Offensively Challenged: Deja Vu for Cutler?

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Offensively Challenged: Deja Vu for Cutler?

Friday, November 13th

Maybe I am just a glass is half full kind of guy! Because, if you look closely at Jay's performance tonight, he hit 12 different receivers. That is some serious distribution of the football and spreading the wealth. Unfortunately, seven targets were on the Bears roster and five others played for the 49ers.

You cannot sugercoat Jay's performance one bit. He needed to be the difference maker for the Bears, not SAN FRAN! The game was set up for Jay coming into Thursday night. Running the football was going to be difficult as the 49ers were fourth overall in the NFL at stopping the run. Furthermore, the Bears should have featured the passing game due to the 49ers losing their star cornerback, Nate Clements, for six weeks to injury. It was not to be and Bear faithful are left wondering how their prized franchise QB now leads the league in interceptions. Is Chicago where QB's come to die?

All of Jay's miscues are correctable and some the fault of others. But when you blow Red Zone scoring opportunities with as much frequency as the Bears, it is now must be considered a trend. The first and last interceptions are without a doubt the most alarming. We have witnessed three games this year where Jay has demonstrated poor decision making in the Red Zone that has cost the Bears football games. The first interception by Nose Tackle Abrayo Franklin of the 49ers is inexcusable. There was no passing lane! Never going to be a passing lane to complete that football! Three other 49ers had TE Greg Olsen blanketed in the Endzone making it way to risky of a throw. THROW THE BALL AWAY! Go back to my Atlanta Blog. Take the three points. You are on the road in a MUST WIN game scenario. The bigger picture needs to sink in and Lovie Smith needs to hammer it home to his starting franchise QB. Time for a trip to the principles office for a chat because Jay's poor decisions are now putting Lovie's livelihood in harms way.

Jay's carelessness displayed throwing the football makes it difficult for everyone moving forward. It certainly affects Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner's ability to call a game. Jay will not say it publicly, but his confidence is shaken. You do not apologize to your teammates after the game if you are not questioning yourself inside. Tommie Harris dealt with it last week and now Jay has to get back to work. Ron has to stress the fundamentals. Poor footwork and technique are killing Jay's production. It is not the time to let Jay off the hook after a so called "bad day at the office". This has been brewing for quite some time, when it should have been addressed in the first place.

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Can Deiondre' Hall overcome on- and off-field hurdles to make an impact with Bears?

Rookie Deiondre' Hall flashed in the preseason a year ago, leading the Bears coaching staff and fans to believe they found something amidst their trio of 2016 fourth round draft picks. 

He’s hoping to do the same this August after overcoming one physical hurdle, while waiting to see if he can get past a legal hurdle he created for himself.

Let’s start on the field, where, just days after his first NFL interception in the fourth game last season, he sustained an ankle injury in practice, sidelining him for two months. Once his walking boot and scooter were finally put away, he was active for the final four games. But what progress he’d been making on the field was difficult to recapture.

“Just coming off the injury, there was a little rust here and there, but the training staff here’s great and I had to push through it,” Hall said at last week’s minicamp in Lake Forest after he was one of numerous Bears hit by the injury bug, but not one of the 19 who wound up on Injured Reserve. “(I was) getting comfortable with the defense and in myself playing with those guys out there, getting the opportunity in the red zone and making plays. But the injury kinda sucked because I haven’t really had an opportunity to play since Week 5, so I’m not necessarily starting fresh.”

As the offseason unfolded, Hall was informed the coaching staff was going to try him at safety, if not permanently, then as an option for the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Northern Iowa product. 

But Hall’s not totally foreign to the position. He was a free safety his first year in college, then transitioned to outside linebacker/nickel as a sophomore, moved to cornerback as a junior before breaking his hand his senior year, playing through it back where he started at safety. So the decision wasn’t a big deal, especially if it enhances his chances to get on the field. But his preference?

“Defense. Opportunity,” Hall responded. “You get in where you fit in and the more you can do, the better it is for the team. If opportunity presents itself at corner, then I’m at corner. But right now at safety, I’m making strides (there) and keep pushing for that.”

“We’re gonna float him back and forth,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said last month, after the Bears signed free agent cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in the off-season, while Bryce Callahan and Cre’Von LeBlanc are expected to battle for slot duty and former first-rounder Kyle Fuller and veterans Johnthan Banks and B.W. Webb hope to impress. “He (Hall) had some experience there in college. When it comes down to picking your team and you’re taking nine or 10 DBs, if someone’s got versatility to play both of those spots, that helps, so we’re gonna see if he’s one of those guys.”

But before Hall gets back to work in Bourbonnais, he’ll find out if he has some other dues to pay. Hall was back at his alma mater’s Cedar Falls campus March 26th when he and a former UNI teammate were arrested outside a bar called Sharky’s. Police had responded to a call, and by the time all was said and done, Hall needed to be tased before being arrested on charges of public intoxication, interference (with an arrest), and disorderly conduct. 

The case was continued late last month and Hall’s jury trial is scheduled for July 11th. Pending the outcome, he could face disciplinary action from the team and the NFL. He’s told his side of the story to Bears management and while expressing remorse for putting himself in the situation, Hall says it wasn’t in character and feels confident in what the outcome will be.

“People make mistakes and the truth always comes out,” the 23-year-old said, adding the situation isn’t weighing on his mind or affected his preparation in off-season workouts. “You gotta let people make their own mistakes. I won’t shed light but the truth always comes out, and (I’ve learned) just don’t take anything for granted.”

“My main focus is football and keep pushing to make strides to become good, and great.”

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: