. I would rather have a great DE insead of a great WR right now.
And please network no more Goon interviews untill the man has some sacks for a change, I thought a DE was supposed to get sacks? or is that not the scheme?? Imagine your main interview is a DE that is not famous for his sacks.

We can have all the mile high hopes we want for Cutler and the offense, but this team's success will come down to 2 things; The defense... Mostly the same uninspired group we've had for several years... and the head coach. Can he motivate anything more than an afternoon nap?


I was joking, nothing in that post was meant to be serious. While I'd love to see the Bears get Marshall or any other experienced good receiver, I don't think getting Marshall is very likely. However, I wouldn't speculate about what the idiots in Denver are planning. Any team that alienates and loses a QB as good as Cutler, a top cornerback, and a top receiver is so irrational that it's impossible to know what they're going to do. Logically, if Denver were to unload Marshall it would be much better for them if he went to the Bears or any other NFC team than the AFC teams you mentioned. Of the NFC teams the Bears would probably be the last choice due to Cutler, but that would still be better than losing him to an AFC team that Denver is much more likely to play and with which it has to compete to get to the Super Bowl.

When a return man, Hester literally changed the way football was played against the Bears. His presence gave them a huge advantage in terms of big returns or intentional out of bounds kicks and great starting positions on drives. There was a palatable electric energy buzzing from the return teams - anything could happen on any kick he was allowed to return. And the team had a true sense of pride and a swagger in having this unprecedented weapon. It was very enjoyable for everyone -- players, coaches, other teams, media -- as we all watched what we knew was the beginning of a record-shattering career.
To change his role on the team was the biggest strategic coaching mistake I have ever witnessed, from the perspective of a fan of the game. The proof is in the results -- IT DID NOT WORK. We lost the weapon in the return game, and we are still hoping Hester can be an effective receiver. I would say I am speechless, but I am not -- I could go on a 30 minute verbal rant about the lack of leadership and insight this move has demonstrated.

Game is on NBC in the Indianapolis area, same as every where else I believe.

Just found out the ATT TV guide is wrong DA BEARS are on Indy TV tonight!!! Yes! I hope our D shows up.

Randy: The game is on NBC, it's nationally televised.

Good stuff as always Brad and everyone else. I definitely would prefer AP over Gaines strictly because of special teams value. I also think K Davis has some upside and I think when Dez retires KD will be a capable backup to Olsen.

Creighton: I'm in the minority of Bears fans that really feels strongly about Lovie being the man here. That being said I have to agree with your point. There is by no means any need for extra pressure tonight. The Bears have plenty of it alreadt.We all know the 3rd pre-season game is the most meaningful, but Lovie should not be talking about treating this as a regular season game publicly.


It is the nationally televised game (Sunday night football) the one that Madden left this year. So you do get it in Indy.

Marshall was rather stupid with his practice tirade and although immature and a big baby when it comes to business would be a tremendous pickup if somehow the Bears could get him. He is physically dominant at a #1 receiver somewhat akin to TO and MIchael Irvin from a physical ability standpoint. Cutler has even said he is a great talent and Cutler knows him well.

Anyone saying they would rather have Aromashodu, Davis or Rideau over Brandon Marshall, well one would have to wonder what criteria was being used to judge the talent.

Marshall would be the best receiver on the team and is one of the top 10 in the league if not top 5 in the league.

You never know what is going to happen but I have this feeling that the Bears are going to go after just one nfl proven vet receiver and that move will happen in the next week, maybe even before the cutdown on Tuesday.

Go Bears, kick some Donkey ars!!!!!

By ldc on August 30, 2009 9:24 AM
Creighton --

"The third game is ALWAYS the dress rehearsal. It has been for years."

No thats just the media hype, if what you say is true. Why did Turner come out right after Lovie said that and say the exact opposite? Even in the third game they don't go full go and they don't show there full hand. After all you yourself pointed out it is a rehearsal, how can it be full go if it is just a rehearsal?

Even if they do go full go, and Lovie decides to over expose his starters in a preseason game, you don't let that be known. Do you hear any other head coaches saying what he said? No, even though they all get asked that same question. There is no point to go at it full go in a preseason game, zero. It doesn't matter what the Bears are going to do in the game, he just doesn't need to say it. Ok what happens if Cutler gets hurt in the game? "Why was the team going full go in preseason" it's a s*** storm is what happens.

You are also not considering the situation, any good coach would be down playing this, Lovie just built it up and put more pressure than he needed to on Cutler. Just like he did when he started shooting off at the mouth about Hester being a number one reciever. He never had to say anything in either situation yet he went out of his way to add pressure. It's a stupid thing to say.

