Chicago Sun-Times

Cutler-Marshall connection highlights Bears' first OTA

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Quarterback Jay Cutler completed ''several'' passes to Brandon Marshall against the first-team defense as the Bears opened their on-field preparation for the 2012 season with ''spirited'' 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work at their opening offseason practice Tuesday at Halas Hall.

The practice was closed to the media and public, but Larry Mayer of the team's web site,, reported that the anticipated Cutler-Marshall connection didn't disappoint. Cutler didn't waste time establishing a fruitful connection with Marshall for the first time since the 2009 Pro Bowl.

''It was a little give and take today,'' Marshall told the Bears web site. ''It was good to see the defense make some plays and we also made some plays. We're excited about where we're at right now, but we have a lot of work to get done before the opener [Sept. 9 vs. the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field].

''I'm not where I want to be and I'm sure as a team we have a lot of room to grow and get better. It feels good, but at the same time, we've got to keep our head down, foot on the pedal and just continue to grind.''

According to Mayer, Marshall vs. Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman was the most entertaining match-up of the day.

''It's fun because he's a smart DB [defensive back]. He's really good,'' Marshall said. ''He's really talented. He keeps me on my toes. It's like a chess match out there. The only thing I don't like about him is he's in such good shape that he talks all the way through practice and I'm so winded I can't respond to him half the time.''

Officially called voluntary ''organized team activities,'' the offseason practices allow NFL teams to have offensive vs. defense in game-type situations, which pleases head coach Lovie Smith, according to the Bears' web site.

''They've looked good in the weight room, getting acclimated to the offseason program and then [in] some individual work,'' Smith said. ''But you want to see a little bit more competition. That's why it's really good for a guy like Charles Tillman to get a chance to go against a big receiver like Brandon Marshall, and new guys like [quarterback] Jason Campbell and [running back] Michael Bush being able to see exactly how we do things. It was a great start.''

The Bears will have OTAs on Tuesday-Thursday this week, May 29-31 and June 4-7 before their mandatory three-day mini-camp June 12-14. The offseason workouts are not open to the public, but the Wednesday OTAs and mini-camp will be open to the media. The Sun-Times will provide full coverage of those practices, beginning with Wednesday's OTA at Halas Hall.

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Ohhh my! Mark iloved the way you included Larry Mayer into your piece! Larry Mayer is my hero and idol. I have his image on every t-shirt I own and when Larry isn't looking I steal his used kleenexes from his trash can for my private collection. Tee hee!

But enough about how great my lovely Larry Mayer is, I ask you true Bumstead fans, do you really care about Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall? Do you remember when total beasts roamed on the Bears? I'm talking asbout the days whenthe second comng Chris Leak was throwing the ball to the likes of world class receivers Mike Hass and David Ball. Oh my I get a tingly feeling running up my leg when I think of that magic preseason in '08. Sadly, I don't think that level of football will ever be seen again, true believers. I also yearn for the days when Garret "the semi-truck" Wolfe would charge up behind Josh "Hecules" Beekman for no gain or a loss of two.

Ay me, those truly were the wonder years.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on May 22, 2012 5:49 PM.

Brandon Marshall goes toe-to-toe with Stephen A. Smith was the previous entry in this blog.

Long recovery puts upbeat Knox in doubt for 2012 is the next entry in this blog.

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