15 on 6: Cutler successful, but not happy

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15 on 6: Cutler successful, but not happy

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
1:50 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

Hungry

The best part of being in first place in the NFC North is that Jay Cutler is not happy. The first words uttered by Jay at the post game press conference..."I did not play well." That is what leaders do and what Bears fans expect from their trigger man. Man Up! But what Jay did do, was play well enough in critical moments when the game was on the line.

The Bears had their greatest success when they had to line up in a static formation and just go. (See prior blog)

Before the Half

Green Bay had to show their hand defensively right before the half and the Bears took advantage, as Greg Olsen found pay dirt with a nine-yard touchdown. To prove my point, before this point in the game, Jay even stated in his post game presser that, "they were moving around quite a bit."

It was a two-minute-drill situation. Offensively, knowing time is an issue and the Bear's just lined up and ran the play call. It forced Green Bay to get to their landmarks defensively prior to the snap. This cleaned up the read for Jay, enabling him to hit Johnny Knox on the post corner route down the left sideline. It was Jay's best throw of the night, in a big spot, when a play had to be made. He dropped back with authority, saw the coverage with confidence, and delivered a perfectly placed strike. This is the rhythm in the passing game that Jay and the offense have been aspiring to achieve.

3rd quarter - 4th and 1 at the 1

The Bears have been unpredictable offensively in their first three ball games.

1. Lions- Screen game to the backs was focus

2. Dallas - Adjustments to beat the blitz

3. Green Bay- Not enough offensive plays (only 48), but 7 different targets hit. Aaron Rodgers hit 8. For opponents of the Bears, who do you defend? Hester has made plays (Dallas one hand TD), Aromashodu (Lions game), Knox, Olsen, Forte, Bennett, and Jay being a threat to run. Green Bay ran a lot of cover 2 with man coverage underneath. Jay recognized and shredded it by taking off right down the middle of the field. You cannot defend the QB scrambling with that defensive play call. Opponents will take note.

Opposing defenses must now expect the unexpected. On fourth down and one at the goal line Desmond Clark failed to catch a poorly thrown flat route by Jay, but Green Bay was not prepared for Clark to be the primary target. Who says Martz does not use tight ends? That is good football, great game planning, and uncanny play calling. What the Bears have put on tape the first three weeks is going to prove difficult for teams to defend.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Both teams are on track to be drafting in the top five, and the inevitable “the loser is the winner” talk has made its rounds, meaning that a defeat moves the loser higher in the draft order. The reality is that neither team will tank the game for draft position.

But the chances of two woeful teams playing well are slim. The 49ers won in Week 1 and then have lost 10 straight. The Bears are trying to avoid losing four straight for the first time under John Fox.

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick burst upon the NFL scene in 2012 with a blowout of the Bears in his first start. He has regained his starting job in San Francisco and is still one of the prototypical mobile quarterbacks.

But the 49ers are the NFL’s worst defense in both points and yardage allowed, and they are the worst rushing defense in the league. Expect the Bears to try exploiting that and give quarterback Matt Barkley a balanced run-pass game plan.

Prediction: Bears 24, 49ers 20

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Kyle Fuller was one of the seeming fixtures in the Bears’ defense as it transitioned from the 4-3 of old to the 3-4 of Vic Fangio. And he may be again, the Bears hope very soon, as he has begun practicing after months on injured reserve following knee surgery in August.

The Bears could place Fuller on the active roster as late as Saturday after he practiced all three days this week. “He made it three days in practice, no setbacks,” said coach John Fox. “He seems to be adapting pretty well. He has another practice [Saturday] and we don’t have to make a decision until 3 p.m. because of where he is on the roster. We’ll evaluate that after tomorrow.”

Were Fuller to return — restoring one projected 2016 starter to a defense that has been forced to field five different starting secondaries in the span of 11 games — he may be phased back in with a managed number of snaps, as other certain other players returning from injury have been.

But getting Fuller back projects to be an instant upgrade for a defensive backfield among the NFL’s worst at producing takeaways.

“We all play different positions so we’re kind of used to it, people moving in and out over the year,” said Bryce Callahan, who was initially ticketed for nickel duty as the No. 3 cornerback this season but has been pressed into service starting at cornerback in four games.

“It’s always good to get someone like Kyle back.”

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The Bears would need to weigh what workload Fuller could handle vs. roster needs based on only having 46 players active on game day.

“You’re always a little bit cautious because it does affect your roster,” Fox said. “But if you feel like he makes you better, that’s a move you make. Now we’re just working through him medically, durability-wise, and how much he can play.”

Jay Cutler (shoulder) was officially declared out and is headed for surgery on Saturday, ultimately to injured reserve.

Other availability questions include receiver Eddie Royal (toe), guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos (ankle), all questionable. Linebacker Willie Young (knee) did not practice but linebacker Leonard Floyd was able to practice on a limited basis although his status in the concussion protocol will not be known until closer to game time.