The only reason the third game hype started was to draw in more fans to watch it on TV. Thats it. Last night PIT kept running this Sprint Draw, not because they where going full go but becuase they wanted to see how it worked, they kept testing the left side of the O-Line to see how it would hold up. That is not full go, that is just testing things out to see how they are working. Chicago may try going deep to Hester over and over all night.

The point is if the Bears loose the game it means nothing, cause it's preseason, but if hte Bears loose a game where they where supposedly going full go and the other team wasn't then you get a panic storm the next two weeks. Thats why no coach would say that. There is nothing good about it, it's just added pressure and grief. I am just saying it does not need to be said. But he always does says stuff like this and sticks himself in a bind. "Rex is our QB," "Devin is our number 1 reciever," "Chris Williams will be our starting LT this year," "I asked Benson to Gain Weight," "Benson Gained Weight and is out of shape," "Tommies Knee is fine," "Dusty has a sprained MCL, I don't know about any ACL TEAR" "Dusty has an ACL tear" "We really like Kyle, we feel he is our QB of the future"

I can unsderstand him saying some of the things he says but most of the time he just doesn't need to say anything at all. Like with Dusty all he ever had to say was I will let you know when I know everything for sure. Or with Hester, he could have said we are going to give him a shot at reciever, that all he had to say.

CT thank you totally get it.

Lovie just pull a Bill Belichick every now and then. I am stuck with Lovie and if I am stuck with him, the least he could do is learn how to manage the time clock and when to throw a challenge flag. Stop jumping into prevent everytime you get a lead, work on open field tackling, and when someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, don't answer it.

Article on Bears WR -

not rocket science people, we can not possibly judge our WR as most havent even played a down of real football. I like them but I don't have a crystal Ball. and my point is - what if we are wrong? What if we need a WR as bad as a DL? Hope there is one available or we are hurting.

Thanks! You r correct - I was looking at my 0nscreen tv guide and it was showing some stupid crap on. I emailed our local NBC and they emailed back and said the guide was wrong and the game was on. I am sure they would rather show the Colts but Bears fans in Indy get lucky now and then. Thanks guys.

Dahli, I believe they are saying the attitude of Marshall. But you are correct some people are pretty lame when they want one of our WR over a Marshall, yes we have good young WR (I think, havent seen any of them in a game xcept Hester, but I guess they judge a WR by Training Camp and preseason. Attitude? Well give me a Marshall over a Gage or any of the no nmae WR we have had for how long??? Attitude? Give me wins Baby. :)

Kill the Broncs!!!

With the receivers, is the assumption that we're keeping 6 including Iglesias & Knox, but not Kinder?

What do you think about the other rookies? I assume that Gilbert & Afalava are in and Louis is out, but I'm not sure about Melton & Moore. If we keep 10 DL that would give us room for Melton, Anderson, and Toeaina, but one of them would have to go if we only keep 9. At CB we can probably only keep 2 or 3 of McBride, Vasher, Moore, Turenne, and Hamilton - that would give us 9 or 10 DBs (assuming that we keep either Steltz or Bullocks).

yes send the man a fruit basket, actually send him 6! lol

and maybe he will trade us Marshall if Marshall yells loud enough like Cutler, I don't have any problem at all trading with the Bronc's. Yes, I would give another first for Marshall. whew! can you imagine Marshall with Hester and Bennet and our young WR? Air Coryell here we come.


-Dline is the thing to watch. We need a couple sacks from this first unit. Thats not too much to ask is it? 2 sacks in 2-3 quarters?
-Hester: watch his blocking/return skills - across the middle catch/run and you know they will send a couple deep
-Olsen: Needs to show what he is made of tonight

Everyone seems to be just as excited as I'am for tonights game. Cutler jersey on, Bear Hat on, Bear shorts on, DVR set, wings and pizza ready to go! Game On! Go Bears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Article. I will watch for all of these areas in tonights game.

Just watching NFL Network and Cutler was booed his first trip onto the field. The fans are hurling some rather vulgar insults at him according to the reporter.

I sure hope he can give McClueless and the rest of the Bronco fans a great big shiatburger to eat.

// Yes, I know it's preseason but much like Plank, I got boneless wings in the oven, my girlfriend, I and my son have our jerseys on. Cold beers all around (well maybe not the 6 year old ... root beer).

Questions for two posters:

NM Bear Fan: Where you at in New Mexico? I bought my dad a UNM 44 jersey because he was born and raised in Albequerque. We are related to the Maloof family out there. Dad goes out once a year to see them. I made it down for a day when I was just out in Phoenix, AZ.

Le Roy Bob: Bob are you still in the great metropolis that is LeRoy? One of my best friends lives there do you know Golden Farms?

