Bears

Cutler, WRs can benefit from extra repetitions prior to training camp

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Cutler, WRs can benefit from extra repetitions prior to training camp

Many front office members of the Bears will utilize the next six weeks to recharge the batteries for training camp and the 2012 season.Most players take advantage of the down time as well, but as Ive stated in a previous blog, it could be valuable time for Jay Cutler and the receiving corps to really pick up their game.Training Camp PreparationA tremendous base has been built during OTAs for Cutler to build upon.Arm strength is crucial for any NFL quarterback and, realistically, Cutler will throw close to 500 passes per practice during training camp. The throwing totals have slowly increased as OTAs have moved along, similar to how routes run by receivers have also increased. I would hope Cutler has a set schedule to throw four-to-five days per week with his receivers. It really doesnt matter if it isaccomplished at Halas Hall or back in Nashville.Why it's importantWe have already mentioned a couple important benefits such as arm strength and conditioning.Even if Cutler experienced a period of dead arm during camp, his arm would remain pretty lively because he's just naturally strong. But you have to prepare your arm for a staggering amount of throws. Throwing sessions prior to campare also a great time to discuss route execution with receivers against different coverages. Cutler and his receivers will have a good understanding of each other by practicing various scenarios and attacking different defensive coverages.Cutler most likely has a good understanding of Brandon Marshall and Earl Bennett, but this could be a good opportunity to really get to know the mannerisms of young Alshon Jeffery. Mannerisms such asrange, flexibility, ability to track football to either side, quickness in and out of breaks, hands, etc...If Cutler can get answers to questions like: Can Jeffery go get the football if it's overthrown? Is there a sweet spot where Jeffery just never seems to drop the football? Can he adjust to an underthrown football as well as an overthrow?Whats his flexibility if I throw a football behind him on a crossing route?It would be another opportunity re-emphasizing learning the new Bears' passing game principles four-to-five days per week prior to training camp.After our final mini-camp in 2001, Marty Booker and I worked every day at Halas Hall, all the way up to the training camp reporting date.Marty had a Pro Bowl season with 107 receptions. It's safe to say we were on the same page and knew exactly what each other was capable of doing.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

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USA TODAY

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.