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The Chicago Bears have signed tight end Gabe Miller and placed him on the practice squad, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune.
Miller was most recently a tight end with the Seattle Seahawks, but began his career as a linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller played his college ball at Oregon State, where he caught eight passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in his freshman year before switching to defensive end. On that side of the ball, Miller accumulated 67 tackles -- including 13 for a loss -- and eight sacks in two seasons.
Miller has yet to appear in an NFL regular season game at either position. However, if nothing else, it appears that he is versatile and up for a challenge.
During the Chicago Bears' 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, quarterback Jay Cutler bumped offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb on the sideline. Cutler's actions have already been criticized as unfair by cornerback D.J. Moore in the Chicago Tribune on Monday. Moore followed up in a Q&A later in the day Monday, in which he did not reverse his position on Cutler or paint the quarterback in a good light.
But I mean, just, you know, he is what he is. He's always been that way so I wouldn't expect him to change.
Moore also doesn't expect for Cutler to apologize to the team for his actions:
I think it's just him. That's the type of guy he is. He's not going to hold anything back. So I mean, if he was to talk to the team I guess you would kind of feel weird about it because it's really not just his thing.
If you happened to watch Thursday's game between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, you probably saw three things: Chicago losing 23-10, quarterback Jay Cutler getting sacked and hit like clockwork, and Cutler shoulder-bumping his left tackle, J'Marcus Webb, after a long rant following a stalled drive. Cutler has been incredibly vocal about his criticisms for his teammate, and now someone else has chimed in: D.J. Moore.
D.J. Moore on Cutler-Web situation, "Shoot, it's unfair to be like that toward J'Marcus.''— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 17, 2012
That's definitely a fair criticism, and lends even more weight to much of the doubt regarding Cutler's leadership. Cutler has said he won't back down from his comments to Webb, saying that he made them "because he cares." Not openly criticizing Webb and intentionally bumping into him on the sidelines would evidently be a sign that Cutler does not care and, in fact, enjoys being sacked.
The fact that a fellow teammate is coming out and saying this is definitely a bad sign. Moore also followed it up with two more Tweets (here and here), saying that Cutler "just can't do that." We'll see if the Bears come out and force Cutler to make some kind of apology to Webb in the media.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Friday that Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suffered a high ankle sprain in Thursday night's loss to the Green Bay Packers, but that diagnosis was refuted on Monday by Bears head coach Lovie Smith.
"Matt did go down with an ankle injury. It's not a high ankle sprain, as has been reported," Smith said. "He still has some soreness. We'll continue to monitor it, but we felt like we needed another running back here, so we brought back a guy that knows our system and has played good ball for us in Kahlil Bell."
(via CBS Chicago)
Forte left Thursday night's game after his ankle was rolled up on by a Packers defender. Michael Bush took over the lion's share of the carries, and will likely start for Chicago this coming Sunday vs. the Rams if Forte is unable to play.
The Chicago Bears have scheduled a Saturday workout for former Houston Texans running Steve Slaton in the wake of news that Matt Forte suffered a high ankle sprain during the team's 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. The report of Slaton's scheduled workout comes via Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. The Bears will use Michael Bush as the primary running back during any games where Forte is unable play, but the lack of depth behind Bush is worrisome. Unproven RB Lorenzo Booker beat out Armando Allen during the preseason in the competition for the No. 3 RB on the roster, but Booker was later placed on injured reserve with a head injury and Allen is back as the current third option. A team with playoff aspirations can't afford to gamble on Allen if anything should happen to Bush while Forte is out.
Slaton burst onto the NFL scene as a member of the Texans during his rookie season in 2008, when he rushed for 1,282 yards and nine touchdowns while adding 377 receiving yards and another score. Since that spectacular season, Slaton struggled to stay on the field and got phased out in Houston when Arian Foster rose to prominence. The Dolphins released Slaton -- who is just 26 years old -- on Sept. 1 before the start of the current season.
A defendant in the Sam Hurd drug case pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a cocaine possession charge in a Dallas courtroom. Toby Lujan, who was accused of attempting to set up a large drug network with the former Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine. Following a plea deal, the suggested sentencing was five to 40 years in prison.
Lujan's plea deal requires him to cooperate with authorities, including testifying in the case against Hurd if he is asked to do so. Hurd was arrested on Dec. 14, 2011, for allegedly attempting to purchase and distribute large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. He is currently in jail in Texas after violating his the conditions of his bond by failing two drug tests.
Hurd graduated from Northern Illinois before playing five seasons for the Cowboys and one season with the Bears.
Chicago Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub was quick to praise Green Bay Packers return man Randall Cobb. The second-year player returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown in the Packers' Week 1 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and has three returns for touchdowns in his 16 career games. Toub took note of Cobb's skills and knows the Bears must be aware of him:
"We have to manage our kicks very well this week with Cobb back there," Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "He's excellent. He is, if not the best, besides Devin (Hester), I don't who else there is. Maybe the guy down in Arizona (Patrick Peterson), he's pretty good too."