Great/awsome `2 minute' drive - actually that drive took 4:38! 98 yards! Olsen/Forte Bennet/Hester - all had yds on that drive! Nice shove by Bennet to get open to start the drive. What do you think about our Franchise QB? Yes!! Dude put the ball where only our WR had a chance. Missed the bomb but hey we still drove the ball.
Gotta sack!
Can't wait for one of those bombs to conect.
D did credible, a couple times Url missed tackles but over all not too shabby. I'm happy with the D. Coulda been better but still not bad.
oh yeah and Hester really looked like the old Hester on that return, no hesitation at all, nice hole hittin.

mustard with that shiatburger Mr.Bowlen? r u wondering where Mike is now? and Jay?

oh yeah, Olsen showed what he was made of for real! what a catch!

That was an interesting game. Harris is done, he looked horrible until he lined up against the rookie. He was limping when he was running and his explosion is gone. He was one on one with a rookie and didn't do much.

The Broncos suck, you really got to see the difference between Cutler and Orton. By the way what a wimp. Owwwww my finger, can I come out now, I am scared. Look it's red, it's red.

Great job by Cutler he started out slow but he got it together. Forte was a stud.

The Bears recievers where not impressive at all.

Hester showed you exactly what he is tonight, a great return man, who is not very smart(you don't catch a punt inside the five while backpedaling) and a below average reciever.

The TE's looked good.

The Alex Brown roughing call was BS.

McBride, Payne and Steltz let backup recievers abuse them.

Poor tackling by the Bears, this team could shave off 70 yards a game if they stopped trying to tackle high and just tied guys up and brought them down, way to many arm tackle attempts.

The O-Line did not look good in pass protection, Pace got abused and Williams was getting burt as well. They both seemed to struggle against the smaller faster rush ends.

Cutler is mobile, agile and hostile.

The Pass rush at times looked good and at times looked bad, but at best was inconsistant, they get no pressure with just there front 4.

The game as a whole was pretty sloppy on both sides, lot of penalties.

Denvers punter is awsome, what a leg.

I would take Peterson over Wolfe, he did nothing in this game.

Invesco is a really pretty stadium.

The Bears defense really reminds me of last years defense. They are still mugging up and still getting winded, if they try to play a full game that way they will be exausted.

The offense is much better, and if the defense can just get a little better this team should win 10 games. But Cutler can not do it alone, it's an offense that needs a legit reciever and it doesn't have one. The offense is also not in sync yet, you can see the timing is just not there yet on certain plays.

The O-Line still worries me, Olin got knocked around a little but what I saw from Williams and Pace tonight was not impressive. The Bears have to play a few 3-4 defenses this year and as mobile as Cutler is you need to give him a pocket sometimes.

Final thought on the game, I would just like to say thank you to Denver for Jay Cutler, the guy is the goods. He will help keep the defense fresh, I hope.

It's only preseason so I hope the defense steps it up a little, can't wait for a real game. Bears vs. Packers. The Packers are overrated in the preseason.

I know being a head coach opens one up to any type of criticism but why criticize about how we approached this game? Saying that it only puts pressure on Cutler is akin to fans saying that Rex Grossman didn't deal with pressure that he should've expected in every game. Fans booing him should not have gotten to him because he was a professional, right? I've read that plenty of times from people on this blog. But now we are expected to coddle Cutler because he's what..Cutler the savior? I'm bewildered at the expectations of fans when it comes to Cutler. As far as some people are concerned Cutler will never make a mistake that we can blame on someone else. And you can not say anything remotely bad about him because it would be dead wrong. I see blame thrown around every single game. I see people on this blog taking credit away from players and giving it to someone else. I never see some people say "I think this or that" they just write stuff as if they know. Come on, really. I think it's silly that we approached the first game like it was exhibition and even had a DT return a kick and fans said that that was wrong. Then we actually gameplanned unlike the first time and then fans said that it didn't matter what we saw it was only pre-season. Now Coach says that we will approach it like the regular season and someone has to down him on that. It's crazy that we have to criticize people every single post. We can't just say wow, they looked good or I appreciated the effort. Maybe they will look better once the season starts. I only see fans acting like G.M.s and that's scary. What is it that you do for a living again?

The scariest thing is that we play Cleveland, Green Bay, and Pittsburgh in the next 4-5 weeks, so if we are struggling against Denver, that does not bode well for Pittsburgh and Dom Capers defenses facing us in the near future. Pace needs to start doing yoga or something so he can bend down to engulf those little boogers, to keep them off Cutler. After a dominant performance against Umeniyora and Tuck, they took a step back towards earth on the outside, and Omiyale also struggled in run blocking and protection. We are facing a lot of these fronts early, so we need to get used to seeing them. I just hope we don't turn into the Colts, where we are completely befuddled by a 3-4 front

I also agree on Wolfe. As much as I think Peterson has pretty well run his course, Wolfe is not even able to run on the course. I still think the only time Forte should be off the field is when Jones is in. Wolfe is a wasted roster spot. You don't need a third down back when you have two 1,000 yard rushers who can pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield...Just doesn't make sense. Either keep Peterson, or add a second fullback that can help on special teams. McKie can be the third RB for as often as we will need him, barring injury, and we can always pull Peterson or Wolfe off the scrap heap.

