Chicago Sun-Times

Jay Cutler says offensive players will start workouts soon

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I feel bad that I've been out of pocket for a while, but I was working on a feature about Bulls guard Derrick Rose. That story published earlier today.

But, if you're not interested in the Bulls, here's some Bears news. Quarterback Jay Cutler told me Saturday that the Bears are going to start workouts soon. He wouldn't specify a date, but he said the offensive players are "locked and loaded." He also had a funny comment about why defensive players aren't included.

Here's a link to the story.

Cutler's had a lot going on, but he looked to be in good shape, and he told me his knee is "ready to go."

When I talked to him about a month ago, Cutler downplayed the need to hold player-only workouts. But he seemed serious yesterday.

"It wasn't necessary [before]," Cutler said. "But now is the time for everyone to kind to get together, and brush it off, and we're going to do that here in the next couple of weeks."

He also addressed the selection of Gabe Carimi, and he talked about his fundraiser to benefit the Jay Cutler Foundation.

I welcome your comments and questions.

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Sean it seems like we are focusing on the wrong players. I would think that the minicamps and off-season workouts benefit the rookies and one or two year veterans the most. The veteran players know their jobs and probably know what it takes to get their bodies ready for the long season. They are the reason the NFLPA is trying to negotiate a reduced off-season.

On the other hand this is the time of year the position coaches can spend quality time teaching the younger players. They can teach fundamentals and basic offensive and defensive systems in classroom, and on the field without having to worry about installing a game plan for the next opponent. They can also help tune a younger player's workout habits. For example, does a player need to work on getting lighter and quicker; or bigger and stronger to fit into the system?

Obviously the veteran players benefit from this time too, but isn't it really vital for the newbies?

Lovie Smith has assembled a coaching staff that is very strong on teaching the game. They should be strong on developing young players, but are hamstrung in these circumstances.

It is going to be an off-season where veteran players have a distinct advantage versus the younger, less experienced players. The new guys are the ones I wonder about?

You make a point, but one, IMO, that doesn't apply to the Bears. Which young players are they really counting on, other than Carimi? And Paea plays one of the easier positions for a rookie to come in and make an impact at.

Realistically, the players hurt most are rookie free agents. Those players need all the time they can, to make an impression. Let's say the Bears bring in a dozen of those guys and one of them shows something, then it's been worthwhile, right? But, the closer this gets to the season, the more likely teams will sign a veteran over a rookie free agent, to fill some holes on the back end of their roster.


Some great points and if I can add a little bit. I think this off season is killing the Bears. You ask which young players does this affect other than Carimi? Well, this offseason is critical for guys like J-Webb, Herman Johnson, and Chris Williams. Veterans they may be, but they need all the reps they can to form cohesion, work on footwork, and learn the QB's cadence. Even though there are no pads or hitting in the mini camps and OTA's, the coaching staff can tell right away whether or not Webb's feet are quick/good enough to handle the left side. Heck, he's got a pretty good measuring stick in Peppers. Peppers might not be able to hit him, but you can see if Webb, or Carimi can slide with him.

As for UDFA's, this work stoppage couldn't have come along at a worse time. For whatever reason, quite a few players that were exptected to be drafted, and in some cases drafted fairly high, weren't taken at all. At WR, you had Ricardo Lockett, Terrance Tolliver, and Tori Gurley. I would love to see invites to Lockett and Tolliver. In some scout's eyes, Tolliver was rated higher than Austin Pettis. And there were some very high rated centers that weren't drafted. Tim Barnes from Missouri, Alex Linnenkohl from Oregon St., and Kris O'Dowd from USC. O'Dowd got pushed around at the SR. Bowl, but if it is a question of strength, then you would be able to practice squad this kid and put him on a weight program. But for every day this work stoppage drags on, it's 1 more day that you can't work with potential UDFA's. And even veteran FA's need to learn systems and work with their new teams.

ahhhhh...yore sorry??? yo ur SORRY SEAN????? oh you better be SORY!! Do you now who i am dean?> i am teh grate one. I am KING on here. ans wehn their are no posts to blog on...i Guess IA CANT be KING nOW CAN I?

waht eklse am i soppose to do wit my life sean? go out wit my girlfrend? hahaha ok no...i ams to cool for that misster.

ohhh considur youself luck dean taht i Dont SMACK you arond like i do to BRAndo (HATE tah brando) or kevin BUMstead.

but you fusy now me old crap-ton...just trring to be posative..

ps IF YOU SMELLLLLLLELA AWAHT THE ROCK IS COOKING...hee hee mans i am so cool wehn i quote pro i am one tuff guy.... i will toss youre salad loosers! :)

I agree 100%, and believe that if this lockout goes into July, the Bears are really going to struggle this season. We are not good enough at any position on the field to get away with no offseason practices and training. We need our receivers to learn how to get off the jam; we need our OL to learn how to move their feet and mirror the defender. By the way, I firmly believe Webb will never be an effective LT in the NFL. I don't think his feet will be quick enough to hold his own, and he stands straight up out of his stance, which always puts him a step slow. Carimi is the only chance we have on the left, unless all of a sudden Chris Williams puts it together (which he can't do unless Tice is working with him).

As far as the UDFA, the Bears are always very active here(mostly because they can't manage to draft any appreciable talent in most years, and don't fill any of their holes), and not having this chance hurts more than in years past. I think Barnes and Linnenkohl are decent fits for Martz's offense. Zane Taylor might be another option to bring in for camp, as at least he has the functional strength to anchor. I would rather have a free agent WR than a rookie like Gurley or Tolliver. Mike Sims-Walker is the guy I think they should target, because he is a precise route runner, and we don't have any of those outside of Bennett. Getting to a spot on time is the driver of this passing game, so we need guys who can do that against press, off, or zone.

We are thin across the board on the roster right now, and every day they can't practice or bring guys in, we get a little thinner, because help will be less likely to arrive for this season. It is bleaker than it should be due to mismanagement of the roster, but will get a lot more bleak if we are saying the same things at the end of this month.

Has anyone seen that idiot who said Cutler wasn't a leader because he hadn't organized any offseason workouts? Let me take a look, oh that's who wrote it.

Brando | May 12, 2011 11:08 AM | Reply

Q.You hear about Drew Brees, Mark Sanchez and Eli Manning working out with their receivers. What is taking Jay Cutler so long?

A.Bears quarterbacks and receivers should have been working out together long ago. If they have not been (and I am not completely sure they have not been), it shows a void of leadership on the team.

As a leader and a caption of the team Cutler should call up the wide-outs, Caleb Hanie and the Rookie QB to do something. It seems to me Jay Cutler is taking this lock-out like a vacation. Players that want it will do anything they can to get better. Heck some players are getting out in fields, parks, streets heck even their backyard just to keep fresh.
Lets hope this lock-out will end soon cause we all know the O-Line and wide-outs are in the bottom of the NFL and they need all the work they can get."

Hey what's a Caption of a football team Mr. Spelling Bee champion?

Hey Gearhead I would not worry about Herman Johnson, Herman Johnson has concrete for feet.

And Ms I would not really worry much about the Rookies if have not noticed the Bears tend sign vets and hand them the jobs and almost never start more than 1-2 rookies.

Hey Sean were you at the game last night? Section 101 Row 16 Seat 4. I won't tell you how much I paid, but it was sooooo worth it. Nothing better than those over plump hot dogs with UC's extra runny mustard. I even caught a shirt at the half. I got lucky the row in front of me had 3 kids sitting it, they always try to get the shirts to the kids. Guy in front my buddy caught a shirt and gave it to his daughter, a minute later they tried to shoot the shirt to dad in front of me and just to my left, the shirt bounced off two people and hit my buddy in side of his head and landed in my lap. I was laughing for like 5 min, I gave it to the dad sitting down and to my left, his daughter was to cute she was dancing in the shirt for the rest of the game it was so big on her it went down past her feet. Only problem with the kids were we were trying not swear all game long but kept slipping, although I did convince the kids that King James was actually Princess James and that's what they should yell all game long, kids are the best they will wait for a quite moment and then scream it out.

