Bears Aim to Keep Cutler on His Feet..................
June 13, 2012
Keeping Cutler upright of utmost importance
By: Larry Mayer | Last Updated: 6/13/2012 10:36 AM
First-year offensive coordinator Mike Tice is determined to put his players in the best positions to succeed, and when it comes to Jay Cutler, that means keeping the quarterback off his back.
Asked what element of his game will be accentuated in the Bears' new offense, Cutler said: “We want to get rid of the ball. We want to get it to the playmakers.
"We want to get the ball to Devin [Hester] and Brandon [Marshall] and Matt Forte and get it out of my hands as fast as possible, and I think that’s probably something we’re going to work really hard on in training camp and those preseason games of trying to get that done.” The new approach no doubt will be a relief to Cutler, who has been sacked 75 times the past two seasons, the most of any quarterback in the NFL.
In terms of whittling down which pass plays Cutler prefers, Tice is having a tough time.
“Right now he’s throwing every ball well, so it’s hard to figure out what he’s comfortable at,” Tice said. “It looks like he’s comfortable with everything we’ve installed.”
On pace: Still recovering from a knee injury he sustained in last year’s season finale in Minnesota, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher ran on the side during Tuesday’s minicamp practice.
“He’s not ready to go yet,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He’s on pace. Our plan was to take it slow with him. We know what Brian can do. It’s not like he’s going to tell us an awful lot out here. He should be good to go for training camp.”
On the ground: Because contact is not permitted in offseason workouts, the Bears haven’t spent much time on their running game in OTA or minicamp practices.
“To come and work on your inside run game right now is silly,” Tice said. “The most you can do is end up breaking some rule and getting in trouble, so we stayed away from the run game.
“We serviced ourselves in the run game both defensively and offensively for a number of weeks. Until late last week we stayed away from running the ball against each other. What we did do was put in some draws and some finesse runs, a little bit of pulling stuff.
“It gave us an opportunity to at least see our guys out in space and give the defense an opportunity to fit the runs. We sprinkled a handful in [Tuesday]. We sprinkled a handful in last week too.”
On the field: In Tuesday’s practice, Chris Williams and J’Marcus Webb continued to split first-team reps at left tackle. The rest of the No. 1 offensive line consisted of Chris Spencer at left guard, Roberto Garza at center, Lance Louis at right guard and Gabe Carimi at right tackle.
The defense generated two interceptions, both on Cutler passes intended for Earl Bennett. Charles Tillman undercut a deep slant to pick off one ball and D.J. Moore made a quick break toward the sideline to intercept a second throw.
During the special teams period, Hester, Eric Weems, Greg McCoy and Trevor Coston fielded punts, while Hester, Moore, McCoy, Devin Thomas and Alvester Alexander returned kickoffs.
Roster move: The Bears on Tuesday waived cornerback Donovan Warren, a Michigan product who had spent time with the Jets, Steelers and Lions before signing with Chicago in January.