Bears

15 on 6: Cutler has a tough challenge vs. Saints

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15 on 6: Cutler has a tough challenge vs. Saints

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
Posted: 10:31 a.m.
By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

It's never easy facing a team that just got rocked the week prior. That's exactly what happened to the New Orleans Saints defense in their opener against the Green Bay Packers. The Saints defense gave up 42 points. It is not something defensive coordinator Gregg Williams places at the top of his resume when trying to get another head coaching job.

Williams has always been extremely aggressive with multiple looks and blitzes to destroy your pass protections. His goal is to hurt you. Remember his quote before the 2009 Championship game against the Vikings: "Remember my shots." It drew the ire of many that he would say something so brazen when facing Brett Favre, but it's football and he wants every quarterback to remember. He did it to me when I was with the Bears and played a Williams-coached team in the Washington Redskins. I never got hit more consistently than in that game, which we won on the road.

The point is, first and foremost, Jay Cutler has to be tough. He has proven his toughness over and over again even though some questioned it in the NFC Championship game one year ago. Cutler heads to New Orleans knowing he's going to get tagged. It's just a fact of life playing a perturbed Saint defense and Williams.

The Saints will make their corrections and will be much better in Week 2. They will also be prepared for the Bears' screen and draw game utilized Week 1 against the Falcons. A slow running back screen resulted in a 53-yard touchdown to Matt Forte and a wide receiver screen to Devin Hester set up another Bears touchdown. Screens and draws are called to take the heat off the quarterback and slow a defense down. Keep them honest, so to speak. But despite all the screens and draws called by offensive coordinator Mike Martz, Cutler was still sacked five times. Williams is not about to allow Cutler to hit a one-yard pass and have it go the distance for a score. Instead, he will play bump and run coverage forcing Cutler to be accurate passing and throwing down the field.

Blitzes

Cutler was successful late last year against blitzes with no-look passes and signaling routes to his receivers. It is something he successfully politicked to Martz. Remember, Martz is not a big audible guy. He just calls a play for what he expects to see. The issue is, what if he's wrong?

As a quarterback, you would like the ability to put the offense in a better positive play against what you're presented defensively. A happy medium was reached for both with the no look passes allowing Cutler to manipulate bad looks defensively. He must be on point when he takes advantage of these opportunities against the Saints. He can save his body from the aforementioned "remember my shots." It will also stop any leaks in the dyke concerning his offensive line. The Bears' tackles are young. They are not experienced enough to understand all the looks Williams will expose to them. I have a feeling these young Bears tackles are about to get an indoctrination in overload blitzes over the C-gap where offensive tackles are susceptible.

Green Bay executed a "No Huddle" offense early against the Saints. It was very effective in minimizing blitzes and also wore the Saints out. The problem is, it's always difficult to execute a "No Huddle" offense on the road. Communication is always difficult due to crowd noise and the "Dome Patrol" crowd will be in full force at the Louisiana Superdome. I would like the Bears to utilize this option, but Lovie Smith may want to rely on his defense which continues to get turnovers. Coaching wise, Smith will worry about going to the Saints' home and having unforced errors due to communication issues, which are avoidable by simply not putting that option on the table. Remember, the Bears' young offensive tackles have enough to worry about. It is understandable for Smith to put it on Cutler's experience to manage blitzes with the no-look passes. Smith also understands ball control is imperative against the Saints. Huddling takes more time off the clock and minimizes offensive opportunities for Drew Brees.

If Cutler is tough, hits down field throws, manages looks and gets some support from the run game to keep Brees off the field, the Bears will return victors. Easier for me to write than to execute.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense. 

 

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

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USA TODAY

Former Bear Greg Olsen randomly walks into marriage proposal, catches whole thing on video

Scenario: you're walking down the street and randomly walk into a marriage proposal. What do you do?

For former Bear and current Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, the answer was to capture the magical moment on video. 

Olsen was in Nashville this week to give a keynote speech at a healthcare conference. While walking back to his hotel on Thursday, he randomly stumbled into a marriage proposal. His first response: hit record on his phone and capture the whole thing on video.

"Did she say yes? I got it on video, dude," Olsen said emphatically. "I'm going to send it to you!

"She said yes and I got it all on video, and you don't even know me, but I'm going to send it to you."

The couple, according to the Panthers, is Max Harvat and Brooke Hartranft. The two were visiting Nashville for the week, but Harvat didn't necessarily plan the proposal. It was as much of a sporadic moment for him as it was random for Olsen.

"Oh my god, you're my hero," Harvat said to Olsen after the proposal.

As it turns out, Harvat grew up a Panthers fan. However, he had no idea that Olsen was the person recording the proposal in the moment, only happy that someone caught it on video. When he stood up, he realized who the mystery man was.

“When I stood up, I looked over and I started having a mini heart attack," Harvat said to panthers.com. "I was like, ‘I’m 90 percent sure that’s Greg Olsen from the Panthers!’

“I'm a huge Carolina fan. I was like, ‘Oh my God, you're telling me that Greg Olsen just recorded the whole thing?’ I was so excited. It was amazing."

The moment wasn't just special for Havrat and Hartranft, though.

"It's the best thing I've ever witnessed," Olsen said in the video.

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