Moore on Cutler: I don’t think you can act like that

Jay CutlerThe Bears got back to business on Monday by making a change on their offensive line and updating the status of running back Matt Forte, likely hoping that would get people looking forward to Week 3 instead of looking back to the loss to the Packers.

That might take another couple of days because while coach Lovie Smith was doing the housekeeping, cornerback D.J. Moore was talking about Cutler. And his comments didn’t do much to kill the notion that there is the potential for serious problems between the quarterback and his teammates in and out of the locker room. Moore first joked about how much coverage there’s been of Cutler yelling at left tackle J’Marcus Webb last Thursday, but then veered into a criticism of the quarterback’s sideline demeanor.

“I don’t think you can act like that, though. To make it seem like it’s just my fault or what not, I think it’s just wrong, though honestly,” Moore said, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I would feel a certain way if he did me like that, to make it seem like, ‘Well, the reason I’m having a bad game is because is what you’re doing and not about me taking accountability for myself because I’m throwing these type of passes and doing these type of reads.’ It’s a tough situation.” Read more…

NFL Week 2 preview, picks

Randall Cobb

Source: Andy Lyons

Week 2 of the NFL Regular Season is upon us and tonight when the Chicago Bears visit the Green Bay Packers in one of the more interesting games of the week.  Here are my non-expert picks with some explanation. Disclaimer: I went 8-8 last week and it’ll probably go downhill from here, so take this with a grain a GIGANTIC SPOON of salt.

Chicago Bears (1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1) – Does a team have a more must-win game then the Packers do in week 2?  If Green Bay loses they are 0-2 at home on the season and down two games to the Chicago Bears in the NFC North and potentially two back in the race for home-field advantage against the San Francisco 49ers. If this happens then the Staples “Easy” button will be replaced with a “HIT THE PANIC BUTTON RIGHT NOW” by ESPN, NFL Network and the rest of the media.  That being said…Winner: Packers 30, Bears 23.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-1) – The battle of the mediocre defenses, both defenses came in hyped up to take huge steps forward and both gave up 40 burgers to the Falcons and Jets, respectively.  I picked the Chiefs to win the AFC West despite having Matt Cassel as their quarterback and if I hate anything it’s someone who jumps off the bandwagon after week one.  (Spoiler: I hate myself).  Winner: Chiefs 26, Bills 21.

Cleveland Browns (0-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) – This will be an epic battle — no, not between the Bengals and Browns – but between two longstanding rivals – Gingers and Old People.  Ginger Quarterback, Andy Dalton, is still trying to prove that Gingers can, in fact, play quarterback while Brandon Weeden tries to bounce back from the worst debut rookie performance by a quarterback ever  after taking his Metamucil and recording his marathon of “Murder She Wrote”. Winner: Bengals 21, Browns 9. Read more…

NFC preseason power rankings


Al Bello/Getty Images

As the end of the NFL preseason is quickly approaching, so to is the beginning of the 2012 NFL regular season. As there is one week left of preseason football, we are less than 10 days away from the start of the 2012 NFL season. I like to name this period “Week Zero”, as these power rankings are a basic opinion of how I believe the 2012 NFL season will pan out.

In the NFC specifically, there are a lot of teams to like, as picking the six best teams was harder than I imagined. In my opinion, the top 12 teams in these power rankings are all legitimate playoff contenders right now. For various reasons though, some teams are better now, while some teams may be better next year or the year afterward. Nevertheless, here are the Week Zero NFC Power Rankings.


The Vikings are young, but the question of Adrian Peterson’s health, Christian Ponder’s potential, and the defensive secondaries’ deficiencies gives the Vikings a whole heap of trouble in an NFC North division which features quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers.

Projection: 3-13


The acquisitions of wide receiver Vincent Jackson and All-Pro offensive guard Carl Nicks were great, and new head coach Greg Schiano is installing discipline into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but only little progress will be made in 2012 as Schiano will need a couple of seasons to get the Buccaneers back on track.

Projection: 4-12  Read More…


2012 NFL season preview: Chicago Bears



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In the years since the Chicago Bears faced off against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLI, the team has looked like a team with just enough talent to compete but not enough to put it all together. They’ve made the playoffs just once in the last five seasons and have finished with winning records in just two. 2011 looked like it would be a winning year after a 7-3 start, but timing is everything and some of the Bears’ key players suffered injuries towards the end of the season. Quarterback Jay Cutler broke his thumb and missed the last six weeks, while star running back Matt Forte missed the final four weeks with a knee injury. On top of this, wide receiver Johnny Knox also missed time. These injuries to key players turned that 7-3 start into an 8-8 finish.

Injuries heal, though, and so do the Bears. The offseason has given the players enough time to lick their wounds and make it back to 100 percent. Jay Cutler is lining up under center once again, and Matt Forte – entering the first year of a new four-year, $32 million deal – is also poised to enter the season with a new burst of energy.

Of course, having their starters healthy now doesn’t guarantee that they will remain like that throughout the season. Cutler has looked fragile throughout many of his seven seasons in the league, and the offensive line is going to have to do a better job of protecting him this year. If opposing defenses are able to reach Cutler frequently, he’s going to struggle and likely miss time.

