Bears getting Eddie Royal back adds to Jay Cutler 'trust' factor


Bears getting Eddie Royal back adds to Jay Cutler 'trust' factor

When Erik Kramer arrived as Bears quarterback in 1994, he had dismal games early against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions, the latter being his former team. I asked Kramer why those teams were such problems, given that he obviously knew where their defensive players would be.

“The problem wasn’t that I didn’t know where their guys were going to be,” Kramer said. “It was that I wasn’t sure when OUR guys were going to be.”

The reason was simple. Kramer was coming into a West Coast system under coordinator Ron Turner and was required to execute more of a timing offense, throwing earlier to still-unfamiliar receivers.

Two decades later, Jay Cutler has grappled with the identical problem, although not as much because of scheme or where defenses will be. Instead, Cutler has had to sort out his own guys and the myriad receiver combinations employed. Alshon Jeffery does not run routes the same as Marquess Wilson as Marc Mariani as Josh Bellamy as ... You get the idea.

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“Yeah, it’s tough,” Cutler acknowledged on Thursday. “The good thing about is it’s a really good [receivers] room. Availability is key in this league and a lot of the guys have been up and down, up and down. You can go down the list.”

That list may be stabilizing for the good this week with Jeffery no longer on the injury report and Royal practicing on a limited basis after missing the last five games and six altogether this season with a knee injury.

Not that the Jeffery-Royal pairing equates to success; the Bears are 0-3 in the games when both receivers played.

But Royal was a favorite target of Cutler’s when the two played with the Denver Broncos (2008) and again this year in training camp, where Royal clearly was in phase with Cutler.

“For me, I’ve had enough experience with Jay to know how to expect the ball, where he’s going to go, how he’s going to go, when he’s going to throw,” Royal said. “So I’ve still got that in my mind. You’ve still got to react to it and react to the situation. It’s different for a quarterback, who has to throw it before a receiver comes out of his break.

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“It’s about trust. Sometimes the timing is not always going to be there, so you have to trust that I’ll be at the right spot. If you have to be there at 10 yards, then that’s where the receiver has to be. And that’s where trust and faith come in.”

Cutler’s trust and faith are there with Royal and with Jeffery, with Cutler declaring that if Jeffery is against one-on-one coverage, “it’s going to take a lot to get me off him.”

Even if trust has sometimes been difficult to come by, Cutler has been consistently complimentary toward his inexperienced receiver group. “They’ve done a really good job of being where they’re supposed to be,” said Cutler. “I think it’s a credit to how hard they work, how much they study, and Mike [Groh, receivers coach] making sure that they are prepared each and every week.”

No, it actually doesn't make sense for the Bears to trade for Patrick Peterson

No, it actually doesn't make sense for the Bears to trade for Patrick Peterson

Things around the NFL got real  interesting this morning: 

Between Paterson's strong language and the fact that the Cardinals are one of the three-worst teams in the NFL this season, it seems like a pretty safe bet that this trade happens. 

As is tradition, each NFL team's fanbase started tweetin' about it: 

The guess here is that this trade caught Bears fans at exactly the wrong time. Between Brock Osweiler's 380 YDS, 3 TD game and Tom Brady's 277 YDS, 3 TD performance, people aren't exactly clamoring to buy stock in the Bears' passing defense right now. 

As of Week 6, however, the Bears pass defense ranked 1st in DVOA. No one was better. Granted, that's not where they'll be when DVOA is updated to reflect the last two games, but bailing on the Bears' pass D after two games (although a case could be made that their pass D wasn't THAT bad against New England) is foolish. There's also the fact that the Bears' secondary is already super-talented, highlighed by Bryce Callahan and Eddie Jackson both making it onto Pro Football Focus' first quarter All-Pro team. Granted, Kyle Fuller's had a slow start and Prince Amukamara hasn't been able to stay on the field, but the depth and talent of the Bears' secondary won't be their downfall. 

Positional need aside, the money just doesn't make sense for Chicago. First and foremost, the Bears just probably don't have what they'd need to bring in Peterson. According to Sportrac, the Bears have roughly $5.4 million in cap space this season - good for 23rd in the NFL (not that rank really matters, but just to give you an idea). 

That's not technically a deal breaker when it comes to Paterson, whose $11 million base salary is actually around $5.2 million once you prorate it for the first eight weeks of the year. So, if the Bears *wanted* to make a move for Peterson, the space is there. 

With that said, Peterson would come at a price that the Bears most likely don't have the luxury of affording. As of today, the market for trading top-tier secondary players has probably been set by this winter's Marcus Peters deal. In that trade, the Chiefs sent Peters and a sixth-round pick for one 4th-round pick this year and a 2nd round pick the following. As it stands, the Bears don't currently have anything better than a 4th-round pick until 2021. They definitely don't have the draft capital to match the Peters deal -- which was actually considered a light return at the time. 

And sure, the Bears could come at the Cardinals with a package built around current players, but why would that interest Arizona? Would a rebuilding team be THAT interested in Leonard Floyd, or some sort of Kevin White-Proven Vet combo? There's no incentive for the Cardinals to listen to any offer that doesn't include high round draft capital, and the Bears can't offer that. Paterson on the Bears would be an embarrassment of riches, but not one that the Bears can realistically swing. 

Let's listen to the Bears-Patriots' wild finish in other languages, because it's way better that way


Let's listen to the Bears-Patriots' wild finish in other languages, because it's way better that way

Remember Sunday's Bears-Patriots finish? The one where the Bears (and Kevin White -- shouts to Kevin White!) were one-yard away from tying the game on a hail mary? 

Here was the call that most viewers heard, which was Extremely Meh: 

Now here's the call that viewers in Germany and Portugal heard, which is SO MUCH BETTER: 

Turns out that being excited for an exciting play makes for good television, who woulda thought.