Bears

Impact of Bears trade talk on Jay Cutler worth monitoring

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Impact of Bears trade talk on Jay Cutler worth monitoring

Neither GM Ryan Pace nor coach John Fox have given anything close to a strong vote of support for Jay Cutler as the Bears’ No. 1 quarterback ever since their respective hirings. Any uncertainty swirling around Cutler reached a new level as the start of the draft approached on Thursday night.

Now the question becomes how that uncertainty will sit with Cutler.

Pace pointed more at the potential positive impact that the selection of West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White will have for Cutler rather than whether the Bears really wanted him or not.

“In my mind, we just got Jay another dynamic weapon,” Pace said. “That’s why I’m excited about it. I hope right now he’s fired up because we just gave him another powerful weapon. With this receiving corps, this only adds to Jay’s ability to distribute the ball.”

[MORE: After trade flirtations, Bears invest No. 7 pick in WVU WR Kevin White]

How Cutler does distribute the ball, something of a point of contention between Cutler and the previous coaching staff, is a matter for another time.

Offseason rumors of the Bears shopping Cutler were shot down by Pace and by sources with the Tennessee Titans, but the talk escalated on Thursday with the Bears linked to talks with the Titans. Reportedly the Titans weren’t interested in taking Cutler, and the fact that Cutler was the subject of any conversations sent a second message to Cutler that he is not the future in Chicago.

It would not be the first time that Cutler has gotten a strong message that his team doesn’t particularly want him.

When Josh McDaniels was hired to succeed fired Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos in 2009, McDaniels wanted Cutler gone. Relations between McDaniels and Cutler degenerated to the point where the Broncos were more than happy to send Cutler to Chicago.

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Pace dismissed some of the angst over reported calls on Cutler with a laugh:

“Really in the days and the even the hours leading to the draft there are so many phone calls,” Pace said. “My first year doing it as a GM, it’s even more than I realized. And I think teams know with us being a new staff, new GM, new head coach, people call about a lot of our players, we call about other players.

“That’s going on way more than you ever realize. So there are calls all over the ballpark. I think that just occurs this time of the year.”

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.