The Bears' special teams unit will be ready for Cobb, as they are always one of the NFL's best and performed strongly in their Week 1 victory over the Colts.
The Bears and Packers will kickoff at 7:20 p.m. CT on Thursday.
The Chicago Bears are expected to showcase a more potent passing attack on Thursday night in their Week 2 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, but running backs Matt Forte and Michael Bush should still play a big role in the game as well. The 3-4 defense employed by the Packers can leave holes for RBs to break through the first level of the defense, so the question is whether Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice can get the looks he wants and help the Bears keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands.
Steve Ronkowski of Bears blog Windy City Gridiron has taken a look at some specific plays and formations that Chicago may employ on Thursday:
Someone more clever than me will need to name this new player set: the Bears come out with Forte ("F") lined up as a fullback and Michael Bush ("T") lined up as the tailback. The red lines show the pre-snap motion. Forte motions out of the backfield, and the strong safety swings over to cover him. At the snap, all four receivers head pretty much straight upfield. The key to preventing the pass rush is Kellen Davis' ("Y") route: Davis gets a good jump off the line and quickly comes open, forcing the linebacker across from him into coverage. With Forte now occupying the flat and Bush a threat to creep out of the backfield, the linebacker on the left edge of the line has to stay in a short zone to defend against these two running backs.
For more of this excellent chalk talk, be sure to check out the full article.
During Week 1 the Bears produced 114 yards and three touchdowns on 33 rushes against the Indianapolis Colts' 3-4 defense.
The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are set to clash on Thursday night in a primetime Week 2 matchup, but players are being careful to avoid producing any last-minute bulletin board material. Earl Bennett spent his time with the media praising rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but he was sure to emphasize his respect for Charles Woodson and the rest of the Green Bay Packers' secondary as well (via ESPN Chicago):
"They're a good secondary with Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson now back at the safety position," Bennett said. "They got some guys who can play back there. Woodson is doing the same thing he's always done (despite moving from cornerback to safety). Woodson is doing what he has always done in their scheme."
Last season Bennett had to carry the load for the passing attack, but this time around Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall are there to help Jay Cutler put up bigger numbers against a Packers defense that has never been afraid to blitz and leave areas of the secondary exposed.
Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears stumbled early on in Week 1 and gave up an interception return for a touchdown. Steve von Horn of SB Nation Chicago breaks down exactly what happened on that ugly pick 6 play.
Bears starting cornerback Charles Tillman injured his shin during Chicago's Week 1 game against the Colts, but it was not on defense. He was injured while playing on the punt return team. When asked why Tillman was on punt return, special teams coordinator Dave Toub told the Tribune that Tillman's inclusion made a lot of sense:
"We have approximately seven starters that play at least one phase: punt, punt return, kickoff, kickoff return,'' Toub said. "We've got to have him on the field because he's the best guy that we've got. He can shut down a gunner single-handedly. There are not many guys that can do that.''
Tillman is expected to play Thursday, when the Bears face the Green Bay Packers. He did not practice Tuesday, however, and his return is far from certain, especially given the short week.
For the latest on the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.
Charles Tillman and Kyle Adams are both listed as questionable for Thursday's tilt, while Brian Urlacher is listed as probable.
Tillman left Week 1's contest against the Indianapolis Colts after suffering a lower leg injury in the first quarter of Chicago's win, and did not return to the game. On Monday, Lovie Smith was optimistic that Tillman would play in Thursday's game, but Tillman is now officially questionable.
Adams is questionable with a shoulder injury. Adams wasn't a big factor in Chicago's Week 1 win, catching just one pass for 17 yards.
Urlacher, meanwhile, is probable, despite sitting out most of the second half of Chicago's win over Indianapolis. Smith hinted on Tuesday that it's all part of Chicago's plan for Urlacher, as they try to keep him healthy for the entire season.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. CT from Lambeau Field.
For the latest on the Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.
The Chicago Bears aren't the only NFC North team facing a challenge in Week 2, as the Detroit Lions will be headed to San Francisco to take on the 49ers -- the same 49ers that marched into Lambeau Field and gave the Packers a Week 1 loss.
The Bears, of course, will be looking to do the same exact thing to the Packers on Thursday night, and give the Packers an 0-2 start in the process. A Chicago win on Thursday would put the Bears two full games ahead of Green Bay, and give Green Bay an 0-1 record inside the NFC North as well as an 0-2 mark in the NFC.
Detroit's game will be televised in primetime on Sunday night, so Bears fans will be able to get a good look at one of their rival teams.
"They've got a great defense, do a good job of stripping the ball, making plays, creating turnovers and forcing you into long-yardage situations."
Rodgers, writes the Chicago Sun-Times, mentioned veteran linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher, the two players every team is aware of going into a game against Chicago.
Having made such compliments, Rodgers is 7-2 in his career against the Bears and has a 102.9 career quarterback rating against them. The Packers have won six of the last seven meetings.
The Bears, who defeated Indianapolis in Week 1, could have a hobbled Urlacher and defensive back Charles Tillman.
It appears unlikely that Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings will be able to play on Thursday against theChicago Bears as he nurses a nagging groin injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Jennings did appear in last Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, but the Packers are working on a shorter schedule this week.
