Tag:Jay Cutler
Posted on: August 24, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: August 24, 2010 10:46 am
 

Hot Routes 8.24.10: Get out of the press box!

Posted by Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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-A Giants press box attendant asked Steelers icon Dan Rooney to leave because Rooney’s pass was only valid for the owner’s box . The press box attendant apparently didn’t know it was Dan Rooney. (No excuse, though: any half-witted attendant should know that whoever is important enough to get an owner’s box pass is more than important enough to be in the press box.) Rooney graciously left.

-Of the Jets’ “Big Four” – D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis and David Harris – it looks like Harris will be the odd man out for a new contract this season. The uncapped year’s 30 percent rule appears to be part of the problem. Harris will make less than $1 million this season.

-According to the Boston Herald , OG Logan Mankins doesn’t spend money. Which means he doesn’t have to worry about lost wages if he doesn’t play this year for the Patriots. Which is looking like a real possibility.

-Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles is averaging more than twice as many more yards per carry this preseason than new acquisition Thomas Jones (7 yards to 3.1), but Charles isn’t worried about the stats at this point in the preseason.

-All offseason we’ve been writing about how the Bears don’t have enough quality pass-blockers to execute Mike Martz’s system . It’s only the preseason, but because this proves our point, we’ll remind everyone that Jay Cutler was sacked five times against the Raiders Saturday night.

-Brian Urlacher has a calf injury, but it doesn’t appear to be at all serious .

-The Ravens are upbeat about how Ed Reed’s rehab from hip surgery is going . Some somewhat good news on Sergio Kindle – Baltimore expects him in town by the end of the week .

 -Dallas rookie WR Dez Bryant isn’t scheduled to return in the preseason, but he’s still on track to start the season opener Sept. 12. After suffering a high ankle sprain, he’s lost about 10 pounds.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 9:10 am
 

So much for vanilla

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting trend has emerged this preseason – defenses which normally would play fairly vanilla against offenses who were doing much of the same are being more aggressive in exhibition games.

The National Football Post takes a look at these occurrences.

In fact, when the Chargers faced the Bears, San Diego blitzed so much (I saw a report where it was six of the first eight snaps) coach Lovie Smith decided to get QB Jay Cutler the hell out of there.

The Giants blitzed 24 times against the Jets. The list goes on.

“For me, I would just say I was trying to set a mentality,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell told the Post. “I’m going to be very aggressive. Yes, we want to play base, fundamental defense and we want to see people take on a block, shed a block, that kind of thing.”

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers provides a dissenting opinion.

“Sometimes you can cover up some ills by blitzing all the time,” he told the Post. “If you feel like you have nothing to lose, that’s fine. But if you go into the season feeling you have to rely on the blitz all the time, sooner or later it catches up with you. Now is the time when we can see if we can play base, fundamental football. And if we can’t, and do it well, the blitzing might disguise it for a little bit. But it’s not going to disguise it for long. People figure you out too much in this game. For us, it starts with stopping the run. If we can stop the run, then we can do a lot more things.”

I’m sure this is a trend that opposing quarterbacks who are just trying to get down their timing before retiring to the sidelines for the second half would like to see end. As would their coaches.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Preseason games tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

There is a hefty slate of preseason games for Saturday night. It’s only the second exhibition contest for most of these teams, so don’t expect the starters to play past the first half. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. We’ll take a stab at selling each game on tonight’s schedule. Here we go…

Ravens @ Redskins
Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams flashed remarkable athleticism early on against the Bills last week. He’s going up against considerably tougher competition in the blitzing, physical Ravens front seven. How will he perform?

Steelers @ Giants
Ben Roethlisberger makes his preseason debut. It’s surprising that Mike Tomlin chose to debut his controversial star quarterback on the road. After all, this only maximizes the Big Ben distraction. Then again, it’s just preseason, so perhaps Tomlin views the distraction as a valuable learning opportunity for his club. That’s something the young Super Bowl-winning head coach would think about.

Chiefs @ Bucs
Um…hmm…this would be a tough game to sell even during the regular season.

How about this: Chiefs second-round rookie wideout/running back Dexter McCluster has turned some heads in camp. So has Bucs fourth-round rookie wideout Mike Williams. Both should see plenty of action in this game.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
The Jags insist there isn’t a quarterback controversy. But if David Garrard goes out tonight and stinks up the joint, and Luke McCown comes in and has another three-touchdown performance, that tune will be harder to sing.

Rams @ Browns
Everybody loved watching Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy square off in college. Well, here’s your chance to see it on the pro level.