So lets see Cutler, has been doing charity work, got engaged and is getting read to organize a workout for the offense. Damn that Jay Cutler is so Evil, no leadership at all. I hat e all this lead by example crap, he needs to find were all the cameras are at during games and bow doan and thank god everytime the Bears win a game, then he needs to cry and run and hug everybody. Cause that is what leadership is.

Give the media and some idiot fans what they want, screaming, crying, make a scene, mugging for the camera, telling the media what they want to hear instead of what actually happened and throw your teamates under the bus.

None of this lead by example garbage. It's funny some people ask why Cutler has not organized workouts yet, and yet nobody asks why the defense isn't organizing workouts, in fact nobody every asks why the defense doesn't or does do that. It's always what's the QB doing with the recievers or offense. Maybe Cutler will teach offensive linemen how to block, cause all QB's are so good at that.

At least Jay answered the question about the Bears defense:

“I mean, those defenders have been in the system for eight years, nine years,” Cutler said. “What are they gonna do?

“What am I going to tell Lach?” Cutler said, referring to linebacker Brian Urlacher. “ ‘Your drop is a little short. Sorry, buddy.’ Offensively, we have a lot of room to improve.”

Classic Jay.

Although guys like Wootton, Melton, Wright, Bowman, and Paea could use some work. Has Urlacher gotten some of those guys together? Him, Peppers, and Harris could really be helping these guys. Anyone... the defense...Bueller-Bueller? Cutler is already seeting things up with offense, it sure would be nice if the defense would do the same. Maybe they are but nobody every asks, so I am asking.

And look I posted twice I am sure someone will get really upset. By the way what's a bigger waste of time posting about football on a football blog? Or insulting people for wasting time doing that, by posting on a blog? Cause one is apperantly not a waste time. "I am gonna go to a football blog and write a bunch a posts about how people waste time posting. You gotta be a real genius to come up with that."

To answer your question, I think there are opportunities for younger players to improve the Bears on the defensive side of the ball. Take away Peppers, Urlacher, and Briggs; probably any other position could be won by a young player making a strong performance in traing camp after making a good impression in the off-season.

Oh there is no question that the Bears have an advantage against most of the league if the off-season gets shorter. There are a LOT of new coaching systems to be installed this year on other teams, but the Bears have continuity on all three phases.

Joe and GHB you make good points, but every NFL team has these issues. It's not about how good you are compared to last year's competition, It's about how you compare to other teams playing by the same rules this year. As a team with the same coordinators and a lot of veteran players, the Bears gain ground if everybody is standing still.

What I meant was that the younger players, especially first year players both drafted and UFA, are going to take it on the chin across the board. Not just on the Bears. For example during a normal off-season there would be more opportunity for a center prospect to make the Bears, but this year how can they not sign Kreutz? Similar situation with guys like Manning at safety and Adams at tackle. The Bears may have intended to resign all these players anyway, but at their price. Can they play hard ball in their negotiations this year?

I still think the vets have more mojo this year because clubs can't evaluate the younger players during the off-season programs. In general across the league I think the veteran players are going to get better offers from their current clubs and the clubs are going to be less likely to cut a veteran and keep a prospect during traing camp.

Creighton, I don't mind you posting twice when I agree with you both times.I even enjoyed the sarcasm, which someone down the line will probably quote as if you were serious. You are a bit too wordy, as usual, but right on. And you save me from saying the same things you said.

I think Jay Cutler downplayed the need for player-only workouts because he didn't think the strike was gonna last into june. I am happy to hear Cutler is gonna be working with his receivers although, its time to start working off some of that rust. This offense should be pretty good this season, especially if rookie tackle Gabe Carimi pans, and 2nd year tackle J'Marcus Webb continues to come on at tackle. If these young tackles can come on and protect the edge a little better than last season, it will make all the difference in the passing game, and may allow Martz's to open things up a little more.