Steltz can't cover a brick with a tarp...He takes bad angles, he has no appreciable speed, and he consistently does the one thing you cannot do as a Cover 2 safety...he lets guys get behind him. And the tackling has been atrocious so far. Tinoisamoa doesn't seem to know how to use his arms when he goes in for a tackle. Someone needs to work on that.

As far as the receivers, they seemed to be able to separate, but weren't making the plays. Rideau beat Champ Bailey off the line, and the ball was right where it needed to be, but Dawkins knocked it out of his hands. That's a lot of talent hitting him, but if you want to play with the big boys, you have to hold on to the ball. Aromashodu needs to either set up contact on the deep ball when he had to wait on it, or go up and get it, and not allow him to get the ball. Goodman is marginal as a corner, and Aromashodu is a lot more physical than he showed on that play.

We will be seeing 120-140 catches between Olsen and Forte, and Bennett will likely end up with 50, Hester with maybe 55. Outside of that, we are talking 15-30 catches for the next guys. Kansas City, anyone? One of them will emerge when the coverage starts migrating towards Olsen and Clark, and hopefully will be enough to prevent 8 in the box. I still think we are too predictable on the slants and short routes. We need to make them worry a bit with a few slant-and-go routes, and some double move routes, so the defense can't just sit on the short routes and pounce. I would rather use Cutler's cannon for downfield throws than squeezing a bullet into tight coverage 8 yards away....

nice article on the game

I like Adams/Harrison anyways so Harris can go. Goon looked alright but not like a top DE.
Overall I was impressed, and Hester made a nice grab on those slants.
I liked the way our Oline stood up for Cutler.

Brad you asked questions and I thought the Bears gave you answers.

1. The pass rush was decent considering the Broncos have a really good O-line. Believe it or not I was encouraged by the play of Tommy Harris. I've had almost the same knee scope as he had and his progress looks very familiar to me. It takes awhile to get loose and then the knee works pretty good. He is still getting his knee back in condition and I saw improvment. Don't give up on him yet. Anderson had a sack but needs to string a couple of more before he patents a celebration. That flag on Brown really stunk.

2. The Bears definately have issues at corner unless Bowman and Tillman ride to the rescue. Right now the Broncos have Orton pitching to "who dat?". The guys playing in the second half were getting burned by "who dat?" pitching to Brandon Lloyd. Not good. If I was Orton I'd hurry up and heal. Fresno State looked pretty good against the Bears first team defense.

3. I think Rideau may be in trouble. Cutler likes Aromashodu better and of the two, DA looks faster and more athletic. Rideau isn't getting much separation, but does pretty good after the catch. Rashied Davis is their only experienced receiver and absolutely shined on special teams. Don't see them cutting him.

4. If they are going to cut AP, tell him now and save everybody a plane ticket. The way he played last night, Denver will be picking him up. Gaines looked pretty good too, but they have three better tight ends in front of him. I'm not sure they really have three better running backs in front of AP.

5. OK. Move on to the next question we're done here.

6. Well if you are looking for a commando, see question 3. I never saw McClover in a play, but am not sure that means anything. You almost have to watch film to pick out individuals at special teams. Freeman made an interception. We all know how much Lovie stresses turnovers. My guess is that they keep Hillenmeyer for the same reason they keep Davis, but it's only a guess.

Hey WRD, your idiot justify your statments. In pre game 1 the Bears had no game plan, but part of preping for the regular season is game planning, the Bears organization admitted it was a bit of a mistake.

As for your other comments you did not give any real examples of your complaints and just whinned about bloggers and Cutler, you seem mad that Rex is not the QB.

Your mad because I said you don't say that. Well guess what you don't, you never do, it's one thing to reherese it's another thing to go full go. Try to be a little more spacific next time, if ou watnt to call me me out I have a name. Maybe you don't get it but Lovie made a mistake and Turner corrected him. If there was no mistake said then Turner is not out there correcting him.

This offseason, Angleo corrected Lovie on Orton and Manning. Lovie has a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and it usually bites him in his @ss, what I said is for his own good. I gave examples of what he has said, don't blame because he says stupid things and the fans call him on it all the time.

Not sure what any of what I said had to do with Rex. Seems like you are having a problem dealing with a head coach that says stupid things and you don't seem like Cutler fan, it's like your trying to bash him without bashing him.

"But now we are expected to coddle Cutler because he's what..Cutler the savior? I'm bewildered at the expectations of fans when it comes to Cutler. As far as some people are concerned Cutler will never make a mistake that we can blame on someone else. And you can not say anything remotely bad about him because it would be dead wrong."

