A little more on this whole CutlerO-line thing

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A little more on this whole CutlerO-line thing

The brouhaha over Jay Cutler saying that the offensive line is a concern until things sort out at the tackle and guard spots probably wont subside until the Bears go maybe five straight games averaging, oh, say 130 rushing yards and more than a rushing TD a game, and only have Cutler sacked maybe once a game.

Oh, wait. That already happened, the last five games of Cutlers season last year ending with the thumb injury vs. San Diego.

Never mind.

Brian Davis over at Yahoo Sports took a different tack on the Cutler comments, suggesting first that you really listen to the interview. Good suggestion.

As Ive said previously, Cutler said that there were concerns until its sorted out where players will be, how well Gabe Carimi and Chris Williams are coming off season-ending injuries, and seeing how JMarcus Webb works out (which should be worth watching if only because hell have a season and an offseason at left tackle, where he only started playing after the lockout last year).

Carimis return is expected well ahead of training camp. And the overall tackle situation already was upgraded when it was obvious early this offseason that Chris Williams was going back to his more natural position of tackle. Thats already an upgrade from Frank Omiyale, the swing tackle last season.

Which of Webb or Williams emerges as the starter or the swing tackle is what camp and preseason are about, but since both have played right and left tackle, this is a considerably stronger position than it would have been with a rookie going into development at this point.

Cutler did not trash his offensive line. Period. Any more than the linemen saying quarterback is a concern until they see that Cutler is all the way back from his broken thumb.

One interesting point of Cutlers comments was that the linemen still need to block even without Mike Martz making the calls. This is evincing concern that they wont? Isnt that obvious?

Cutler is a proven contrarian in his media moments. Not necessarily contentious, but if someone says, the new system under Mike Tice should help, shouldnt it? Cutlers obvious response is that, hey, it doesnt mean you dont still have to block.

But for what its worth, for those who didnt see the Martz light and realize it wasnt at the end of a tunnel but rather an oncoming train:

Before Martz arrived in Detroit, Jon Kitna was never sacked more than 37 times in any of nine previous NFL seasons. With Martz, Kitna was sacked 63 times in 2006 and 51 times the next year, his two seasons under Martz. That was with an offensive line containing three No. 1 draft picks and a No. 2.

This isnt new stuff. And neither is the obvious that the Bears offensive line has to pass-protect on third-and-8.

But if you dont like Lovie Smith, you dont like anything he says about his personnel. If you didnt like Jerry Angelo, whatever he did about the offensive line -- the one that had something to do with the Bears being No. 9 in rushing yards (10th in yards per carry) for the year and sixth in scoring when Cutler was hurt -- was bad.

That just didnt happen to be what Cutler was saying. You heard what you wanted to hear.

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

As questions about his future remain, David Accam is in his best run with the Fire

For the past two seasons, David Accam was a bright spot on bad Chicago Fire teams.

This season, with more talent on the roster, Accam has blossomed into one of the most dangerous players in the league.

He had a hat trick and an assist in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Orlando. That gives him 10 goals and six assists on the season. Only two other players in Major League Soccer have 16 combined goals and assists, New York City FC's David Villa and teammate Nemanja Nikolic (the leading goal-scorer in the league).

“I thought I could do anything on the pitch today,” Accam said. “I just wanted to enjoy myself and entertain the fans and also help the team win. That’s what we did today, especially after my first goal. I just thought I could get more goals and also help the team win.”

Accam’s big game comes after he sat out the previous two games, which were both played on turf. He wasn’t listed on the injury report, but coach Veljko Paunovic said, “he didn’t recover from the physical issues that he had in the previous game.”

The rest seemed to do Accam some good, but his success in the game (as well as his recent run of eight goals and four assists in his last eight matches) coincides with questions about his future. He was recently rumored to be the target of a Turkish club.

In the past, Accam has spoken about his ambition to play at the highest levels. Typically, that means Europe. General manager Nelson Rodriguez said last month that he expects offers to come in for the 26-year-old because he is a good player in his prime ages.

So is Accam playing like someone trying to earn a new contract? That could be either impressing potential suitors in Europe or boosting his negotiation position with the Fire. Rodriguez has talked about contract negotiations with Accam before, and said those will not resume again until after the season.

“I wanted to be in a team where I would develop as a person and also win trophies, whether here or somewhere (else) I don’t know,” Accam said. “For me, I’m doing really well here and every year if I keep playing well there will be always interest. I know there is a lot of interest because I’m doing well. For me it’s always extra motivation to keep doing well. You don’t know where I will end up, whether here or somewhere else. I’ll just keep playing.”

Accam’s play earned him another call-up to the Ghanaian national team. He will join the team on Sunday for a pair of friendlies in the U.S. The Black Stars will take on Mexico in Houston on June 28 and the U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., on July 1 as the two North American countries prepare for the Gold Cup.

“That’s where I want to be,” Accam said. “I want to be playing for the national team so it’s extra motivation for me to perform well and also to go to the national team.”

Accam has been one of the most productive players in MLS this year, based on goals and assists, and is young enough to draw the attention of plenty of teams. For now, the Fire have him as a key part of the best season the club has had in years.

“I think that he understands very well how to play with the team that we have now and with the teammates that he is surrounded with,” coach Veljko Paunovic said. “We just have to work to give David opportunities… Then we expect that performances like that will come even more.”

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