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One week after a rough outing against the Green Bay Packers, the much-maligned Chicago Bears offensive line bounced back in a 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 3. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was sacked just twice and praised the line's improvement (via ESPN Chicago):
"The line played well," Cutler said. "They had a little edge to them. You go into a game and you're up in the third and fourth quarter and know you're going to run the ball. Those guys came in when I needed it and opened up some holes. I thought the line played well."
Cutler also singled out the play of left guard Chilo Rachal, who made his first start of the season in place of Chris Spencer. Rachal himself spoke highly of left tackle J'Marcus Webb, who struggled mightily against the Packers in Week 2 and was openly criticized by Cutler during that game.
While the Bears' offensive line still has a lot of work to do, this performance was a step in the right direction after the seven-sack disaster against Green Bay.
The Chicago Bears' defense racked up six sacks in Sunday's victory against the St. Louis Rams. That continues an impressive stretch for the Bears' pass rush, which now leads the league with 14 sacks through the first three games of 2012.
Bears head coach Lovie Smith believes the intensity of the defensive line stems from the pressure that players feel to perform in practice. That may be due to the fact that the team dresses seven out of their ten linemen for any given game, meaning in-house competition is plentiful, as Smith told ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright:
"We base it a lot on how they practice each week. They realize that, so you have to have your A-game every day to get into a position to play these games. Maybe it's just as simple as that."
The Bears defense may need to continue to take down opposing quarterbacks at an alarming rate, as Chicago's own offense hasn't lived up to its billing so far. Next up for the Bears and their vaunted pass rush is the Dallas Cowboys, who have allowed quarterback Tony Romo to be sacked seven times thus far.
The Chicago Bears are "hopeful" that starting running back Matt Forte will be able to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 1, as head coach Lovie Smith told WBBM 780 on Monday. The Bears are visiting Texas to play the Cowboys on Monday Night Football next Monday.
While noting that Forte has made significant progress, Smith expressed his hope that he'll be able to play:
We're just hopeful that [Forte will] be able to go. If not, our running backs, not only Michael Bush (Sunday), but Kahlil Bell and Armando Allen all did a good job. But we hope we'll get our stud running back back.
After suffering a sprained ankle in Chicago's Week 2 matchup against the Green Bay Packers, Forte was forced to sit out Sunday's 23-6 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Backup Michael Bush played fairly well in his absence, rushing 18 times for 55 yards and a touchdown as the primary ball carrier.
Without Forte, the Bears have used Armando Allen and Kahlil Bell as their backup running backs, but Forte's return would move those players to more appropriate roles on the roster.
Bush, who rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown was, according to ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers, ambushed with compliments from Cutler after the game:
"You can’t say enough about a guy like Michael Bush. He really didn’t miss a beat. He’s protection savvy. He runs the ball hard and hits the holes. He does everything for us."
The majority of Bush's productivity came in the first half, as he had 49 rushing yards and 14 receiving yards when the teams entered the locker room. However, he did what the Bears needed him to do, as the defense and special teams took care of the rest.
After another strong performance on Sunday, Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings is clearly emerging as one of the key players on a very good defensive unit. As Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune writes, Jennings may finally be coming into his own as a Pro Bowl defender this season.
Against the St. Louis Rams last week, Jennings recorded two tackles and an interception, plus he tipped another pass that was eventually picked off by safety Major Wright. After having his improved ball skills praised by defensive coordinator Rob Miranelli during training camp, Jennings' extra work appears to be paying off.
For the 28-year-old cornerback, this could finally be his breakout season. A seven-year veteran of the NFL, Jennings has already recorded a career-high four interceptions in just three games this year. In his first two seasons with the Bears, Jennings picked off just three passes despite playing in all 32 games.
Reflecting on Sunday's 23-6 victory, a few Chicago Bears players discussed the St. Louis Rams' penchant for trash talking with reporters on Monday, ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers writes. The players did note that St. Louis's play wasn't generally perceived as dirty, though.
They definitely play to the whistle, I'll give them that. They play hard to the whistle every time. Today wasn't that bad. There are some things on film you see, but today didn't seem that bad. There was a little bit of yapping, but that's going to happen every game.