I mean what was that all about, nobody has said anything like that but it seems like you where holding that in and looking for an excuse to say it. You must be one of those angry Rex fans that can't get over the fact that he sucked, is gone and Cutler is way better. Deal with it. You should be happy to have Cutler if you are a Bear fan, he is the best thing to happen to this team in a long time.

To me, Tommie Harris didn't look half bad last night. I'm not saying he played like an all-pro, but he didn't look bad. I think he's holding off till the regular season. Harris had me worried this off-season, but with Chicago basically resting him all off-season, might pay off in the end. Harris could surprise. Speaking of the defensive line, how about Mark Anderson finally getting a sack, hopefully he can keep improving into the regular season also. Chicago's front sure had Denvers stud left tackle Ryan Clady looking pretty pedestrian. I heard the refs call his number a couple times.

I'll admit last off-season I wasn't big on the Pisa Tinoisamoa signing....boy was I wrong. This guy looks like a heck of a linebacker, he's a hard hitter and he's looked pretty good in coverage so far during the pre-season. Looking like a good signing by Bears GM Jerry Angelo.

Chicago might want to hold onto running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson is a strong runner inside and seems to go forward every time he carries the ball. Neither Kevin Jones or Garrett Wolfe haven't exactly been that impressive during the pre-season so far. Chicago might want to hold onto Peterson, he could be Chicago's second best option at running back.

Oh yeah, Greg Olsen is going to the pro-bowl this season. Desmond Clark looked pretty good last night too. Forte and Olsen could both end up playing in the pro bowl, and just think, some people on this very board actually use to say Jerry Angelo can't draft offensive players?? I know I know, someone is gonna reply "but Kevin, Olsen hasn't done anything yet blah blah blah etc.." I realize that, I'm just saying he's looking pretty good and is considered an up and comer at his position by many experts. You gotta love what Angelo has done for Chicago's offense over the last couple off-seasons. Names like Matt Forte, Greg Olsen, Chris Williams, Frank Omiyale, and who was that other guy.....oh yeah Jay Cutler!! All of these players will make Chicago's offense look better than they have in years passed, all thanks to one Mr. Jerry Angelo.

Its gonna be a pretty good season for the Chicago Bears so GO BEARS!!

After seeing the game, here are a few perspectives on the six non quarterback things to watch.

Pass Rush: Not that impressive although there was some pressure and Anderson got a sack. Harris looked very poor and slow. I hope he comes on as the season gets going but he did run with a limp? Goon had some pressure as did Alex but not anything serious.

Corner Play: Not bad but some of the donks receivers were open underneath which is the weakness of the D. It was OK but with the Orton and the backup QB from Denver there really wasn't too much to judge. Rodgers on opening day will be winging the ball, I hope the CB's are ready and that the line does not give Rodgers much time or it could be a long evening.

Receivers: The best were the tight end play and of course the TD to Forte, the receivers were OK, Bennett looked pretty good, Hester well not top level yet. Who would you cut of this group? Rideau to me would be the one to cut. Aromashodu has too much speed and Cutler likes him and Davis is too important in the slot and in special teams. It seems to be a roll of the dice with any of these three ready for the guillotine, particularly if a deal for a good vet receiver could be made then 2 of these three may be cut. Which two?

Gaines has not shown that much and with Kellen Davis coming on what do you do? Maybe keep Gaines and use him as H back at times as was suggested by Kevin. Certainly Peterson is very good on special teams and still can be counted on as a runner. Wolfe seems to disappear? Tough cuts are on the horizon. I guess Peterson but it is a tough call because Wolfe has not done much, yet?

Hester: Great on one punt return and ok as a receiver, but truly not a number one and should be in the slot to be the most effective. Hester is not there yet but he is improving his game and may someday be good enough as a number one but do not think it will be this year.

Commando may be great at special teams but have to agree with another blogger that keeping McGlover means cutting other more talented linebackers. Cuts should be Roach (concussion issue?) and Jamar Williams (maybe IR if injury is significant) and of course Freeman should be placed on practice squad. My best guess of linebackers kept would be: Urlacher, Briggs, Pisa, Hillenmeyer backs up middle and strong side, Willams and Malast (this kid seems to have a nose for the ball). Cuts Roach, Freeman, McGlover.

Oh, who knows!!!! It is cut down time and it is what it is?

OMG what a shock Kevin thought Tommie looked good last night, you also thought Orton was the best QB in the NFL last year too, Kevin your nickname should be koolaid. He looked bad, he was limping around all over the place and had no explosion. As for Omiyale, if you want to list him because he came free on a block created by Olin in a preseason game and list him as the next big thing that is fine. I thought the Bears struggled to open up holes for Forte last night, and he was more of a reciever last night than a RB, which is fine for Forte but not for the line. What was his rushing average last night? As for Cutler, yeah it took a real genius to trade for Jay Cutler when you have Orton.