Texans @ Saints
If a photographer can get a good shot of Mario Williams tackling Reggie Bush, we’ll have an excellent excuse for a look-back story on the 2006 NFL Draft. We can even call CBS analyst Charley Casserly and listen to the former Texans G.M. pass up another chance to gloat about proving millions of armchair G.M.’s wrong.

If the Williams-Bush angle doesn’t do it for you, this game features two of the most explosive offenses in football. (New Orleans ranked first in total yards and fourth in passing last season; Houston ranked fourth in total yards and first in passing.) The unofficial over/under for total first half points is 50.

Jets @ Panthers
Watch the game and try to predict which plays will make it on Hard Knocks. (Really clever fans could probably turn this into some form of a drinking or gambling game – or both.)

Raiders @ Bears
Jay Cutler is still getting acquainted with Mike Martz’s offense. If Cutler throws too many picks in this contest, Al Davis might try to sign him to a record-breaking contract.

More seriously, the Bears receivers will have a good opportunity to showcase their progress in the new system. The Raiders run a traditional man-to-man scheme, which helps reveal a receiver’s true raw talent. The Raiders are planning on moving Nnamdi Asomugha around this year; it will be interesting to see which wideout he lines up across from most often, Devin Hester or Johnny Knox.

Cowboys @ Chargers
Is there anything more annoying than a preseason matchup being touted as a possible “Super Bowl preview”?
If the Chargers struggle to move the ball through the air, will that impact the Vincent Jackson trade developments? (Probably not, but the idea is worth floating.)

Lions @ Broncos
Tony Scheffler makes his epic return to Denver…?

Okay, how about Tim Tebow possibly making his first appearance at home? You know if Tebow plays after missing some practice time this week (sore ribs), at least one idiot columnist or radio host will take the opportunity to praise the Florida star’s legendary toughness.


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Posted on: August 17, 2010 4:25 pm
 

The Bears' backup QB situation is getting awkward

Posted by Will Brinson

Currently the Chicago Bears have Jay Cutler (the starter), Caleb Hanie (the injured backup) and Dan LeFevour (the 12-year* college vet turned NFL rook) as quarterbacks on their roster.

With Hanie's injury and Lefevour throwing picks at a rate that makes Cutler look like Sammy Baugh, Mike Martz and Lovie Smith have been very interested in bringing in a solid veteran backup to ensure that if Cutler gets hurt their entire season isn't sunk.

So, Martz asked his (literally) old pal Trent Green if he'd be interested in joining the Bears' roster. He said no . Twice .

Next up? Damon Huard who has no interest in the job and would prefer to remain retired .

How about you, Todd Collins? Nope. He's not interested either .

So where will the Bears turn next? Jeff Garcia would be my guess if only because a) he's old b) he seems interested in playing and c) anyone else they might have on their radar is either deceased or retired.

*Probably not accurate but sure seems that way, no?

Posted on: August 16, 2010 5:24 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 8:41 pm
 

Chicago appears to have dodged big injuries

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple of Bears injury notes, though fortunately for Chicago’s fans, neither appears to be serious.

Backup QB Caleb Hanie, who was hurt Saturday when Chargers LB Antwan Applewhite drove his shoulder into the ground during a sack, said his shoulder won’t require surgery.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune , Hanie – who’s still waiting for the results of a precautionary MRI but said he suffered an injury to the AC joint – doesn’t think he’s in danger of losing his No. 2 spot, behind Jay Cutler and ahead of rookie Dan LeFevour.

"I've never missed any games, so if I have to miss a game this is new territory," Hanie told reporters. "I'm not worried about losing my (No. 2) job. That's not even a worry for me. What I have is not a season-ending injury, not half-season, not even beginning of the season. I am definitely not worried about losing my position.”

Also, the Bears said today rookie safety Major Wright will have surgery on his broken left index finger . That means Wright might not open the season as a starting safety and it could mean the experienced Chris Harris could fill that role. But it’s not a major injury for the third-round pick, and for now, that’s what counts.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:46 am
 