As Schefter notes, Jennings is a tough player, but it's too early in the season to potentially risk his health:
Green Bay knows it's a long season and it's going to need to count on Jennings. It's more important to prep him for the final 14 than the upcoming one if there are any concerns about that groin injury right now -- and there are.
The injury doesn't sound especially serious, but with the Packers having only a few days between last Sunday's game against San Francisco and Thursday's game against Chicago, it appears that they're erring on the side of caution with one of their key playmakers. Last week, Jennings caught five passes for 34 yards against the 49ers.
Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson is one of a host of Chicago Bears first-round draft picks who never came close to living up to expectations. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 draft never ran for more than 700 yards in a season in his three years in the Windy City before the team severed ties with him and he caught on with the Cincinnati Bengals. Reflecting on his time in Chicago before the Packers host the Bears, Benson chalked his poor performances up to immaturity.
"I'm 29 now. I think at the time I was like 24, 25 maybe. You know I was a young man. I've grown up a lot since then."
(via the Chicago Sun-Times)
Benson posted three 1,000-yard seasons as a Bengal, but had a lackluster debut with the Packers, rushing for only 18 yards on nine carries.
Urlacher was out today. Looks like Tillman didnt practice either.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 11, 2012
Brian Urlacher played 27 snaps on Sunday, after undergoing surgery on his left knee in the offseason. Head coach Lovie Smith rested him once the Bears built a 20-point lead early in the third quarter.
Charles Tillman left Sunday's game with a right shin injury in the first quarter, returned for a few plays, and then left for the locker room. Smith expects the veteran corner will be fine for Thursday; Kelvin Hayden backs up Tillman if that isn't the case.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings did not practice on Tuesday, due to a groin injury he sustained in his team's Week 1 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Jennings is day-to-day for Thursday night's game against the Bears at Lambeau Field, according to head coach Mike McCarthy:
"His workout and his rehab went pretty good," McCarthy said, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. "Tomorrow will be the big day. We're dealing with the groin, how he responds to it will be an endurance issue."
Jennings caught five balls for 34 yards on Sunday, and is playing for a contract in 2012. The Packers will be looking to avoid starting the season 0-2 at home Thursday night: only two teams in the post-merger era have climbed back from such a start to make the playoffs.
After their convincing 41-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts the Bears have solidified their place in the top 10 of NFL power rankings from around the web. The Bears displayed an impressive passing attack with new WR Brandon Marshall and QB Jay Cutler rekindling their connection from their days in Denver to go along with the Bears consistently strong defense.
SB Nation's Joel Thorman moved the Bears up one spot, from tenth to ninth and notes they have huge potential for the future:
9. Chicago Bears (LW: 10, 1-0): Huge potential in Chicago. I want to see them put it together against the NFC's elite. Thursday night in Green Bay will work.
At ESPN, Chicago also rose one spot, from ninth to eighth in this case. The Bears climbed two spots at National Football Post, from 11th to ninth. And at CBS the Bears jumped three spots, from 13th to tenth. All three sites noted the Bears improved offensive attack.
The Bears will have a chance to make a real move in the rankings this week when they take on the Green Bay Packers, who, despite losing last week, are ranked above the Bears in all of the mentioned power rankings.
Packers Week is already upon us. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell looks ahead to the Bears' Thursday night clash at Lambeau Field with some news and notes from the aftermath of Week 1.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler called audibles on "50-60 percent" of plays during Sunday's 41-21 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts, according to his interview on The Jay Cutler Show on ESPN 1000. Cutler said:
"That's what it's all about. It's hard for an offensive coordinator to dial up each and every play, and it's going to be a perfect defense. It's hard to do. It's almost impossible to do ... Most of the time there has to be some little adjustments by players, and that's what we get paid to do."
Jay Cutler passed for 333 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception last week.
Cutler now has a short week to prepare for Thursday night's game at Green Bay. Last season, the Packers' defense allowed more passing yards than any other team in the league (299.8 per game).
Jay Cutler has a weekly talk show for ESPN 1000, and the Bears' quarterback touched on a few subjects of interest to Bears fans. In particular, Cutler talked about getting the ball to wide receiver Brandon Marshall. When asked how often he looks to get the ball to Brandon Marshall:
A lot, probably too much. We were trying to get rolling those first couple three throws to him. The ball is just going his way. If it's one-on-one I'm going his way. I trust him. I know he's going to protect me even if it's a bad ball, he's going to make the most of it. Probably of his nine catches, four of them were just thrown in his vicinity and he comes up with it. He's a special player.
Cutler and Marshall connected nine times for 119 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. The Bears' quarterback looked Marshall's way another six times during the game. Cutler also discussed the offensive line, Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice, audibles, and the Green Bay Packers during his weekly show.
Coming off a solid 41-21 victory over the Colts in Week 1, the Chicago Bears have made a series of minor roster moves, as Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago reports. None of the moves should have a major impact in Week 2, particularly considering many of the moves only concern the practice squad at this point.