Lets see who did not want the trade to happen. Oh yeah Kevin. You felt Orton was just as good and the draft picks had to much value. Chris Williams I will leave alone until he actually does something. I do love the fact that now you are all about Cutler, you know it's been a slow conversion for you. Your like Frank the Tank, Kevin. You don't want to drink the beer cause you are afraid you will get in trouble, but once it hits your lips it just tastes to good. Next thing I know Kevin is streaking down the street screaming "BEARS WIN, BEARS WIN, I LOVE JAY CUTLER, ORTON SUCKS"

I think it's time for a Kevin Interview.

C: So Kevin are you looking forward to this Bears season?
C: I will take that as a yes, what do you think about the adition of Jay Cutler?
KA: I call him Blue cause he wears the blue. BLUE YOUR MY BOY!!!!!
C: So what do you think of Harris?
KA: He is awsome he will have 20 sacks this season
C: I see, and what about Hester?
KA: Best reciever ever, did you seethat punt return that proves he is the best reciever.
C: But, I'll just skip that
C: Lets get away form the team for a little bit before you have a stroke. How is your car, heard it the other day it's really loud, it's also really blue and orange.
KA: Yeah, thanks. Took the restrictor plate off to give the Blue Beast a little more juice. But it's not exactly street legal, so keep it on the down low. But now it roars like Bear. BEARSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!
C: Kevin I am going to throw out some names and I want you to say the first thing that comes to mind.
C: Olsen
KA: Touch Downs
C: Forte
KA: Unstoppable
C: Chris Williams
KA: Love
C: What
KA: Ummmm nothing
C: Jay Cutler or ummm Blue
KA: I see him now Creighton
C: What
KA: I see Blue, He look's glorious.
C: Orton
KA: He is dead to me now
C: Final question Kevin. What is your position on the role of government in supporting innovation in the field of biotechnology?
KA:[Kevin takes a drink of water, makes a funny face and grunts] Recent research has shown that empirical evidence for globalization of corporate innovation is very limited and as a corollary the market for technologies is shrinking. As a world leader, it's important for America to provide systematic research grants for our scientists. I believe strongly there will always be a need for us to have a well articulated innovation policy with emphasis on human resource development. Thank you.
C: Wow that was impressive Kevin.
KA: What are you talking about I just blacked out, what was the question.

I hope by "a pretty good season" you mean the Bears will go deep into the playoffs. Anything less would be a disappointment.

Last year's team should have made the playoffs, but Lovie's brain-cramp moment against Atlanta cost them a victory.

Re Olsen -- he's been the Bears best receiver since the day he walked into camp his rookie season. He is the only receiver who defenses have to prepare for. Faster than linebackers, too big for corners, he could give the Bears a "Witten-like" player IF the team elects to use him in that way. It looks like Cutler will, but still too early to tell.

Like Witten, the Bears offense should run thru Olsen. He is that good, and the only receiver who can consistently catch the ball in traffic.

Bears should keep Clark on Pace's side to help chip away at speed rushers who will give Pace problems. Pace will not get better as the season progresses. O linemen his age get worn out, banged up and slowed down as the season goes on. If Pace doesn't play better against Green Bay and Pittsburgh (both of which have good to outstanding speed rushers on the edge), it could be long and painful games for Cutler.

And Creighton I am glad we have Cutler over Rex. I'm not missing him one bit. But still and all fans-you're not the only one on the blog buddy- have said a million times that they can boo and if it affected him then too bad because he is a professional. I don't know if you said the same thing but if it's a way to cut down anyone on this team you will do it. You cut down everyone. all the players. You make it seem like they all suck and if someone says that Cutler is to blame you defend him. He is the only player you like and who knows how long that's going to last. But you make some of the most asinine statements about what should be said and not said. Haven't you learned that Ron Turner thinks for himself. He was upset when Griese made it seem like he did it all against Phillie by himself. So if Ron calls the offense plays whose feelings got hurt when Griese took credit? Anyway, I would love to see you write something that isn't critical all the time. You let up for a while and then you just started back with the mindless blame game. If someone likes a player or a coach it's up to them to defend why they think he is getting the short end of the stick. And the next time a guy who can't spell call me an idiot then I know the world is coming to an end. You're an idiot who must not have a life because you know everything about the Bears and their players including how many times that have to shake it after they tinkle. You're never wrong and besides the fact that it gets old it's redundant. Big word spelled correctly by me signifying that you repeated the same things over and over. You constantly correct people for what they say. Why is it that you can't be corrected? Plain and simple, we played a good game and it was because of the team as a whole. It's so silly that someone wants to shoot holes into this team all the time and then act like he's a fan. I'm sorry dude but you're not a G.M.. They are not taking resumes over a blog. You have been wrong a lot but won't admit it. You don't play well with others. This is a free country and you can post what you like and I can post as well. I don't need this blog to give me moments in my life where I look superior to others. Notice how I have never mentioned whether or not you were going to be a man of your word about losing bets. I don't want to picture a 350 pound 5'2" guy with craters in his face scaring little kids at Soldiers Field. Now that's for our own good.

