Moon: Cutler ahead of former Bear McMahon

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Moon: Cutler ahead of former Bear McMahon

Monday, April 11, 2011
Posted: 11:31 a.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Jim McMahon rarely shrank from voicing sharp criticism of the Bears organization when he was its quarterback and that hasnt changed, as Mad Mac took the team to task for its handling of Jay Cutlers knee injury.

In a report by Michael David Smith on ProFootballTalk.com, McMahon was blunt:

I think they just handled it poorly, McMahon said in an ESPN interview. Somebody should have come out and said, hey, he hurt his knee. But nobody said anything. I think if they handled it better, people would have realized what was going on.

This is a dicey one. Lovie Smith defended his player resolutely and has attacked detractors pretty regularly this offseason. The problem, though, is that Smith is not forthcoming with injury details as a matter of policy, which players should and do appreciate. In this situation the devil truly was in the details, although the fact that Cutler went in to start the second half has been too often ignored by his critics.

For what its worth, Cutler is ahead of McMahon on the winning curve.

McMahon had the Bears in an NFC Championship game in his third Chicago season (the 23-0 loss to San Francisco in 1984). The Bears were in the Super Bowl semifinal in 2010, Cutlers second Chicago season. And considering that McMahon was part of one of the most talent-rich teams in franchise history, Cutlers results stack up pretty well.

Now, the year after that NFC Championship loss, McMahon got to the next level. Cutler, your turn.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for tight ends

Bears training camp preview: 3 burning questions for tight ends

With training camp starting next week, CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden and JJ Stankevitz are looking at three burning questions for each of the Bears’ position groups heading into Bourbonnais. Thursday's unit: the tight ends.

1. Will Zach Miller make the 53-man roster?

Miller didn’t play a single down from 2012-14, and has missed seven games in two seasons with the Bears, but he’s been productive when on the field: 110 targets, 81 receptions, 925 yards and nine touchdowns. But the Bears signed Dion Sims to an $18 million contract and then drafted Adam Shaheen in the second round of the draft, moves that seemingly put Miller in a precarious position heading into Bourbonnais. Not helping Miller’s case is the Lisfranc fracture he suffered last November, which kept him sidelined through OTAs and veteran minicamp in May and June. He’d be a valuable player for the Bears to keep around, but at the same time, training camp could be a perfect storm for Miller to be among the cuts.

“They’re going to cutting it close for training camp,” coach John Fox said of Miller (and Danny Trevathan) in June. “But right now they’re right on target and that’s kind of what we expected all offseason.”

2. What can we expect from Adam Shaheen?

Shaheen was among the bright spots during May and June, hardly looking like someone who played his college ball at Division II Ashland while going against NFL defenders. But those were just shorts-and-helmets practices without any contact, so it’d be premature to project anything about Shaheen off of them. The real test for Shaheen will be when he puts the pads on in Bourbonnais and gets his first experience with the physicality of the NFL after a few years of being head and shoulders — literally — above his competition in college. It’s unlikely Shaheen will live up to his “Baby Gronk” hype in Year 1, but if he handles training camp well, he could be a valuable red zone asset for Mike Glennon as a rookie. 

“You don’t know until you put the pads on,” Shaheen said. “That’s what I’m excited for.”

3. How productive can this unit be?

Between Sims — who had a career high four touchdowns last year with the Miami Dolphins — and Shaheen, the Bears have two new, big targets for an offense that tied for 24th in the NFL with 19 passing touchdowns a year ago. If Miller sticks around, this group would have enviable depth. But even if he doesn’t, the Bears liked what they saw from Brown last year (16 receptions, 124 yards, 1 TD in six games). There are fewer questions about the tight ends heading into training camp than the receivers, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Glennon leans on this unit, especially early in the season. 

BearsTalk Podcast: Analyzing Mitch Trubisky's contract as rookies arrive for camp

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USA TODAY

BearsTalk Podcast: Analyzing Mitch Trubisky's contract as rookies arrive for camp

On Ep. 56 of our BearsTalk Podcast, Chris and JJ discuss Mitch Trubisky’s contract, question marks about the final 53, go over the Vikings off-season with Dawn Mitchell from Fox-9 Minneapolis, and go “Off the Grid” on  JJ’s recent engagement.