On Monday, the team released punter Ryan Quigley, signed offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, released offensive tackle Cory Brandon from the practice squad and signed tight end Dedrick Epps to the practice squad. The team also reinstated defensive tackle Nate Collins from the reserve list after he missed Week 1.
The Bears had kept Quigley as insurance in case regular punter Adam Podlesh was limited by a nagging hip flexor injury, but Podlesh was able to play without hindrance against the Colts. It's quite rare for a team to carry more than one punter on its 53-man roster.
Cornerback Charles Tillman was the highest-profile player that suffered an injury in Week 1, as he took a shot on the leg and would have missed practice today, had the Bears held one. Smith said that he believes Tillman will be in action once the team returns to practice.
Meanwhile, tight end Kyle Adams and offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb also sustained injuries on Sunday. Webb's is a minor thumb injury, while Adams hurt his shoulder. It is unclear how soon Adams will be back on the field, but Webb is expected to practice soon.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher was removed from the game during the third quarter for strictly precautionary reasons, according to Smith, although the Bears were "pleased with how he played first time out." Urlacher would have been kept out of practice today as well, but should return to the field this week.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler made a public plea asking fans of the team to quiet down when the team has possession in the red zone, as ESPN Chicago reports. Speaking with reporters on Monday after the Bears' 41-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts, Cutler made an apparent PSA to Bears fans that attend games:
Please, please, please, let's tone it down a little bit when we're down on the 20. You're more than welcome to yell and scream and do whatever you want to do after we score, but please let's go ahead and quiet the stadium down and save it until after we score... Thank you. PSA.
Cutler, given additional freedom to audible at the line of scrimmage this year, rebounded from a poor start to put up some pretty solid numbers - 333 yards passing and two touchdowns- against the Colts. He understandably wants to be able to communicate with his teammates so close to the end zone, but fans likely won't quiet down too much.
The Chicago Bears got off to a rough start against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, but found their stride by the second quarter and managed to put up 17 points in that frame alone. There were a lot of positives to take away from the game when you get away from the stunningly poor play of the offensive line through the first quarter of the game, but what's the biggest takeaway?
Where a lot of QBs start questioning themselves when things go badly, Cutler has always liked to start throwing bombs after INTs - Sort of an "eff you" mentality that they can't keep him down. This week was no exception.
After the INT, Cutler got it together, and in a big way. He connected with WR Brandon Marshall 9 times out of 15 targets, had a 41 yard bomb for a TD to rookie Alshon Jeffery, connected with Earl Bennett on three more passes, and spread the ball around to six different receivers.
It's always great when a quarterback doesn't let a mistake get to him and is able to come back with a vengeance. He finished with 333 yards and a pair of touchdowns against one interception. He was 21-for-35 on pass attempts and sported a 98.9 rating. It was an altogether impressive performance and well-deserving of the game ball.
With his appearance in Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, long snapper Patrick Mannelly became the longest tenured Chicago Bear in the history of the organization. He has played 15 seasons with Chicago.
Your sexy mustache/goatee, amazing long-snapping skills, and charming smile have wooed the hearts of Bears fans for years, and we are proud to have you atop this list. We look forward to having you long-snap for the Chicago Bears for another 15 seasons.
Mannelly started his career in 1998 at the age of 23 after being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round out of Duke. He has played in 216 games since then and has missed only nine. In 2010, he broke the team record for most games played as a Bear.
The positional rotation is just one of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's new tactics for 2012. As reported by Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Peppers made it seem like the rotations were decided by the players on the field.
"We have a good rotation," Peppers said. "We communicate. Sometimes, I want to go inside. Sometimes, I don't. Sometimes, other guys want to go inside. It's basically ... it's a decision that we all make."
On third downs the Bears defensive linemen switched up positions frequently. Peppers, Israel Idonije and Henry Melton all played both tackle and end in those situations with Melton, who finished with two sacks, benefiting the most from the arrangement.
Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings used his veteran experience to dominate rookie Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts passing attack all game Sunday. The result: two interceptions and four passes defended, one which led directly to a teammate's interception.
The crafty veteran pulled the "rope-a-dope" on Luck for one of his interceptions, writes John Mullin of CSN Chicago. WIth Donnie Avery streaking down the sideline, Jennings gave him some extra cushion. He knew he was closer to Avery than Luck thought, and he knew he had safety help over top. When the pass was thrown, Jennings sped up, lept, and pulled down one his two interceptions.
"I set [Luck] up, absolutely," said Jennings. "I knew exactly where Avery was, knew I had my safety help over the top, and knew I had the speed I needed to close that little gap I let in there.
"It was perfect rope-a-dope," Jennings added, laughing.
Jennings is in his seventh NFL season. He began his career with the Colts but was cut after the 2009 season. This is his third season with the Bears.
The Chicago Bears served up an impressive offering for their opener on Sunday, besting the Indianapolis Colts 41-21 to make it to 1-0 on the season. Things got off to a slow start, but 17 second-quarter points set the pace for the Bears, who put up scores in the third and fourth quarters as well. One big catalyst for their offensive success was rookie second-round pick Alshon Jeffery, who caught three passes for 80 yards.