Bears offensive lineman Chilo Rachal agreed with Urlacher:
I think that's [the Rams] game plan to get in guys' heads. It's dumb. It's foolish... I wouldn't necessarily call them dirty. Because I'm on the line, I don't get to see everything. I just think they talk a lot of trash, but as far as dirty, I didn't get to really see any of that.
The Bears rebounded from their first loss of the season to play well against the Rams, limiting St. Louis to just a pair of field goals.
Who said anything about style points? The Bears' 23-6 win over the Rams on Sunday wasn't pretty, but SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell believes the offense will get better as the defense continues to carry the day.
The Chicago Bears picked up a solid win on Sunday afternoon as they routed the St. Louis Rams 23-6, but that hasn't appeased the doubters Jay Cutler seems to attract. The quarterback has been lambasted quite a bit this year and, following Sunday's victory, it happened once again.
Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan is known as a bit of a loose cannon, so it shouldn't necessarily surprise anyone that he made his feelings heard regarding the Chicago quarterback. The words he used while talking to CSN Chicago were quite interesting, however, considering his team ended up with a loss.
"Not much. I think he had a 190 yards passing, but no touchdowns. Typical him."
Finnegan, who had a first-quarter interception, suggested that Cutler may actually be hindering the Bears' offense.
"I think they stuck to the run today [because] they didn't feel like [Jay] Cutler was going to get it done," Finnegan said.
The Bears probably also stuck to the run on Sunday because it was working, though Finnegan's early interception likely inclined them to lean on the running game a bit more than planned. Either way, weird comments considering the final score.
The Chicago Bears dominated the St. Louis Rams in a 23-6 victory on Sunday, and they also managed to avoid any major injuries to key contributors. That's good news as the Bears prepare for a Week 4 meeting with the Cowboys, as they have already had to deal with a few injuries already.
Star running back Matt Forte missed Sunday's game with an ankle injury suffered in Week 2, but Michael Bush was impressive at times as his replacement on Sunday. Bush only ran for 55 yards on 18 carries, but he ripped off a few long runs and in general wasn't exactly helped out by Chicago's sluggish passing game.
As is usually the case, the defense stood out as the top unit for Chicago. The Bears pressured Rams quarterback Sam Bradford all day, intercepting him twice and sacking him six times. They allowed zero touchdowns from St. Louis but scored a touchdown of their own a Major Wright interception return - so they actually outscored the Rams' offense.
Steven Schweickert of SB Nation's Chicago Bears blog, Windy City Gridiron, writes that despite all the talk of the Bears transformation to an offensive team, defense always rules in Chicago.
It might also be considered fitting that in an offseason and preseason dedicated to all the talk of a new offense... that the defense has been the one unit to hold firm all season and lead the push to the Bears winning this game. Six sacks by the Bears, including two and a half by Israel Idonije... and two interceptions again fueled by Tim Jennings' ball skills... helped overshadow a second shaky outing by Jay Cutler and the Bears' offense.
The Bears defense clamped down late as Chicago pulled away from the Rams, defeating St. Louis 23-6. Chicago pressured Sam Bradford all day, ending up with six total sacks. Defensive back Major Wright intercepted and returned it to the house for the game's final TD.
Bradford threw two picks while Bears QB Jay Cutler was intercepted once. Neither quarterback was able to surpass 200 yards passing; Cutler ending with 183 yards while Bradford had 152.
Fantasy Studs/Duds: Those who started Michael Bush in place of injured fantasy stud Matt Forte were rewarded with a TD and 55 rushing yards. Sam Bradford followed up a career day in Week 2 with a subpar Sunday, completing 18 passes for 152 yards and two INTs. Jay Cutler didn't fare much better, throwing for 183 passing yards and a INT.
Odds/Gambling: Those betting on the Bears won as Chicago won by two scores. For more information on odds and gambling today, click here.
Injury Info: Steven Jackson played today despite not practicing the past week. He was relatively quiet on the day, gaining 29 yards off 11 carries.
This story was originally published on SB Nation.
