Bears

Phil Simms: Jay Cutler will be Bears QB in 2016 'for many reasons'

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Phil Simms: Jay Cutler will be Bears QB in 2016 'for many reasons'

About this time last year, former NFL quarterback Phil Simms was agreeing with the benching of Jay Cutler by an embattled Bears coaching staff and questioning whether things would ever click for Cutler as an NFL quarterback.

“Why would we think all of a sudden somebody’s going to get a hold of Jay and change who he is?” Simms said then via SiriusXM radio. “I don’t see that happening.”

Now Simms, an analyst for CBS broadcasting, in fact DOES see it happening for Cutler.

[MORE: Kyle Long: 'Bears fans will like' the way Jeremy Langford runs the football]

“He will be the quarterback, in my opinion, [in Chicago] next year, for many reasons,” Simms said on Tuesday during a conference call with NFL.com. “His play, what are you going to do? Draft somebody and try to start over and see if that works out with John Fox? He's done a tremendous job with the football team.”

Ironically, Simms, who directed the New York Giants to a win in Super Bowl XXI, has been among those holding a generally positive take on Cutler. “He’s mean,” Simms said. “He’s an angry guy. And I think angry is a big part of being a quarterback in the NFL.”

So is being with the right coach at just the right time, and the confluence of Cutler’s career and coordinator Adam Gase has been the tipping point. Gase has not sought to remake Cutler so much as cut back on Cutler’s decision-making and let the quarterback just play quarterback.

“The biggest reason: Adam Gase – the offense he's going to run, how he teaches it, it fits Jay Cutler. In other words, it's not we're just going to keep dropping back and, ‘Jay, you read the defense and make this decision.’

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“It reminds me a little more of the Mike Shanahan offense in Denver where he was going to put an emphasis on running the football, doing different things and keeping the defense off balance. Not just making the quarterback be a decision-maker every time he drops back there and make it tough.

“Physically, I’ve been very impressed with the way he's played. I think I've seen just about every game, and his decision-making has been very, very good, not taking near the chances throwing the football that I saw him take last year.”

Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

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USA TODAY

Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears placed DL Akiem Hicks on injured reserve (elbow), the team announced Tuesday. In a corresponding move, rookie guard Alex Bars was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.

Hicks suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 5's loss to the Raiders and was expected to miss a significant amount of time. He'll be eligible to return for the team's final three games in 2019, assuming he recovers in time.

His void in the lineup will likely be filled by Roy Robertson-Harris, who's thrived with more playing time while Bilal Nichols recovered from his hand injury. Nichols is set to return to the lineup Sunday against the Saints.

Hicks' absence was felt in London against Oakland when rookie RB Josh Jacobs ran for 123 yards in a game that Hicks was mostly sidelined for. The Bears will need multiple players, including second-level linebackers like Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, to step up now that Hicks will be gone for a while.

We'll have more on this developing story.

 

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

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USA TODAY

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

The Bears defense gave up a season-high 24 points in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The bye week that followed meant they had to stew on that performance for an extra seven days.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted the defense “didn’t hold up” in an interview on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. It sounds like they are fired up to not have a repeat performance against the Saints.

“We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a bye week.

“Now we got to make a statement game here at home.”

That statement game will have to come without stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Hicks got injured in the loss to the Raiders and is expected to miss significant time.

Jackson talked about what Hicks’ absence will mean to the defense.

“That’s a tough loss for us,” Jackson said. “The style of play Akiem brings is hard to fill. Right now we’re doing a good job holding up with guys coming in and stepping up, but at the end of the day that’s Akiem. His resume speaks for itself. What he does speaks for itself. Film, everything. It’s a tough loss, man. We’re hoping to have him back real soon for playoffs or the end of the season. It really hurts us, but we ride with him. He still comes around. He’s still engaged and meetings and things like that.”

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