Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler on-target again in Bears' practice

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You didn't have to wait to see the film to know that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is making progress in training camp.

Cutler completed 14-of-18 passes in the ''team'' portion of practice at training camp Thursday night at Olivet Nazarene University. He completed passes to nine receivers -- Earl Bennett (twice), Roy Williams (twice), Johnny Knox (twice), Devin Hester (twice), Matt Forte, Chester Taylor (twice), Dane Sanzenbacher, Kellen Davis and Eddie Williams.

He threw one interception -- a downfield pass that was deflected by wide receiver Sam Hurd and picked off by safety Craig Steltz.

Like many teammates on offense, Cutler said the comfort level in the second season of Mike Martz's offense is making a difference.

''It's Year Two, so it's completely different. It's night and day,'' Cutler said. ''I feel more comfortable with the reads and where I'm going with the ball. It's just a matter of getting the offense line worked out, and giving me and the receivers time.''

Cutler's best play Thursday was a thread-the-needle pass to Devin Hester over the middle that looked like it would have gone for a 46-yard touchdown. Training camp, especially this early, is generally not the place to make judgments. But that dart to Hester was a mid-season-form pass play -- a small, but not insignificant indication of things to come.

''Today was a little bit rough, with the new guys and kind of starting over,'' Cutler said. ''But the last five practices have been extremely sharp. Devin Hester is having an unbelievable - unbelievable - camp. Johnny, Earl. Matt Forte looks great. We have a strong core of guys and we add some of these new guys in there, it should make us better.''

The offensive line will be a big factor in Cutler's success, but he said he was not concerned about the state of flux with the line. Center Olin Kreutz is gone. Roberto Garza currently has moved from right guard to center. And Lance Louis is at right guard. Rookie Gabe Carimi is starting at right tackle.

''Roberto is going to center now. But he's been there. He knows what we want. Lance played a lot for us last year. Gabe has to come along pretty quickly. He's doing really well for us.

''We've got four guys that have been in there and played a significant amount of football for us. We added one new guy at right tackle. But he's a first-round pick, so we're expecting a lot of big things out of him. But those guys, I think they might surprise some people.''

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It sounds like 3rd year guard Lance Louis is having a pretty good camp, good enough to keep himself in the starting line-up so far in camp. If he does come on, it will be interesting to see if Chicago keeps him in the starting line-up. We know Garza is gonna be a starter either way, but what about Chris Spencer? Are the Bears gonna keep Garza at center and have Spencer duke it out with Louis for the right guard spot? Thats worth keeping an eye on, it would be nice for Lance Louis to come on. I see on the teams web-site Louis is listed at 320lbs, he must have really bulked up since his rookie season. We know Louis is a nasty in your face type from the trouble in got himself in while he was at school, the added bulk will help him get more push inside. Hopefully he comes on, he was a Tice favorite last camp before going on to start 4 games last season. Louis coming on would really help the Bears get younger and stronger inside GO BEARS!!

Hey there Jay, its me your number one fan. keep working your maigc out there. Theres a lot of people out there who want to say mean and nasty things baout you but I will keep them in check.

Hey Kevin stopp drooling over complete busts like lance luois. Hes sucked the first time and he will suck again. Cut him and salvage your losses.

I would be surprised if right guard and Chris Williams were not in that mix too. We will probably know within a week or so.

Be interesting to see if Williams gets any more reps at center. He has had trouble finding a niche, but he is smart and he is versatle. If he can play center, he could back up almost any position along the line.

Dont get your hopes up to quickly. I am a long time Bears fan and live out of state. The only ones who have been tooting the horn for the Bears are the Bears themselves. Radio show, cable sports show even local news question the moves that have happened in this young season. I truly believe Cutler is more comfortable in the offense but that wont make a difference if Cutler is on his back like last year. The line is suspect at best and so are the receivers.

Kevin who else is going to start in place of Louis? The long proud list of top of the line interior O-line is just waiting to be named. They don't really have anyone. Although I am starting to wonder if Carimi is going to end up inside in the long run.

MS is Williams really versitile, usually that means you can do a lot things, he can't play tackle and he looks really bad at guard as well? I can't really think of one thing he does well let alone three things he does well.

Creighton, I'm not saying Lance Louis is the second coming of Mark Bortz, my only point is he must be playing pretty good, especially since he's been holding down that right guard spot for most of camp. Heres the thing, don't you think had Louis's play been bad Tice would have already put Spencer in at center and moved Garza back to right guard? Louis must really be showing something to be keeping himself in the starting lineup. Now, I can see Spencer getting moved into center and Chris Williams getting the boot, and Garza and Louis will be your guards, that I can see as a possible scenario?

And Creighton, no way is Gabe Carimi a guard in the long run, no way. If anything he'll end up at left tackle in the long run, but if Webb comes on at left tackle Carimi will stay put at right tackle. GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on August 5, 2011 12:13 AM.

Roy Williams shakes off rust in Bears debut was the previous entry in this blog.

Jay Cutler says Devin Hester having an "unbelievable" camp is the next entry in this blog.

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