The Chicago Bears led the St. Louis Rams by a touchdown going into the third quarter, but Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein kicked his second field goal of the day to close the gap to a 10-6 Chicago advantage heading into the final period.
Rams running back Steven Jackson only had seven total yards at halftime, but St. Louis got him going in the third quarter. He had six carries for 23 yards in the period and was highly utilized on St. Louis' second drive of the second half that led to Zuerlein's second field goal.
Jackson has 30 yards on 10 carries going into the fourth quarter.
Both teams have run 46 plays, and neither has eclipsed 180 total yards.
The Chicago Bears lead the St. Louis Rams 10-3 heading into halftime thanks to sound defense and a running game by committee. Chicago's Kahlil Bell and Michael Bush have replaced the injured Matt Forte by producing 77 yards on the ground and a 4.1 per carry average. Bush scored at the two minute warning, punching in a 3-yard run to cap an 81-yard drive.
Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein nailed a 56-yard field goal with 27 remaining in the half to get St. Louis on the scoreboard.
The Bears nearly have a 2:1 advantage in the time of possession game because of the ball control, and they also have 14 first downs to the Rams' six.
St. Louis has struggled in all offensive facets, especially the run game. Steven Jackson, who gave it a go with a testy groin injury, has four carries for seven yards.
Entrenched in a defensive battle, the Chicago Bears lead the St. Louis Rams 3-0 early in the second quarter. The Bears have found success in the run game Sunday despite being without Matt Forte. Michael Bush has carried the ball 10 times for 42 yards.
Chicago got on the scoreboard on the first drive of the day, driving 37 yards on 11 plays to set up a 54-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.
Jay Cutler has struggled and is 5-of-13 for 49 yards. He also threw an interception during a Chicago drive deep in St. Louis territory. Cortland Finnegan picked off the pass at the Rams' 22-yard line.
The biggest news from the inactive list for Sunday's game between St. Louis and Chicago is who was left off: Rams halfback Steven Jackson is listed as active and will play against the Bears. Jackson missed practice this week with an injured groin, and was doubtful as of Sunday morning. Nevertheless, the veteran running back will play.
Rams wide receiver Brian Quick is listed as inactive, as are defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Matt Cornrath, quarterback Austin Davis, halfback Terrance Ganaway, offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, and safety Matthew Daniels.
As reported earlier in the week, Bears starting halfback Matt Forte will be inactive with an injured ankle. Also missing for the Bears will be offensive linemen Edwin Williams and Jonathan Scott, wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, defensive tackles Matt Toeaina and Nate Collins, and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu.
The Rams and Bears kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET Sunday. Television coverage is available on Fox.
This post originally appeared on SBNation.com.
Rams running back Steven Jackson will play Sunday against the Chicago Bears. Jackson sat out practice all week with a groin injury. According to Stacey Dales of NFL Network, Jackson went through pregame warmups and will play:
Just confirmed - Steven Jackson WILL play - after testing out groin on field - true gametime decision!— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) September 23, 2012
Earlier this week, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters that Daryl Richardson would be the Rams' featured running back until Jackson could get healthy. There is no indication from the team how many carries Jackson or Richardson could receive today.
Jackson has appeared in the Rams' two previous games, running 30 times for 111 yards. He has yet to score a touchdown in 2012. The Rams and Bears kick off at 1 p.m. Eastern at Soldier Field. Television coverage is available on FOX.
For more on the Rams, head over to the SB Nation blog Turf Show Times. For more fantasy info, check out the SB Nation Fantasy War Room 4-8:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. And check out SB Nation's own Fantasy Football game, Pick 6!
This story was originally published on SBNation.com.
Since leaving the Rams' lineup with a groin injury against the Redskins, Steven Jackson has remained out and didn't practice all week. Regardless, that may not be enough to keep the running back out of the lineup, as he is listed as questionable and is considered to be a game-time decision for Sunday.
Jackson told reporters that he first felt tightness early in the second quarter of their victory over the Redskins, but didn't leave the game until three carries later. There was initial speculation that Jackson was pulled from the game by coach Jeff Fisher due to a spike that drew a unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The three-time Pro Bowler has reached 1,000 yards rushing in each of the last seven seasons, missing 11 games over that span. Through two games in 2012, Jackson has accumulated 111 yards rushing on 30 carries.
