Cutler Worthy Talent Evaluator, Average QB

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Cutler Worthy Talent Evaluator, Average QB

Sunday, December 13th

Jay Cutler has been calling for weeks to get Devin Aromashodu on the field. Eight catches, 74 yards, and a touchdown later, indicates Jay Cutler might have been correct in his talent evaluation of Devin. He targeted Devin 12 times during the game. Jay loves his size which provides much more surface area to target a throw and a post up guy who can win one-on-one battles fighting for the football on the outside or in the endzone. I think we all understand the reasoning Jay has pushed for this move. Now he must take it to the next level. It is easy to point the finger in needing more playmakers, but Jay has to be honest in his own evaluations on why the Bears lost today's game and for the record, four other games on the schedule this season. Interceptions!

Yes, I, more than others do get it! The fans of Chicago get it! The indifference shown by Jay in postgame press conferences is disturbing because I know he cares about football. He just does not care enough about the efforts of his coaches or fellow teammates to protect the football! The two interceptions thrown today are squarely on Jay. One pick came with the Bears' defense only getting one snap of rest after a long Green Bay drive. Jay knew both throws never had a chance when he cocked his arm.

The question in evaluating Jay becomes why does he continue to follow through on a decision he is not confident in the first place, knowing the consequence for his team in his decision making. Hopefully, Jay comes to the same evaluation as I, his coaches, and teammates clearly see on tape. Throwers pray, passers make hay! Unfortunately, Jay falls under the first category until he is farther along in the Bears offense and more comfortable in what he is processing. That is the only honest analysis. Jay, in my analysis, does not know his protections nor does he know his progressions, otherwise you would not have the outcome displayed on the two interceptions. He needs to hit the playbook and know all scenarios of every play in order to anticipate the unimaginable, or what is not covered in practice situations. You simply cannot cover every "Look". If he is not confident versus the looks of Green Bay's defense, I do not even want to think about his lack of confidence in facing the Ravens next week. Another five interception game could be in store and Lovie may have to pull him.

Bears announce training camp schedule

Bears announce training camp schedule

The Bears released their official training camp schedule Thursday morning. After reporting to Olivet Nazarene on Wednesday, July 26, the first of ten practices open to the public will take place the following day. The Bears will be based out of Bourbonnais for the 16th straight season. Training camp will go through Sunday, Aug. 13 before the Bears break camp and finish the preseason in Lake Forest. 

All practices are tentatively scheduled to start at various times during the 11 a.m. hour with the exception of Saturday, Aug. 13, which starts at 12:05 p.m. Those times are subject to change based on weather, and a varying set of schedules that John Fox and his coaching staff have set up, as they adjust to player and training staff preferences in hopes of reducing injuries. 

Also, new this season, fans wanting to attend practices must order free tickets in advance through the Bears website. Fans will not be allowed in without a ticket, and the first 1,000 fans each day will be given various souvenirs. The practice campus will be open to the public with tickets from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Here is the full training camp schedule:

After historically low turnover total in 2016, what can Bears do to get more takeaways?

After historically low turnover total in 2016, what can Bears do to get more takeaways?

Quintin Demps set a career high in interceptions last year by not doing anything different. And that’s the message he’s sending a defense that generated only 11 takeaways in 2016, tied for the lowest single-season total in NFL history. 

Demps went from picking off four passes in both 2013 with the Kansas City Chiefs and 2014 with the New York Giants to notching just one interception with the Houston Texans in 2015. In 2016, though, Demps intercepted six passes, broke up nine more and totaled 38 tackles. 

“Turnovers are like, it’s not something that you go get, it’s something you let come to you by doing your job first and then helping out,” Demps said. “And then you’d be surprised how they come to you by doing your job and being aware of when you can help somebody out. A lot of times when you get help is when you get picks and turnovers.”

The danger for a defense coming off a historically bad takeaway is sort of a whiplash effect, where there’s an over-emphasis on creating turnovers and not enough attention paid to, as Demps said, “doing your job.” There’s a fine line between being opportunistic and undisciplined.

“I tell my safeties all the time, we gotta tackle first,” Demps said. “Tackle first, don’t miss any tackles and then the picks are going to come. I promise you that.”

The Bears felt positively after signs of being more opportunistic as a defense during shorts-and-helmets practices in May and June, though if that was because of any real improvements or because the defense is usually ahead of the offense is hard to tell at this stage of the year. 

The offseason program was valuable for the Bears’ secondary in growing trust within a group that had — no pun intended — plenty of turnover after the 2016 season. The hope is that the offseason additions of Demps, Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper and Eddie Jackson will solidify the secondary and lead to something better than last year’s historically-low turnover total. 

“We’re still trying to build something, but the actual, real building happens in training camp because I think then you start to see the group start to get formed and yo know who’s going to go with the one’s, who’s going to go with the two’s, stuff like that,” Amukamara said. “So I think that starts to get formed. But I think with a lot of guys now, I think what that creates is competition and guys trying their hardest to make the team.”