Good morning. We’re coming up on Week 3. Here are some Bears Essentials to get you going as Chicago begins preparations to face a winless Pittsburgh Steelers team on the road:
-- Jay Cutler is no longer seeing ghosts when he drops back into the pocket, which is somewhat of an oddity the quarterback is trying to become accustomed to, writes ESPNChicago.com's Doug Padilla.
"The hardest thing right now is stepping in the pocket and not seeing ghosts because these guys are doing such a fabulous job protecting," Cutler said Monday on ESPN 1000's "The Jay Cutler Show." "It's just getting used to being able to take my steps, take my appropriate drop and step up and go through all my reads. It's a good problem to have, but it's still something I have to get used to with these new guys."
-- Former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, now an analyst for ESPN, attended Sunday’s game between Chicago and Minnesota, and came away impressed with the Bears’ offense. Edwards puts together a thorough breakdown that’s definitely worth reading.
Here’s a snippet of what Edwards wrote:
Another thing that is improved -- though I can't yet say vastly improved -- is Cutler's decision-making. On that play I mentioned, he recognized that Brandon Marshall was being bracketed by cornerback Josh Robinson and safety Harrison Smith, and never hesitated in throwing to Bennett. It was the right read and resulted in an easy TD. Last season, he might have forced that throw in to Marshall, potentially resulting in an interception. And for most of the game, Cutler made the correct reads.
Against Minnesota's Cover 2, Cutler repeatedly checked the ball down to Forte (11 catches for 71 yards on 11 targets) or threw to him on flare passes out of the backfield. When Minnesota switched to single-high safety looks, Cutler took his shots downfield with Bennett and Marshall. Cutler's mechanics also look much improved, something else that can be attributed to offseason work with (Marc) Trestman.
-- Rick Morrissey finds Trestman’s candor refreshing.
-- Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless discuss Cutler and his late-game heroics here.
-- Charles Tillman’s horse-collar tackle of Greg Jennings turned out to be expensive.