As a member of the Oakland Raiders, Michael Bush got an entire season's worth of starts in replacement of the oft-injured Darren McFadden, starting 16 games between 2009-2011. Now as a member of the Bears, Bush will again be thrust into a starting role due to injury when he'll fill in for Matt Forte against the Rams.
Speaking to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, Bush spoke of how excited he is for the opportunity to further prove himself:
"I still think I need to prove to the coaches each week that I get a chance. The more I get to play, the more I get to show them, and the more (I hope) they'll trust in me, believe in me and give me more opportunities to more things. But for the most part, I know they've got my back, regardless."
Signed in free agency during the 2012 offseason on a four-year, $15 million deal, Bush has 23 career touchdowns and just under 3,000 yards rushing. He already earned two touchdowns as a member of the Bears, each against the Colts in Week 1.
Bush has accumulated 96 yards rushing on 26 carries in 2012.
Bears defensive end Corey Wootton had a slow start to his career after a serious injury in the 2008 Alamo Bowl slowed down the dominant pass rusher. With just one sack in 13 games through two seasons, the 2010 fourth-round pick hadn't inspired a tremendous amount of hope, but has started off the 2012 season very well.
With 1.5 sacks, Wootton already has as many tackles and sacks as he's had in any season and it's only been two games. Playing in rotation behind Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije, Wootton along with Shea McClellin have provided the Bears with a strong rotation at the defensive end position.
"It's been nice," Wootton told Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago. "Just the rotation is giving people a different look. One play it's Izzy, one play it's myself, one play it's Shea, one play it's Pep, so it gives everybody a different look. And inside they're doing a good job of rotating as well. It's different looks all across the board"
Wootton also recorded his first career forced fumble in Week 1 against the Colts.
The decision to sign highly-sought-after running back Michael Bush to a four-year, $14 million contract was one that left a lot of people scratching their heads as it came at a time when many felt they should be negotiating with their own Matt Forte. They eventually came to a long-term deal with Forte and the move to sign Bush appears to have been a wise one as he'll step in as the starter in Week 3.
"Michael [Bush] has started a lot in the league and has been in this role before," Bears head coach Lovie Smith told JeffDickerson of ESPN Chicago on Friday. "There are not many Matt Forte's out there but our backup plan is pretty good, and Mike's going to step in there and do a great job."
In the third quarter of a Thursday night loss to the Packers in Week 2, Forte suffered a sprained ankle that will hold him out of play in Week 3.
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is still recovering from having his knee scoped during training camp. Urlacher looked slow and tentative at times against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, but he says his knee is fine. Urlacher believes that his conditioning and play recognition are the areas that need work.
"The more I'm out there, the better I'm going to get,'' said Urlacher, who was held out of practice Thursday. "I didn't have training camp, as you all well know. The more I get out there, the more I practice, the better off I'll be, just seeing things and kind of getting back into it. I expect to get better every week.''
Despite his issues, Urlacher was second on the team in tackles against the Packers, finishing the game with eight. For the season, Urlacher ranks third on the Chicago roster with 10 tackles. Last season, Urlacher was second on the team with 102 tackles.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester made his name in the NFL by pulling off electric special teams returns, and although he has been fairly quiet in that department so far this season, Dave Toub thinks the greatest return man of all-time is getting close to breaking a long one soon. The new kickoff rules have made it much hard on returners to do anything in that phase of the game -- Hester has four returns for 106 yards on kicks so far in 2012 -- but Toub, the Bears' special teams coach, told the Chicago Tribune that Hester is very close to TD return:
"We've been close," special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "We've been maybe just one guy staying on a block a little longer away on both punt return and kick return. So, we're knocking on the door there."
When asked if Hester is due for a highlight play on special teams, Toub added: "Yeah, he's always due, every time he has the ball, he's due." Hester has only returned three punts for a total of 31 yards this season, but he owns a record 12 TDs punt returns and has produced another five TDs on kickoffs over the course of his NFL career.
