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Tag:Jay Cutler
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

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 24, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Lovie likes his squad

Coming off a 7-9 season – causing some observers to wonder whether Bears coach Lovie Smith should be replaced – the Bears have restocked their organization for what they hope will be a Super Bowl run.

As the Chicago Tribune writes, the front office expects results. And it wants results now.

From Tribune reporter Brad Biggs:

Three things have changed since the offseason began with President Ted Phillips announcing general manager Jerry Angelo and Smith were returning but that the "status quo wasn't acceptable."

First, Smith cleaned house with his offensive coaching staff. Next, ownership opened the vault like never before, dropping $55 million guaranteed in free agency. Finally, there was significant turnover in the front office.

All moves have Smith at least coming across as impervious to the win-or-else situation in which he finds himself as he maintains his goal is not merely to compete for a playoff spot but rather to win the Super Bowl.


In response to a third-place finish in the NFC North, Chicago added DE Julius Peppers on defense, and on offense, the Bears have married QB Jay Cutler and new offensive coordinator Mike Martz in what they hope will be a harmonious relationship.

"We know what a good football team looks like," Smith said. "And this is a good football team."

He’d better hope that’s the case. Otherwise, his seat might begin to feel warmer.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 24, 2010 10:30 am
 

Cutler Martz: Let the Scrutiny Begin

Prepare to get sick and tired of the “Mike Martz, Jay Cutler Marriage: Will It Work?” stories in 2010. The opinionated – and, many would say, arrogant – quarterback and offensive coach are spearheading a stunning change in Chicago. The Bears are installing a high-risk, wide-open, pass-happy offense, which is not unlike the PETA organization opening a slaughterhouse.

Whether Martz’s system can work in football’s Black and Blue capital remains to be seen (the bet here is it will NOT – not with that Bears offensive line). No matter how things play out, expect unyielding scrutiny of the Martz-Cutler relationship. We’re still in the first-round of it, so everything is positive for now. Like these words from Cutler (courtesy of ESPNChicago):

"(Martz) makes you want to come to work every day. He's so creative, he's doing fun stuff. He's finding ways to win. That's all you can ask for as a player, to have a coach that loves football and is going to do everything possible to be successful. I think that's what the great coaches are able to do and what Mike's done in the past."

Nice thoughts. Let’s check back after Cutler takes six sacks and throws two picks in an ugly home loss.


--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

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