As far up the middle, that remains the biggest question mark for Chicago on the offensive line. A couple young players need to step up, one is Chris Williams, he needs to come in and take over that left guard position, and on the right side, Lance Louis needs to take his game to another level also. I think the biggest problem with Louis will be durability, Louis gets bangged up a lot, he needs to come in and be able to last 16 games. I think had he not got injured last season, he probably would of took the right guard position. The Bears need Williams and Louis to pan. Adding a free agent to the mix at guard wouldn't be a bad idea, I'm all for the Raven's Marshall Yanda or Atlanta's Harvey Dahl. I also like San Diego's Scott Mruczkowski, the 6-5 325lb lineman would add some much neede size inside. Mruczkowski can play either center or guard, and with a last name like "Mruczkowski", he belongs in Chicago GO BEARS!!

Yes Ms that's all true exceot for one thing, nobody can do anything about the damn lockout. So why worry, at least the vets will get in some work. I doubt Carimi will be doing a lot other than hitting the gym but maybe someone can get him hooked up with a playbook study session.

Kevin Logan Mankins is still going to holdout, but Pats are in no position to let him walk which is a shame. Why would you want Scott Mruczkowski, a backup with only 15 career starts a below averad SD line. If you want size I don't know if Lance Louis is the guy, if they sign someone he may not even make the team, maybe they see Louis as morer a center. I mean Angelo said he was looking for more of a tackle build on the inside which fits Tice and Louis is not that guy. Plus if Carimi is a starter which is almost a lock then you have a rookie on one side and if Webb a second year player who needs a ton of work and has not really grasped much of the system, which was a problem for him in college as well, he's all ability and no skill. Can the Bears afford to put a guy like Louis next either one of them for that matter can they afford to put Williams next to either one of them. Although Carimi might give Williams something he needs, and thats drive, but if Olin couldn't do it I find it a hard sell that a Rookie will.

They should go after Yanda who can play 3 line positions. He would fit well with Carimi if they put him on the right side.

Oi, Paul I didn't write all that, one of those posts has a big quote in it from a so called fan who yells at anyone who speaks i'll of Angelo or Lovie but makes a habit out of attacking the Bears QB. Hahahaha, I am still high from the Bulls win, off to work.

Creighton, you make a nice point about Mruczkowski, but I just like the versatility he could bring to the Bears roster inside at either guard or center, and with limited playing time in San Diego, he has fared well. In 2009 he got 13 starts for the Chargers injured starting center Nick Hardwick, and didn't miss a beat.

I agree about Marshall Yanda, and you make a nice point about how the Bears want to get bigger inside by adding more tackle/guards types. A player they should look into is Atlanta's Justin Blalock, Blalock played tackle in college at Texas, and at 6-4 329lbs would add much needed size inside and he's a powerful blocker. Blalock is only a 5 year vet and could fix the Bears left guard problem long term wise.

As far as Lance Louis, Mike Tice seems to like him, no Louis isn't big, but he is a strong nasty type blocker for the inside. My knock on Louis is his versatility, if the guy can stay healthy, and coming into year 3 as an NFL player, he might be alright. GO BEARS!!

Q.Interesting comment in a recent mailbag about a possible leadership void on the team. Jay Cutler just doesn't strike me as a leader, and a successful quarterback has to be one. Look at Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, even Jim McMahon when he played. Am I way off base here? Rick, Spanaway, Wash.

A.The best way to be a leader is to throw touchdown passes. If Cutler does that, nothing else really matters. But he certainly can be a better leader in other ways. Remember, one of the reasons he was available in a trade is he wasn't everything that Manning and Brady are in terms of intangibles. The Bears' hope is that he matures into a leader. We're waiting.
Dan Pompei
Im not the only one to think Cutlers needs to step up or get out.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on May 15, 2011 11:53 PM.

Ditka talks about Cutler's talent, leadership was the previous entry in this blog.

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