After Jay Cutler's poor performance against the Green Bay Packers and run-in with left tackle J'Marcus Webb, there have been rumors that the Chicago Bears quarterback is becoming the target of a "mutiny." Cutler completed 11 of 27 passes for 126 yards and threw four interceptions against the Packers. During the game, Cutler berated Webb and gave him a light shove before walking off.
"Someone told me there was a mutiny against Jay in our locker room. If there was, I didn't know about it. I guess we're supposed to be mad at him, but things happen on the sideline. I've gotten into spats with coaches, players, as well. It's just what happens in the NFL. People get pissed off and sometimes do things we shouldn't do, but it happened.''
Urlacher said incidents between teammates, whether in a game or practice aren't a big deal and that they happen all the time.
"It's just like a fight in practice. It's in practice, who cares?'' Urlacher said. "You guys probably see us fight in training camp every year. So what? After the practice is over, you are in the locker room and you're buddies again. It's not a big deal."
Cutler and his teammates have dismissed the incident, saying it is a "dead issue."
Forte did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday after he suffered an ankle injury during the second half of Chicago's Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Here is Dickerson's very clear declaration that Forte won't play against the Rams:
Matt Forte OUT Sunday vs. Rams. #Bears— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) September 21, 2012
The Bears will turn to Michael Bush to carry the load as the primary running back against Jeff Fisher's squad, while Kahlil Bell will serve as the No. 2 option in the backfield. The Bears and Rams will meet at 12 p.m. CT on Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago.
This story was originally published on SBNation.com.
Brandon Hardin, the Chicago Bears' third-round pick from the 2012 NFL Draft, is out for the season with a neck injury he suffered during a preseason game on Aug. 18, and although fans will remember him being carted off the field, Hardin says the injury looked much worse than what actually happened. In an interview with Brad Biggs and Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Hardin notes that he sprained his neck on that play and that he was able to "function and move," but that medical protocols demand his dramatic exit on a stretcher.
Hardin is no longer wearing a brace, and he told the Chicago Tribune that he is feeling great from a physical standpoint:
"It's that drama factor of, 'He's getting carted off the field.' It makes it look really bad and it could have been really bad for all they knew," Hardin said in his first interview since the injury. "The (training staff) knew I could function and move, but they weren't about to let me get up and walk off the field. So there was all sorts of protocol they had to follow to ensure my safety."
Hardin is no longer wearing a brace and said "physically, I feel great."
Now the young secondary prospect is on injured reserve and he will be forced to watch the rest of the season from the sidelines, but he is committed to coming back stronger and being ready to contribute from day one next year.
The Chicago Bears are in desperate need of a win as the St. Louis Rams come to Soldier Field for a Week 3 tilt. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell takes a look at the matchup.
Before last weekend, many NFL fans may not have heard of St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola. Amendola's performance in the Rams' 31-28 win over the Washington Redskins changed that. The fourth-year receiver out of Texas Tech caught 15 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. Chicago Bears safety Charles Tillman is well aware of Amendola's big game:
"He had a good day. Who's to say he can't do it again? He probably can. He's playing good football right now. His quarterback is feeding him the rock and he's capitalizing on his opportunities, so kudos to him."
Amendola leads the NFL with 20 receptions through two games. He may not be a big play threat, but he's reliable on underneath routes. The Bears are certainly aware of Amendola, but they don't plan on changing their defensive schemes. He'll be covered by Tillman on the left, Tim Jennings on the right and nickel back D.J. Moore in the slot.
The Bears know that Amendola will move around. To prepare, they've been using Dane Sanzenbacher as an Amendola clone in practice.
Can Jay Cutler and the Bears bounce back against Sam Bradford and the St Louis Rams? Brian Lauvray looks at Sunday's matchup at Soldier Field and breaks down the rest of the Week 3 slate.
Forte suffered an ankle injury during the second half of Chicago's Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The initial reports labeled the injury as a high-ankle sprain that could keep Forte out for up to a month, but head coach Lovie Smith recently refuted those reports and claimed his star RB is just dealing a lesser injury and some soreness.
Despite Lovie's claims, the Bears have already held Forte out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday heading into Week 3, so it seems like a long shot that Forte will be able to get on the field against the Rams. Michael Bush would step in as the primary running back if Forte is unable to go, and recently re-signed backup RB Kahlil Bell would serve as the No. 2 option in the backfield.
Kickoff for the Week 3 matchup between the Bears and Rams is scheduled for 12 p.m. CT at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Jay Cutler remains a national talking point after a disastrous Week 2 performance against the Packers. SB Nation Chicago's Ricky O'Donnell thinks the Bears quarterback deserves the criticism but can't stand to listen to it anymore.
St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson was held out of practice on Wednesday and his status for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears is uncertain. Rams coach Jeff Fisher has said that Jackson is day-to-day and was listed on the injury report with a groin injury.
This news ends the idea that Jackson was benched in the Rams' Week 2 win over the Washington Redskins rather than held out due to an injury as some had theorized. Jackson has a history of injuries, having missed four games with a groin injury in 2007, four games with a quad injury in 2008, and three games with a quad injury last season. It is believed that his current injury is not as serious as any of those.
Almost all of the NFL experts believe that the Chicago Bears will defeat the St. Louis Rams when the two sides meet on Sunday.
The Chicago Bears are listed as heavy favorites for their Week 3 matchup against the St. Louis Rams.
St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who is preparing this week to face the Chicago Bears, issued his support for Bears QB Jay Cutler on Wednesday. Cutler has been criticized this week for his behavior during Chicago's loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 2.
"By the way your quarterback is pretty good, and people just need to back off of him," Fisher said. "He's a good player. You think Jim McMahon shoved anyone during a game? I've known Jay a long time, he's a good player. You guys are lucky to have him as your quarterback, and he's going to win a lot of games for you."
(via ESPN Chicago)
According to Fisher, the Tennessee Titans scouted Cutler heavily while he was coach there and came close to drafting him. Fisher also had words for Mike Ditka, who recently was critical of Rams CB Cortland Finnegan.
"I would like Coach Ditka to know if he knew Cortland Finnegan he would want Cortland to be the first guy to walk off his bus. Because he would absolutely love Cortland Finnegan."
The Rams are nine-point underdogs heading into Chicago on Sunday.
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte didn't practice with the team on Wednesday, and is not expected to play on Sunday when the team takes on the St. Louis Rams. Forte suffered a high ankle sprain in last Thursday's loss to the Green Bay Packers, only a game and change after missing the final four games of last season with a knee injury.
Forte was present at practice on Wednesday but declined to speak with reporters. Head coach Lovie Smith told reporters that Forte is "making progress." If he's unable to play, backup Michael Bush will start in his place. On the season, Bush has run for 96 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
Although he hardly exemplified his feelings last Thursday in a loss to the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler went on his radio program on Tuesday to inform fans that he still has complete faith in starting left tackle J'Marcus Webb.
"Have to, have to (have faith in Webb)," Cutler said on air via ESPNChicago.com. "For me to be successful at my job, I’ve got to have faith in him, and I’ve got to believe each week that he’s going to do his part, and it’s going to allow me to do mine."
Cutler was sacked twice against the Packers on blocks missed specifically by Webb, and was later seen shouting at his offensive lineman on the sideline in frustration as the two men bumped shoulders.Though it's common for teammates to jaw at one another during a game, Cutler appeared truly annoyed with his left tackle just days ago.
Despite being listed as the team's starter in Week 3 at left tackle, Webb's vote of confidence from his quarterback could be short lived if the pass-blocking struggles continue on Sunday against the Rams.
Stay with this StoryStream for more news leading up to Week 3 against the Rams, and check out Windy City Gridiron for more Bears coverage. Also visit SB Nation's NFL hub for more expert analysis from around the league.
Brandon Marshall came to the defense of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Wednesday, telling the media that his Bears teammates "love Jay," and that Cutler is a guy "everyone wants to play for."
"There's no doubt in my mind, guys love Jay," Marshall said. "Defensive guys to the offensive guys to the coaches, so Jay is a guy that everyone wants to play for and we're going to continue to do that."
Cutler has taken a beating in the media over the last week, after lashing out at his offensive line for failing to protect Cutler.
