Chicago Sun-Times

Day 5 Camp Summary: D gets under Cutler's skin

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Jay Cutler is off limits during practice, wearing a bright orange jersey, just like all the quarterbacks.

But the Bears defense seemed to annoy him on Tuesday.

Let's first establish that Cutler didn't have a bad day. During one stretch, Cutler completed seven passes in a row, including two to Johnny Knox and one to tight end Greg Olsen.

But that was in seven-on-seven drills, which means it doesn't include the defensive line.

When lines were on the field, the offense's unit certainly had some positive moments, giving Cutler time to complete passes. But there were a handful of clear sacks, as well, with defensive tackle Tommie Harris once swatting the ball out of Cutler's hands as he ran by in front of him.

Cutler showed the first sign of frustration, picking the ball up and tossing at Harris' feet about five feet away.

Bears Camp footballx.jpg

Later, though, the offensive line had two bad plays in a row in a full squad situation. Julius Peppers blew by Frank Omiyale. Then, the entire defensive line collapsed the pocket, and Mark Anderson appeared in position to get a sack of Cutler.

The quarterback responded by chucking the ball toward the right sideline, at the top of a large, white tent.

Asked if his quarterback was frustrated, Bears coach Lovie Smith said, "I don't know about frustrated.

"We have scholarship players on the other side of the ball too. Jay's a good player. I'm really pleased with what he's done. But it's good competition."

Peppers, meanwhile, downplayed any frustration the quarterback should have.

"I don't know if we frustrated him because he's not getting hit so he can't really feel it," Peppers said. "Yet. He wasn't taking any punishment."

Other notable things from today's practice:

* LB Brian Iwuh injured his knee during practice, and he was carted off.

* LB Hunter Hillenmeyer didn't practice because of a groin injury, Smith said.

* Cutler's best pass was in the middle of the field, to Rashied Davis. It appeared to be a forced pass, since Brian Urlacher and a safety were in the vicinity. But Davis ran right onto the ball, and he brought it in for about 20 yards.

* One of the more comical sights was seeing James Marten (6 foot 8) lined up at left guard. He's three inches taller than the left tackle on that play, Kevin Shaffer.

* Johnny Knox was definitely the most targeted receiver by Jay Cutler on Tuesday. He made several nice plays. But a sure touchdown was to Devin Aromashodu, who was streaking down the left sideline and ran under a deep pass from Cutler.

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I think it might be time to let Kevin Shaffer have a chance to be the starting right tackle, at least for this season. I know its still early, but it doesn't sound like Frank Omiyale is gonna work out there. I say go with Shaffer, or maybe let James Marten have a crack at the position. Shaffer has the experience and Tice likes how he grades out, let him start this year until youngster J'Marcus Webb is ready. Webb is probably Chicago's future starting right tackle anyways. But for the now, Chicago might wanna get Shaffer in there to start getting this line some kind of continuity. Kevin Shaffer is probably the best bet for this season.

I like the "We have scholarship players on the other side of the ball" comment by Lovie Smith. He's right though, with Julius Peppers and Tommie Harris, Chicago has two blue chippers on their front. As far as Harris, so far so good, when healthy, he's a "Total Beast" along with Julius Peppers! These two are gonna give the Bears a heck of a combo up front, its gonna be great to watch this year GO BEARS!!

Kevin don;t you be a Debby Downer what do you mean it's time to give the RT to Shaffer? What about Frank the Tank Omiyale? Your not already giving up on him? He's a total beast to.

Oh wait I see Webb is already the RT of the future and the total beast designation has been transfered to him.

Sean did you see who Tommie Harris beat on the play where he swated the ball? Also how is Chris Williams doing and who has been the most consistant of the linemen up to this point if any?

Now Glass is half full people will probably believe the defensive line is the best ever. While glass is half empty people will feek that the O-Line is the worst ever.

Good. The D got to him without sacking him. That bodes well.