To Da Church of Da Coach -

Le Roy Bob: Bob are you still in the great metropolis that is LeRoy? One of my best friends lives there do you know Golden Farms?

Yep, still I'm in the fair city of LeRoy... I'm not familiar with Golden Farms, but I haven't lived in LeRoy all that long. Hey, and to complete the circle, I dated a girl from Albequerque in college. :) Small world. Go Bears!

You guys gotta recognize that even though the Bears pass rush wasn't great, the offensive blocking scheme and the overall system that McDaniels runs is pretty sack-resistant. And even though Moreno did not play, Hillis and Buckhalter are above average runners. On the whole, rookies included, the offensive line is also above average. And don't forget that Denver also has Stokley and Royal playing at wideout.

I don't think I would say the Bears "struggled" against Denver. It wasn't the 38-10 first-half beat down that Green Bay dropped last week, but, I think the Bears controlled the game throughout and that's all that matters.

I think they can compete for 10-wins.

Chicago had better keep Adrian Peterson. He's arguably as effective as Jones and a good special teams player.

Creighton: Harris is not what he used to be. But I don't think he's done.
Armstead: I agree.

Le Roy Bob,

Hey Bob thanks for the reply. Yeah, if you throw a rock out there you can hit a field that belongs to Golden Farms; trust me I'm in Ag. I used to play league sand volleyball every summer there at Mustang Sally's but haven't for 2 years mainly because I coach my son in baseball now.

Not exactly a metropolis but still a good, safe small town and close enough to Bloomington (that's where I work) so that you don't have to drive too far to be "in the big city" lol

Creighton --

There's nothing to get. The Bears had a dress rehearsal on Sunday. They played the starters the first half, defense into the second. And they faced a hostile crowd and a d-coordinator who pulled no punches.

The team responded well, and played well.

That's a positive, especially going into Green Bay the first week.

Why you see this as some sort of problem is beyond me.

I also fail to see how you could call Tommie Harris "done."

Like others said, the point for Harris wasn't to try and be explosive. It was a workout during a game situation.

He got on the field and took hits. Mission accomplished.

Before we bash Orton too badly....
Broncos | Orton could miss Week 1
Comment (0)
Tue, 01 Sep 2009 07:33:55 -0700

Mike Klis, of The Denver Post, reports Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton (finger) is in danger of missing the team's Week 1 game. According to two league sources, Orton's finger was not fractured during the team's last preseason game, but Orton did suffer an open dislocation of the right knuckle, which would explain the blood dripping from his finger and the excruciating pain he endured as the dislocated finger was popped back into place.

Not saying a finger is huge or anything, but if anyone has had an open dislocation, I would love to hear how it felt. I had both shoulders dislocate at the same time in college, and I couldn't even think because of the pain...Open dislocation....two words that never sound good together...

To Da Coach:

I live in Albuquerque. I'm was raised in Northern NM but have been here since 96 when I started at UNM. My family and I live in the NE Heights. Small world for sure.

Your dad will love the 44 jersey. I rocked mine after the game Sunday when we went for drinks. There was a ton of Lobos in Denver for the game. As a matter of fact, I was surprised by how many Bears fans were there. It seemed like the whole section of the parking lot we were tailgating in were Bear fans. What a game!

To LeRoy - I used to date a girl from Alb too, but now we're married. : ) LOL

Catch you on the next post.

Ha ha, looks like I hit a nerve with good ol Creighton.

Creighton, I know you don't like to hear this, but you were wrong about a lot of the Bears players.

Matt Forte, I won't even go there.
Greg Olsen, all last season all I heard from you was how Olsen was a bust. Creighton, he's gonna be a pro-bowler, live with it.
Chris Williams, damn straight you'll leave Chris Williams alone, all you have done toward Williams since they drafted him was call him a bust. Now its starting to look like he's gonna pan out, so yeah, you'll probably keep quiet on Williams. You didn't even like him in college. If the guy pans out, [which its starting to look like he will] your really gonna look wrong. TOLD YA SO ha ha ha!!
Tommie Harris, you want to act like your some kind of genius as far as Harris goes, your not. Everyone knew he was hurt, he had knee surgery, it doesn't mean he's done. You even get mad when I would point out something wasn't right with Harris. The guy isn't necessarily done. Your gonna be wrong about him also, Harris isn't done.
Jay Cutler, remember, the pink panties thing. Well guess what, Jerry Angelo did bring him in, so ha!!