Cutler said earlier in the week that he shouldn't have bumped J'Marcus Webb, but that he doesn't regret yelling at him.
Bears defensive back D.J. Moore spoke out earlier this week, saying that Cutler shouldn't have gone after Webb like he did.
Marshall, though, came to Cutler's aid on Wednesday, saying that everybody loves him -- and declaring the issue dead.
Asked Wednesday if he had spoken to members of the offensive line about the protection problems and his reaction to it, Cutler said, "Everything's fine. It's a dead issue. We're moving forward at this point."
We'll see how Cutler and the Bears respond on Sunday, when they play host to the St. Louis Rams.
For all things Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.
It's the Bears against the Rams (1-1), the undefeated San Francisco 49ers (arguably the best team in the NFL at present) at Minnesota and the Packers at the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) on Monday Night Football.
The Bears opened against Indianapolis and then fell flat last Thursday at Green Bay. Chicago gets another long week after Sunday's game, with the Bears going to Dallas for a Monday night game on Oct. 1.
For the full NFL schedule, click here.
Plenty of folks are weighing in about Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's very visible berating of teammate and offensive lineman J'Marcus Webb last week during a miserable performance against Green Bay. That would include former NFL star quarterback Troy Aikman.
Aikman told a Chicago radio station (as reported by the Chicago Tribune) that Cutler would be wise to apologize to Webb. Cutler also bumped Webb, and later apologized for that, but has backed away from any apology to his teammate for ripping into him. He said both he and Webb have talked about the incident and put it behind them.
I would say that whether J'Marcus acknowledges it or not or regardless of what he may or may not say publicly, my guess is that’s something that probably upset him and maybe upset and offended some of the other teammates."
The Bears host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
For more on the Chicago Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.
The Chicago Bears offensive line has been embattled for years running under Lovie Smith, and furor over the team's pass protection reached a fever pitch once again after Jay Cutler was routinely terrorized by the Green Bay Packers' pass rush last Thursday night. In response, the Bears have made a change along the offensive line, benching left guard Chris Spencer and elevating Chilo Rachal into the starting role. Here is Smith's view of the change:
"We think that it was close when we went with Chris Spencer in the first place and just feel like right now Chilo deserves an opportunity to show exactly what he can do. He's a tough guy. He's a good athlete who can pull out in the open field, and he has good speed and agility for a guy his size. I'm anxious to see what he can do."
The move isn't likely to completely fix the problems that are plaguing Chicago's offensive line, but it is a start. The good news for Chicago is that they'll be facing a Rams team on Sunday that's has one of the lowest sack rates in the NFL through the first two games.
The Chicago Bears brought in five linebackers for workouts on Tuesday, fueling suspicion that the team is unsatisfied with its depth at that position. The five linebackers were Spencer Adkins, Rennie Curran, Jerry Franklin, Omar Gaither and Lawrence Wilson, most of whom were cut by their respective teams prior to this season. The team also worked out DBs Dante Hughes and Bryan McCann.
Though the Bears working out these players may seem like a signal that a move is imminent, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune says that it's in fact a pretty routine procedure.
First of all, a lot of teams do this and many more so than the Bears. They will bring players in - sometimes as many as two dozen - and get a look at them in a workout. The Patriots are notorious for bringing in large numbers of players for tryouts. It helps them update personnel information on players they have only seen in college or players they have only seen on tape with other teams.
It is, as Biggs elaborates, more about due diligence and being prepared for the future than anything.
The tryouts help the personnel department sharpen up emergency lists and allow it to evaluate young players that could be candidates for the practice squad.
Chicago expects to have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but injuries can strike teams at a moment's notice.
Though he completed only about 40 percent of his passes and tossed four interceptions, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler revealed on ESPN 1000's "The Jay Cutler Show" on Tuesday that he was still impressed with his own play in a Week 2 loss to the Packers.
"Looking back at that game and watching it, I'm actually proud of that game," Cutler said Tuesday. "I thought I fought, I thought I competed hard. I made a few errant throws, but whenever we got what we were looking for, I put the ball on the money for the most part."