As noted by Jef Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, Jeffery is the clear-cut No. 2 receiver going forward. Or at least, that's how the Bears used him in Week 1 and likely how they'll use him going forward. With Brandon Marshall as the No. 1 guy, Jeffery showed a lot of explosiveness on the outside and that's likely where he'll remain, while Earl Bennett will play the slot.
With someone like Devin Hester still on the roster, it's still up in the air as to how many snaps Jeffery gets and where his spot actually is on the official depth chart. But if he continues to turn three receptions into 80 yards on a regular basis, he'll officially be given the nod sooner rather than later. Until then, he's looking like Jay Cutler's No. 2 option when they're actually out on the field.
The Bears started the 2012 season with a blowout win over the Colts on Sunday at Soldier Field. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell thinks it was the perfect debut.
The Chicago Bears' offense started the season off poorly on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts, punting on their first drive and throwing an interception on the second drive that was returned for a touchdown. Jay Cutler chalked it up to a bit of nervousness, as did Bears' running back Matt Forte, who said the team was suffering from "first-game jitters."
"I think we had a little first-game jitters," Forte said. "It showed the resilience of our offense to come back, after giving up a turnover and a touchdown, to come back and put a lot of points on the board."
(via Chicago Tribune)
Whatever it was, the Bears got over it quickly, cruising to a 41-21 victory. Jay Cutler threw for more than 330 yards, utilizing new weapons by connecting with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery for touchdowns. Forte, meanwhile, added 120 total yards and a touchdown.
Chicago will face the Packers on Thursday night in Week 2.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is sure to have many more better games than the one he put up against the Chicago Bears on Monday, where he threw for 309 yards but was also responsible for four turnovers. Luck will certainly pick apart his own performance, but he was also facing one of the best veteran defenses in the NFL. Luck recognized that after the game on Sunday, lauding Chicago's defense.
"I think it kicked up another notch. Especially against a defense with guys like Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers, Henry Melton, Brian Urlacher, there's a lot of speed out there and they're a fast team. But there was definitely a noticeable difference," Luck said.
(via CSN Chicago)
The Bears' defense has been the backbone of the franchise in the Lovie Smith era, and if it can carry its weight in 2012, it could make for a lethal combination with an offense that looks to be the best that Chicago has seen in some time.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a nightmare start to Sunday's game vs. the Indianapolis Colts, going 1-for-10 and having an interception returned from a touchdown. But from then on out, Cutler looked like a quarterback who could put up one of the best seasons in the league in 2012.
Cutler finished the game with 333 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to new acquisitions in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Cutler would ideally like to improve his efficiency (he was only 21-of-35) but that big play ability has to be mighty encouraging. On Sunday after the game, Cutler chalked up his shaky start to a bout of early season jitters.
"It was a lot of just nerves and the start of the season," Cutler said. "But we were able to work through it and put up some points. I'd rather just start off hot and continue hot. But it's never a bad thing whenever you're able to overcome it."
(via ESPN Chicago)
The Bears will take on the Green Bay Packers, who were shredded on Sunday by Alex Smith, this Thursday night.
Up 20 points with 10 minutes to go against the Colts on Sunday, the Chicago Bears decided to play things safe and remove linebacker Brian Urlacher from the game. Urlacher was not pleased with this decision, as head coach Lovie Smith explained afterward:
"Brian wanted to play the entire game," Smith said. "When we told him he was coming out it's not like he told us that was a great idea. He knows that there's a big picture. We wanted to get him a little bit of work. It's his first action. It's like in a preseason game; you're not going to let a guy go that entire time unless you have to, and we didn't have to today."
Urlacher, who is coming back from a knee injury, was credited with two tackles against Indianapolis.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more on the aftermath of this game, check out Bears blog Windy City Gridiron and Colts blog Stampede Blue. For more news, notes and analysis from around the league, visit SB Nation's NFL hub.
Cutler threw for 333 yards while completing 21-of-35 passes with two touchdowns. Also helping the cause was the play of Matt Forte. Taking advantage of his 16 carries, he ran for 80 yards and had a touchdown.
Andrew Luck's regular-season debut was full of bumps, namely the three interceptions he threw. He still rebounded to complete 23-of-45 passes for 309 yards and threw his first career touchdown pass.
The Bears have very little time to celebrate the victory, as their next game is on Thursday night. They will take on the Green Bay Packers for the first time in 2012.
The Chicago Bears have extended their lead to 34-14 over the Indianapolis Colts through three quarters on Sunday afternoon. Since an uneven start saw Indianapolis take a 7-0 lead, the Bears have played extremely well in their first game of the 2012 regular season.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's overall numbers aren't spectacular so far, but he's been quite good after completing just one of his first 10 passes. Since then, he's 18-of-23 for 256 yards and one touchdown, looking far more like the dynamic passer that fans have come to expect.
The third quarter was an impressive one for Chicago's defense, which forced three separate turnovers while preventing a single score by Indianapolis. Andrew Luck did lead the Colts into the red zone at one point, but an interception by Chris Conte ended the scoring threat. The Colts have just one offensive touchdown so far on Sunday.
Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman will not return to the field for the remainder of Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts, according to Peggy Kusinski of NBC5 Chicago. Tillman left the game in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
After suffering the injury, Tillman limped off the field in visible pain, occasionally stopping to gather himself before ultimately reaching the sidelines. At that point, it wasn't clear whether he would be able to return, but it appears that Kelvin Hayden will get most of the snaps at cornerback in place of Tillman in the second half.
Over the past five years, Tillman just missed just three starts, so it's pretty rare to watch a Bears defense that doesn't have Peanut in the secondary. His status for Week 2 is unclear, but he's done for Week 1.
The Chicago Bears are leading 24-14 over the Indianapolis Colts going into halftime on Sunday afternoon. After a shaky start, quarterback Jay Cutler has rebounded nicely against the Colts' defense, carrying Chicago to the lead despite some early, costly mistakes.
The biggest mistake made by Cutler literally gave Indianapolis the early advantage as the Colts returned one of his passes for a touchdown just minutes into the game. Cutler completed just one of his first 10 passes, although he's rounded into form since then, completing 14-of-17 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown.
Brandon Marshall has done his part as the primary target for Cutler, catching seven passes for 85 yards and a touchdown so far. Matt Forte has also played well for Chicago, rushing eight times for 59 yards, including a key 32-yard scamper during the team's first scoring drive. Michael Bush has a pair of touchdowns.
In his pro debut, Andrew Luck has had mixed results against a stout Chicago defense. Overall, he's completed 10-of-17 passes for 137 yards and an interception.
The Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts are tied 7-7 early in the second quarter of Sunday's season opener at Soldier Field. Quarterback Jay Cutler has performed miserably so far, but the team has survived with defense and solid rushing offense so far.
Cutler made an especially costly mistake early in the game, effectively handing the lead to the Colts by tossing an interception at the Bears' 3-yard line. Jerrell Freeman returned the pick untouched for a score, putting Indianapolis up by seven points just minutes into the game.
The Bears rebounded on their next possession, though, driving 80 yards over 11 plays to tie the game up. Matt Forte has been exceptional so far, rushing for 58 yards on just six carries, plus Michael Bush completed the game-tying drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Given the high expectations placed on him this year, it's difficult to ignore how much Cutler has struggled so far. Beyond the interception, he's completed just 5-of-15 pass attempts for a paltry 47 yards.
Longtime Indianapolis Colts cornerback Kelvin Hayden took a lot of heat from his childhood friends in Chicago when, during Super Bowl XLI, he picked off Bears quarterback Rex Grossman's pass for a touchdown in a 29-17 Colts victory.
"It definitely bothers you,'' Hayden said. "You hear about some adults and kids being shot, but I feel bad for the kids more than anything. You have kids showing gunshot wounds. It's like you can't really grow up and be a kid.''
While Chicago has gotten a bad reputation because of the crime, it's only gotten worse this past year. There were 366 homicides recorded from the beginning of the year to Sept. 2 compared to 282 over the same span last year, according to the Tribune.
Hayden, who grew up in Englewood, lost a friend to violence as an 11-year-old. His Bears open the season today against Indianapolis and first overall pick Andrew Luck.
The Chicago Bears will start Stephen Paea at nose tackle in the team's season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. The second-year player missed a significant amount of time during training camp with an ankle injury.
It has generally been expected that Matt Toeaina would start on Sunday for the Bears while Paea further recovers from his sprained left ankle, but the Oregon State product has been making consistent progress over the past few weeks, practicing with the team of late.
Paea, 24, is considered one of the key up-and-coming pieces on a defensive unit that primarily consists of aging veterans. Last season, he recorded 14 tackles and two sacks over 11 games with Chicago during his rookie season.
Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye is among six inacitves for the Chicago Bears in their season-opening matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, punter Ryan Quigley, safety Jeremy Jones, guard Edwin Williams and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu are also inactive.
Okoye recently rejoined the Bears after spending most of training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay cut him at least in part due to a lingering knee injury. Okoye had 27 tackles and four sacks in 16 games last season. He was the tenth overall selection by the in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Sanzenbacher, who made the Bears roster after some uncertainty during training camp, will not play Week 1 against the Colts. Sanzenbacher had 27 receptions for 276 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie in 2011.
It's not always easy to get sports writers to all agree on something, but experts from ESPN, CBS Sports and Yahoo! Sports are all in agreement that the Chicago Bears should beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon. Of the combined 27 experts listed by the three sites, none have picked the Colts to win in Andrew Luck's NFL debut.
Entering the season, the Bears are considered one of the better teams in the NFC, so it's not surprising that they're favored to beat the Colts. There's certainly a good deal of hype surround Luck, but Indianapolis went 2-14 last season, and Chicago is considered a possible Super Bowl contender in many circles.
It is worth noting that the expert opinions aren't always totally useful, though: the same 27 experts all agreed that the New York Giants would defeat the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night in the 2012 season kickoff. Dallas won 24-17 behind a great performance from Tony Romo.