I can keep going on, but I don't want to. Creighton, your biggest problem is you have no idea about the term player development. You act like a guy should come right in from college and be an all-pro, if not, to you, their a bust. Creighton, hate to tell ya, but most players take a couple seasons to pan out. Player development, learn it, seriously Creighton, learn it. Creighton, Bears GM Jerry Angelo has drafted some very good offensive players in Matt Forte, Greg Olsen, and Chris Williams. Live with it. You were wrong about that also.
TIMELINE with Bears fan Creighton.

Creighton pre-draft 2008: "Chris Williams is lazy because he can only do 21 reps on the bench press, he will be a bust. Matt Forte will fumble a lot in the pros, he played at a small school so the Bears should stay away from him."

Creighton 2009 season: "Auh......I admit, I was wrong about Forte. And Chris Williams I choose to plead the fifth."

Kevin Armstead says: "my what a difference a year makes."

Creighton, player development, learn it. On that note I say GO CUTLER!! GO ANGELO!! GO MARINELLI!! and GO BEARS!!

Creighton, one more thing, don't even try to make it out like I didn't want Jay Cutler. I never once said I didn't want the Jay Cutler trade to happen. I admit I never in my wildest dreams thought the trade would go down, but I never once said I didn't want it to happen. If you go through the archives, Biggs did a blog back when the Jay Cutler rumors began to first come out. I wrote that I thought Denver would have to be crazy to trade Jay Cutler. I even said whoever made the trade happen in Denver should be fired.

As far as Orton goes, I'm a Bears fan, and last season he was my favorite teams best option for the position. So heck yeah I'm gonna support him while he was here. See I support my teams players, I'm funny like that.

Creighton, the sad fact of the matter is simple, the Bears are gonna be a pretty good team and you can't stand it. You have done nothing but bash this team over and over again. Creighton, do you realize in your last blog you basically mocked me for being a Bears fan, whats up with that????

WRD said: "It's so silly that someone wants to shoot holes into this team and then act like a fan."

Creighton, he was basically calling you a fair weather fan with that statement. As you can see, I'm not the only one on this blog thats notices that about you. Your gonna sit there and bash the team, and then turn around and root for them on sundays?????????????????? I don't get it????? And don't even try to sugar coat being a fair weather fan by saying: "Auh.. this teams deserves the best, they should go 16-0 every season and every single player they draft should be an all-pro." Creighton, not gonna happen...ever. The fact of the matter is Jerry Angelo is a good GM and has done a good job keeping the Bears competitive. Theres never gonna be a GM thats could meet your standards. This is a good team, if you want to mock me for supporting them, go over to a Packer blog, there will probably be a whole bunch of other guys that will join in with ya. You would have to be a Packers fan to see the humor in Kevin Bumstead also there guy. See, only a Packers fan would mock a guy for supporting his teams players, you know, the Bears players?? Creighton, sometimes I wonder about you?? But I'm sure you agree that the PACKERS SUCK!! So as always Creighton GO BEARS!!

One thing some people are forgetting:
Da Bears still have not done sh.. since 2006. Period. I like the team we have now, I see alot of improvement but still we have not done anything yet. This is preseason, so it's hard to argue with someone that is talking about the team we have now verses someone that is talking about the team they `think' we will have this year. I love Da but we need to get into the real games before we know what we have for real. The Bronco's game was real treat for a preseason game though - Thanks Lovie and Bronco's fans!

We are all excited waiting for the GB game. Thats going to be a test right off the bat. Rodgers is one of the best (if you believe sports writers) and their new D scheme will be an unknown. A true test if there ever was one. Not sure if Raji is playing but I would rather he did. Don't want to beat them with an injury excuse!

I can say this Da Bears Player development over the years has been one of the worst in the league. So I would not use that one as an argument (for most teams a good argument but Da is excluded on that one) :) however I was thinking the same thing - how our young players (Olsen, Hester, Bennet) are coming on. Williams looks like a rook though, good thing we got Pace as I am not sure Williams would have been good starting LT. Maybe next year.
I do see Pace having trouble but still an upgrade over last few years at LT.

-Anyone else see the uppercut by Olin against the Bronco's D man??? during that `preseason' fight. Run it in slomo and tell me thats not a FAST uppercut! Now I know how dude got his jaw busted! Also I saw Olin getting down the field and knocking D players off our RB/WR - Olin was moving down the field while the rest of the Oline just stood there. Olin was ready and hyped for the Donks game!
AND! Cutler talking to Oilin just before Forte jumped over top of Olin to make up for the missed block on the previous play??? Some nice stuff there with the Bear who is turning the offense over to Cutler!
Thanks Olin!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 29, 2009 9:17 PM.

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