Hot Routes 8.16.10: Media wants Tebow's autograph

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link we should feature in the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Unsurprisingly, the comments on my "Tebow was impressive" article were all like "WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?!? HE PLAYED AGAINST SECOND- AND THIRD-STRINGERS!" That's true. But you know what? Tebow is so freaking amazing that he's inspiring media members to ask him for autographs -- according to Alex Marvez on Twitter , two members of the press walked up to Tebow after the game and asked for his signature. That's a big no-no (doi), because not only do you immediately shred any sense of objectivity about the person you're covering, but it's a clear-cut case of abusing the access that press members have. Next thing you know, they'll start serving us delicious food at games too! No, but seriously, this is embarrassing; a quick Twitter-poll reveals that most people agree what they did was quite annoying, etc.
  • Of course, all the Tebow love in the world won't change the top spot on the Broncos' depth chart -- Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that "it's not close" when it comes to how far ahead Kyle Orton is. That's true, but as a I mentioned last night, it would be somewhat surprising if Tebow didn't hop Brady Quinn for the No. 2 spot in Denver.
  • There were three No. 1 overall quarterbacks involved in the San Francisco - Indy tilt, with David Carr, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith all getting action during the game. That may be a fact that interests only me. (And it only interests me because I have a weird obsession with Carr, aka "Mister Mittens." )
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a handy "10 things to watch" list for the Jets preseason opener. You'll never believe it, but a Darrelle Revis-less defense's play is near the top. On a fairly random note, my girlfriend (who does NOT care for football) watched "Hard Knocks" and freaking loved it. Downside: she asked if it was okay to cheer for the Jets in 2010. I begrudgingly said yes.
  • Kent Somers notes that Larry Fitzgerald -- he of the recently sprained MCL -- was prepping to have his best season ever as a pro and wants people to not "write him off." Geez, Larry. That's a lot to ask. From what I hear, he's going undrafted in almost every fantasy league after this injury.
  • Chicago Breaking Sports has video of Jay Cutler stating that the Bears were just "a few blocks away from some big runs." Yeah, and I'm just "a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire." (10 to be exact.)

Posted on: July 25, 2010 7:26 pm
 

Jay Cutler understands dangers of his own arm

Mike Martz and Jay Cutler will, theoretically, decide the fate of the Chicago Bears in 2010. Sure, other stuff (Matt Forte not sophomore slumping, the offensive line not slumping, period) matters too, but Cutler and Martz wlll, ahem, bear the brunt of the focus for both blame and kudos.

Of course, Martz' system will ask Cutler to do the precise opposite of what we've seen him do in the pros thus far: throw to a spot, not an open receiver. In fact, one could argue that Cutler's cannon arm might actually pose a problem for him in this system.
"I totally agree with that,'' Cutler said in an exclusive interview with the Sun-Times . "In the West Coast [offense], you can see it and let it fly. But this system is total trust. You have to trust the receivers. You have to trust the call. You have to trust the spots. If you don't, if you don't let it fly when it's supposed to, it's going to be an interception." So, the good news is that Cutler understands his own limitations as a quarterback.

The bad news is that, according to the same Sun-Times interview, he hasn't found success throwing to spots thus far in his experience with Martz' system. And, of course, there's always the problem that Cutler has a strong propensity for making bad decisions in the heat of the moment during games.

To solve this potential problem, Cutler says he'll talk with former Martz quarterback and new retiree Kurt Warner. That's nice and all, but all the talking that Warner can do about "trusting the system" and "giving things over" probably won't be enough to salvage the 2010 experiment in Chicago.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: July 14, 2010 7:10 pm
 

A scenario for Josh McDaniels

Mike Klis of the Denver Post had an interesting comment in his mailbag today when a fan asked him how soon owner Pat Bowlen would expect coach Josh McDaniels to reach the postseason before perhaps looking for a replacement.

Considering McDaniels is entering his SECOND season as head coach, Klis said he likely would need to make the playoffs this year or in 2011 to assure Bowlen that he should be allowed to coach through the end of his four-year contract.

But Klis also raised another issue that involves a coach who’s working for a team 1,500 miles away and a quarterback who’s on the field for a squad 900 miles away. A coach and a player, though, that Broncos fans know very well. They are Mike Shanahan, now coaching in Washington, and Jay Cutler, now playing in Chicago.

From the article:

If the Broncos finish 7-9 or worse this year, and Shanahan's Redskins and Cutler's Bears finish 10-6 and make the playoffs, McDaniels could be in trouble.

I still believe Bowlen would stick with McDaniels given this example. But to do so, Bowlen would have to withstand serious pressure from Broncos fans who would scream for a change.

I don't see this nightmarish sequence happening, by the way. I don't think Shanahan can lift the 4-12 team he inherited to any more than seven or eight wins this year.


In other news in this article, Klis said he believes, under the right circumstances, quarterback Kyle Orton could lead a team to a Super Bowl. Hey, if it worked for Trent Dilfer, I suppose it could work for Orton as well.

--Josh Katzowitz

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