It's been 26 years since Chicago was last home to a Super Bowl champion. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell thinks it's time for the Bears to bring this city another title.
The Indianapolis Colts are a team that remains a pretty sizable mystery at this point. They went from one of the best teams in the league to the worst team in the league very quickly and it's hard to predict where things will go from there, especially with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, taking the reins. The Chicago Bears will be the team to welcome Luck to the NFL, for better or for worse.
Fortunately, they've got a bit of knowledge on Luck's play, thanks to free safety Chris Conte. Brendan Murphy of ESPN had a piece on Conte, who played against Luck multiple times in college. Conte was with the California Golden Bears from 2007-2010, playing in 50 games (with 17 starts), and got more than his fair share of action against Luck.
"Went against Andrew in college and he's a great quarterback so I look forward to the opportunity to go against him," Conte said Thursday. "My senior year (versus Luck) it didn't go too well and they got the best of us. But we had a pretty good record against them and did some good things. We kind of went back and forth throughout college.
Stanford mostly got the best of Cal while Conte was playing, but the past and present Bear didn't necessarily have a bad game each time. What matters the most right now is seasoning, and Luck won't be a total mystery to a Bears team that has a lot of hype and needs to get to winning right out of the gate.
There's still a chance that Conte doesn't play on Sunday though. He missed the final two games of the preseason with a shoulder injury. He's been limited in practice the last few days, but he hasn't yet been ruled out for the game.
The Chicago Bears had the highest average ticket price increase and the third highest Fan Cost Index (this measure looks at the cost of four non-premium seats, two beers, four sodas, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two hats) in the NFL according the Team Marketing Report, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune:
According to Team Marketing Report, #Bears had highest average ticket price increase in NFL this season at 9.2 percent to $110.91 average.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 6, 2012
Per Team Marketing Report, #Bears have 3rd-highest Fan Cost Index in NFL at $608.64, a 16.3% bump over last year. Trails only Dallas & NYJ.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 6, 2012
According to the report, the average NFL ticket price jumped 2.5 percent from last season.
Steve von Horn has some good news for NFL fans. He also has a Chicago Bears Playbook video he wants to show you.
Brian Urlacher sat out practice on Thursday, a coach's decision to prevent further aggravation of an injured knee, reports CSN Chicago. Head coach Lovie Smith downplayed the significance of Urlacher's absence:
"I just don't think he needs any more than a couple of days in a week. He's had trouble with the knee, so we're not going to push the knee through the week. We've done that in the past with a lot of guys, though, this is no big issue at all."
Urlacher has a history of frequent injury over the last few seasons, and the 2012 preseason seemed to indicate more of the same for the Bears defensive Pro Bowler. The team is taking things easy, though, and Urlacher appears to be ready to play in Chicago's season-opener against the Indianapolis Colts. That question may be settled, but how much of a standard NFL season his body is capable of withstanding is still unknown.
When Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher had to have arthroscopic surgery on his knee, most fans feared the worst. He's been injured frequently over the past few seasons, and many were linking his injury back to when he injured his knee previously. The other injury was to his MCL and PCL, and it was a serious affair. This time around though, Urlacher says (via a Zach Zaidman tweet) that the injury he suffered in training camp was different than the one he suffered a season ago.
On top of that, a tweet from Vaughn McClure gives some more information on the injury sustained:
Urlacher's injury during training camp was to cartilage in his knee. Was not the MCL or PCL.— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 6, 2012
All signs point to Urlacher being ready to go for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts. It's definitely a good thing to see that the injury is unrelated to last year's, for a couple of reasons. For one, MCL and PCL injuries are generally more serious than cartilage injuries. For two, having a specific injury become a consistent problem is basically the end of the line for a player who is playing in his 14th NFL season.
The Brian Urlacher saga continues to play out in Chicago, as the veteran Pro Bowl linebacker continues to tell everyone who will listen that he will play for the Chicago Bears Sunday at home against Indianapolis.
Now, not only is Urlacher saying he will be play, but that he will finish the game.
#Bears LB Brian Urlacher on if he'll finish the game: "I plan on playing the whole game. Like every other game."— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) September 6, 2012
Urlacher is still dealing with a surgically repaired knee. He only returned to practice this week, after being out since early August. While the knee is feeling good, he says he has to get his conditioning back to game level.
Urlacher continues to maintain that he will play in full Sunday even if he is limited in practice during the week. He also said he's not worried if the Colts attack the middle and try to test his knee.
The Chicago Bears are coming in ranked pretty highly by most of the popular power rankings around the Internet. This offseason, they tried a lot of different things to really boost the effectiveness of the offense, the least of which wasn't breaking in wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Many think they're poised to make a run, and none more than long-time team leader and potential future Hall of Fame inductee Brian Urlacher.
Zach Zaidman had a tweet on Thursday with a quote from Urlacher, in which he talked about the depth of the team:
Urlacher: "This is the deepest team I've been on and the most talented as well."— Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) September 6, 2012
That's coming from a 13-year veteran of the game. Urlacher is 34 years old and hasn't been one to blow smoke in the past. The fact that it looks like he'll be ready to go for Week 1 of the season and is relatively healthy, coupled with his expressed confidence in his teammates, is definitely a good sign for the Bears.
