Bears

Bears QB Jay Cutler practices again, says he's 'day-to-day'

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Bears QB Jay Cutler practices again, says he's 'day-to-day'

Every Thursday the Bears typically make the next-game’s starting quarterback available via press conference. Thursday it was Jay Cutler, in full uniform, including football cleats instead of CrossFits or other non-NFL footwear and giving no clues as to the state of the hamstring he injured chasing an Arizona Cardinal two weeks ago.

Whether that points to Cutler starting Sunday against the Oakland Raiders remains pure speculation, with the quarterback practicing on a limited basis and Jimmy Clausen working with backup receivers after practice, hinting that Cutler may have gotten a significant amount of starter reps during practice.

“I think we’re doing well,” Cutler said. “We’ll see how it goes. We’ve still got a couple of days. We’re not where we want to be yet.”

[MORE BEARS: Jay Cutler returns to practice in a 'limited' role]

Had the game with Oakland been Thursday, would Cutler have been able to play? “Maybe,” he said, smiling.

The injury occurred when Cutler attempted to make a tackle after Cardinals defensive back Tony Jefferson intercepted him and was on his way to the Bears end zone.

Given that Cutler’s 2011 season was cut short by a thumb injury in the identical situation, next time there’s an interception, “I’m just going to lay down,” he joked.

[MORE BEARS: Bears vs. Raiders brings old coaching friends head-to-head]

The status of his return, however, is no joke, if only because attempting to come back from a hamstring pull before properly healing can make the injury exponentially worse.

One report had Cutler missing at least two weeks, an estimate coach John Fox ridiculed.

“Everybody’s different,” Fox said. “That’s why I don’t like putting timetables on things.”

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:

Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):

Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.

Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.

The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him. 

According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.

No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears

There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround. 

The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.

Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.

Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.