What concerns me is that it could be one of two things: Either our defensive line is going to be very good, or our offensive line is going to be very bad...We have no real idea of which one until we get to play against someone else. Seems like it looks like this every year, and somehow neither unit looks all that great during the season. I agree it is time to sit Omiyale, no matter how much we paid him. Granted, no one is able to block Peppers one on one, but combine that with the false starts, and generally bad play last year, and we need another body over there to keep Cutler upright.

It is clear Webb is not ready to play now. Will he stay on the practice squad, or will they come up with a "season ending" injury for him to stash him for a year? The question is whether Shaffer is the RT, or the swing tackle? If they go with Marten, we could suffer through some growing pains during the season, since both Williams and Marten will be in their first season as starting tackles.

I can understand Cutler's frustration. It's not like the the defense is throwing exotic blitzes at him during early camp. Most of the time, the line is being overmatched by 4 guys. Not a good sign for an offense that will be in 5 and 7 step drops a lot of the time.

Harris and Peppers dominated in 2v2 and 2v3 line drills so a Team they are fantastic in camp so far...But it's only camp, and it's our O line. Omiyale has now been pulled off first team drills no less than 3 times for surrendering no less than 5 false starts and 2 sacks. RT and LG need solutions.

@Joe F.

Williams started on the right side last year. So technically, this is not his first year.

I agree, Schaffer is better suited for our line. omiyale improved when moved to tackle last year, but Tice said that on his review of tape he rated Schaffer second to only Kreutz. That's huge. Meanwhile, didn't Omiyale false start enough last year to have a low tolerance in training camp? Put Schaffer in there, he's earned the first team reps. It's not like they're cutting anyone, if omiyale is so much of a beast he would've had glowing reviews after movign last year, instead all you heard was how much better he was there than at guard.

Tommie Harris blew past James Marten when he got to Cutler. I think Cutler is a competitor so doesn't like any play that isn't a completion, but I'm sure he's not frustrated yet. He knows better than anyone he has to count on pressure during the season and its better for him to practice with guys in his face now.

LT Williams
LG Asiata
C Kreutz
RG Louis
RT Marten

GOD HELP Jay Cutler!!!! I know this won't happen, Lovie would never put this many first time players out there. This with the exception of Kreutz could be the O-Line of the future. I would love to see how Tice would work with these guys. Can anybody tell me if this kid Tim Walter is worth the practice squad? Plays center and has decent size.

Not a good early sign for the Right Tackle position. The Bears better have some relief outlet passes available when Cutler is running for his life this year or he could get killed if a couple of those early camp O line holes are not filled with capable players.

The defense could surprise this year with the return of Urlacher, Briggs the unsung star, Tillman the other unsung star, Peppers (enough said about him) T. Harris (the talent but the heart?)and Harris in the secondary. The D has the makings of a very solid unit if the injury bug can be not so severe as last year. Top 5 Defense and top 5 special teams will have the Bears in every game.

If the offense can score some points (even top 16th in points) and if the Bears can keep Cutler on his feet instead of his back, because it is hard to see receivers on your back. Then the Bears will win the division. They will win the division!!!!

10-6 season, Bears win the division, they split with Minnesota, they sweep the Packers and Lions. They will probably be traveling in the playoffs but with a great D and special teams, they will be in every game.

The problems the Bears have.


2. Under Tackle, don't by the hype.

3. Flat Routs, not routs in the flat. This will play havoc with Bears recievers once they start playing on the green mud and the frozen green mud. You will notice there have been some slips, there is a reason.

4. Secondary play.

5. Jamming the recievers, with the Bears O-Line being the weak link, jamming will compound the problem and Cutler will spend a lot of time on his back.

6. Frozen green mud, trying to run full speed routs with flat quick cuts will cause some injuries.

7. Blitz recognition.

Still too early to make any significant judgements. First team offense against first team defense should make both sides feel frustrated. That only means both sides are doing what they are paid to do. The real proof will be when they are pitted against someone other than each other. That's an obvious point, but you bloggers seem to be missing it.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 3, 2010 6:26 PM.

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