The seventh-year quarterback currently sports a woeful 58.5 quarterback rating after just two starts, and already has five interceptions on the year compared to just three touchdowns. Considering that he only passed for 126 yards in his team's 13-point loss and completed 11 of his 27 passes, it's borderline illogical for Cutler to say he's happy with this type of performance.
Chicago fans clearly won't be too enamored with Cutler's comments on Tuesday, and it's hard to imagine that teammates won't feel the same way. For as hard as he has tried to appear more likable in a leadership role, Cutler doesn't appear to be doing himself any favors by saying stuff like this.
The Chicago Bears have dropped out of the top 10 in most Week 3 NFL power rankings from around the web after their loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 13. The Bears had moved into the top 10 after an impressive opening week win, but have slipped back out.
In Joel Thorman's power rankings at SB Nation the Bears have dropped from ninth to 13th and Thorman questioned if people were too quick to praise the Bears after Week 1.
13. Chicago Bears (LW: 9, 1-1): People might've been wrong about the Bears. It's still too early but doubts are creeping into my mind as to whether this is a playoff team. Maybe the meltdown will start early this year.
Thorman is not the only one to question the Bears. ESPN dropped the Bears four spots as well, down from eighth to 12th. Pete Prisco at CBS also had the Bears falling four spots, from tenth to 14th. Only Brian Billick at Fox Sports did not punish the Bears with a four-spot drop. Billick still has the Bears at tenth, only slipping two spots from their No. 8 ranking last week. The four sites gave the Bears an average ranking of 12.25.
All four sites had the San Francisco 49ers as the top ranked team. Check out this video for more about the SB Nation power rankings.
Cutler was seen yelling at his linemen and bumping Webb on Thursday and has since come under fire from the media and some of his teammates. Cutler finally addressed the issue himself on Tuesday on his WMVP-AM 1000 radio show. Cutler said he shouldn't have bumped Webb, but refused to go any further in issuing any sort of apology.
I probably shouldn’t have bumped him. You know, I’ll go with that. As far as me yelling at him and trying to get him going in the game, I don’t regret that. Shouldn’t have bumped him. I’ll stick to that.
Cutler also said the incident has been put behind them.
It’s just one of the things that happened during a game and since then we’ve talked about it and it’s really behind us.
The Bears host the St. Louis Rams at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.
For more on the Chicago Bears, check out Windy City Gridiron.
Quarterback Jay Cutler was visibly angry after being sacked seven times against the Packers on Thursday. Webb had a tough game, as he and guard Chris Spencer were tasked with shutting down Clay Matthews, who had 3.5 sacks.
On the sideline, Cutler took out his frustrations by shouting at and bumping into Webb.
Webb will look to rebound from a bad game, while his teammates have tried to diffuse blame for Chicago's poor performance. This weekend could be a bit easier for Webb and the rest of the line, as the Rams have only managed two sacks this season.
Spencer started 14 games for the Bears last season and both games this season, but Chicago will now turn to Rachal in an effort to improve their offensive-line play. Rachal signed with the Bears this offseason after spending the last four seasons in San Francisco.
"I need to just seize the moment and take advantage of it," Rachal said, according to ESPN.com. "The team called my number and that's what I'm here for, to help anyway I can."
Spencer, who has started 86 games during his eight-year career, took the demotion in stride.
"I guess they have to do what's best for the team, and I have to keep working and get better," Spencer said. "I'm a veteran, and I've been around a long time. I understand the process. All I can do is come out here and focus on what I have to do."
The Chicago Bears will host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher is the latest to lob criticism at Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler for his sideline antics during Thursday night's 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Cutler yelled at his teammates and bumped offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb, prompting criticism of the hotheaded QB from several sources, including his own teammates.
Cowher's criticism of Cutler on the CBS pregame show may have been the most severe yet, suggesting that the Bears may be forced to consider getting rid of Cutler if the Bears struggle or he doesn't show more responsibility.
"He’s had some protection issues. I know there’s been some questionable [play] calling. But they brought players in to help this guy win a championship, and he’s going to [have to] prove to be more accountable — not sensationalize every little mistake with his antics and body language.
"He’s a good quarterback. But if he does not change his ways and this team does not go to the playoffs, they have to consider changing. He has to change."
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.
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.
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