Their defense got them through most of Urlacher's career, but the depth he's speaking to might just refer to the offense this time around. Jay Cutler, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall might just make for some explosive playmaking, and that will make Urlacher's job all the easier.
While the Indianapolis Colts will face some stiff challenges on Sunday when Anthony Castonzo will need to deal with Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears offensive line will also be tested. Kevin Seifert of ESPN's NFC North Blog noted the challenges the unit will be facing against a revamped Colts defense that returns a couple All-Pro pass rushers. Seifert describes the changes:
New coach Chuck Pagano has scrapped that approach in favor of a hybrid 3-4 scheme, one that technically converts Freeney and Mathis to outside linebackers. On an otherwise rebuilding team, Freeney and Mathis present the most notable challenge to a Chicago Bears team that is heavily favored to win Sunday at Soldier Field.
Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis will always be a force to be reckoned with, but making it much more difficult for the Bears is the fact that they don't know exactly how those two will be used in the new defense. Freeney and Mathis will mostly be up against left tackle J'Marcus Webb and right tackle Gabe Carimi. Unfortunately for Chicago, both of these players remain mostly untested.
Carimi missed a significant portion of 2011 with an injury, while Webb was only recently named the starter on the left side. There's a lot to be nervous about, and most of that comes from the unknown. In seasons past, teams would at least be able to gameplan for how to battle Mathis and Freeney, but this time around, it's going to be a game of "wait and see," followed by adjustments.
If the Chicago Bears have one thing going for them on Sunday when they host the Indianapolis Colts for their opener, it's that they've got some dependable veterans on defense to make life in the NFL tough for rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. Julius Peppers is one such veteran, and his primary objective will be just that: disrupt Luck in his NFL debut.
Speed rushers gave him problems last season, and if Peppers is firing off the ball and having success getting into the backfield, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is going to have to think about sending a tight end or a chipping back to Castonzo's side to help seal off the edge.
Peppers is a tall task for any left tackle, let alone someone like Castonzo who doesn't have a full season under his belt as a starter. He also was considered somewhat raw coming out of the 2011 NFL Draft, and that's never a good thing when you're about to send out a rookie quarterback.
That being said, Peppers has been playing through plantar fasciitis, as Parr notes. That kind of injury is one that can have an effect on his burst, giving the very athletic Castonzo the edge in the matchup. Whoever wins, it will definitely be one of the big matchups to watch come Sunday, as it's likely these things will be the catalyst for a strong or poor performance from Luck, the player that everybody will be watching.
Jim McMahon, who as quarterback led the Super Bowl XX champion Chicago Bears, is on the cover of Sept. 10's Sports Illustrated for an article entitled, "The Women Behind the Retired NFL Men Who Suffer From Brain Trauma." McMahon's girlfriend, Laurie Navon, appears on the cover with him and tells SI that she noticed behavior changes in McMahon in early 2007. Since that time tests have revealed that he suffers from early onset dementia.
McMahon went public with his brain issues in November 2010 when he told the Chicago Tribune, "My memory's pretty much gone."
McMahon suffered a number of concussions over the course of his NFL career.
Also featured in the article are Dave Kocourek and his wife Mary as well as Ray Easterling and his widow Mary Ann Easterling.
The Chicago Bears are a veteran team with Super Bowl aspirations while the Indianapolis Colts are fresh off a 2-14 season with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck ready to make his first NFL start when the two teams meet in Week 1. Unsurprisingly, NFL experts have sided with the Bears.
The 14-member panel at ESPN.com has unanimously selected the Bears, all nine experts at CBSSports.com think Chicago will earn the victory and the three-man team at Yahoo.com also expects Jay Cutler and the Bears to prevail. In other words, it would be a huge upset if Chicago dropped its Week 1 game against Andrew Luck and company.
For Chicago Bears news and analysis visit Windy City Gridiron and SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Indianapolis Colts, check out Stampede Blue. Visit SB Nation's NFL hub for news and notes from around the league and don't forget to play SB Nation's Pick 6 Football every week of the season.
The Chicago Bears are a 9.5-point favorite when they host the Indianapolis Colts in their season opener on Sunday. The line opened with the Bears as nine-point favorites but has quickly moved up to 9.5 on most all sites. The line is not uniform across all sportsbooks as some still have the Bears favored by only nine and other sites have the Bears favored by as much as 11 according to OddsShark. The over/under for the game opened at 40.5, but now sits at either 43 or 43.5 depending on the sportsbook.
The betting public expects a tough weekend for No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck as he makes his NFL debut on the road against a strong Bears defense that hopes to have Brian Urlacher back in the lineup. The Colts finished with the NFL's worst record last year while the Bears finished 8-8.
For more on the Chicago Bears; check out Windy City Gridiron and SB Nation Chicago. Be sure to visit Oddshark.com to find betting lines for all Week 1 games and don't forget to play SB Nation's Pick 6 Football every week.
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