Even if Cutler does miss time, the Bears are much better prepared for such a scenario than they were last year. While last season saw the team forced to rely on reserve Caleb Hanie after Cutler’s injury, new general manager Phil Emery used this offseason to sign former Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell was solid in Oakland prior to getting injured and losing his job to Carson Palmer. With Campbell as the second in line behind Jay Cutler, the Bears have a decent insurance policy at quarterback.

That same approach of mitigating risk also appears to have been extended to the running back position. Emery also signed Michael Bush, another former Raider who put up solid performances in Oakland. Bush brings a bruising element to the running back position, and he’ll be an excellent fill-in for when Forte needs to come out for some snaps.  Read More…

2012 NFL player props: Top 10 value picks

calvin johnson

These picks are far from locks but if you are looking for value then you’re in the right spot.

10. 2012 NFL MVP – Odds to Win | Arian Foster 15/1

I think the Texans will be a team to watch this year; they have a great defense and Andre Johnson is healthy, for now. Arian Foster is arguably the most dynamic running back in football and if he ends up putting up the numbers like he did in 2010 (2,220 total yards and 12 total TDS) the Texans may very well make the playoffs, and Foster the MVP.

9. Who will lead the league in Receiving Yards? | Brandon Marshall 16/1

He’s not the number one value pick for this category, but he has great potential and even better odds. In his last season playing with Jay Cutler (2008) Marshall recorded 104 catches and 1,265 yards, good for 3rd and 7th respectively. I expect Marshall to have a huge year and it could earn you some nice green.

8. Offensive Rookie of the Year – Odds to Win | Doug Martin 14/1

While Andrew Luck (9/4) and Robert Griffin III (9/2) are the obvious favorites for the oddsmakers, Martin may very well be the one who has the most positive impact. Rookie running backs are often the ones to make the transition from college to pro look the most seamless, and as of now it appears Martin will get the starting job.

7. Who will lead the league in Receiving Yards? | Roddy White 18/1

With Julio Jones around Roddy White’s chances of winning this title are decreasing every year. White finished 2nd in 2010 and 8th last season, so while oddsmakers have this about right, the potential is certainly there. Without being able to double-team Roddy opposing defenses are going to give Matt Ryan’s number one plenty of opportunities this season.

6. Who will lead the league in Passing Yards? | Aaron Rodgers 11/2

Believe it or not Rodgers is listed behind Brees (9/2) and Brady (19/4) as far as potential for throwing the most passing yards. The Packers’ quarterback and fantasy football stud has never led the league in passing and this leads me to believe this is going to be his year. Read more here…

Urlacher’s knee may be a bigger problem than let on

Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher’s injured left knee may have been a bigger problem for him this offseason than previously believed.

The surgery Urlacher had on Tuesday was either the second or the third knee surgery of the year for Urlacher, according to John Mullin of

Mullin cites two NFL sources as saying that Urlacher had surgery shortly after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale on January 1. It had previously been reported that Urlacher had opted for rest and rehabilitation instead of surgery.

And one source told Mullin that Urlacher actually had another procedure in the spring. Read more here…

Bears raving about Alshon Jeffrey


Alshon Jeffery

Brian Kersey/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of optimism around the Bears this summer with their upgrades at receiver serving as the foundation for much of it.

Chicago traded for Brandon Marshall to be the kind of No. 1 receiver that the Bears have lacked since bringing Jay Cutler over from Denver. If you believe cornerback Charles Tillman, they also got a Marshall clone when they drafted wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey in the second round of the draft.

“The best way to say it is, he’s a Brandon Marshall in the making,” Tillman said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. Read more…

NFC teams that may have turned the corner

The NFL is, by nature, a very unpredictable league. This makes the games that much more exciting, as a team can come from nowhere and have a very strong season. Turnarounds like the Dolphins had from 2007 to 2008, where they improved their record from 1-15 to 11-5, keep fans of every market interested no matter how bleak things may look. Just last year, the Giants started 6-6 before rallying over the next four games to make the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.

This year, expectations are high for several teams. The Giants will obviously look to repeat, and mainstays such as the Saints, 49ers and Packers will try to make it back to the top of the pile. There are several teams, though, who might just surpass all of them. These are three NFC teams that didn’t even make the playoffs last year – but have a legitimate shot to win it all this year.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles become a bit of a media punching bag last season after Vince Young remarked that they were a Dream Team in the making. To an extent, this was actually true. The individual pieces were all there: The team had made stellar acquisitions in Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Comartie, and they were adding their new weapons to an arsenal that already included LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson. Michael Vick was also coming off of a very impressive 2010 campaign, although injuries ended up as an issue.

For the 2012 Eagles, the issue isn’t talent. They have plenty of individual pieces. The goal will be to make those pieces work well together and actually resemble a team. McCoy is a great running back and Asomugha is a great corner, but the chemistry was missing on offense and defense. The team has a head coach with plenty of experience in Andy Reid, although the recent passing away of his son may impact his ability to stay focused and lead his team. If the Eagles find their center, they could be a team that nobody wants to play against. Read more here…

Young MC offers Jay Cutler a chance to ‘Bust a Move’

Jay Cutler

If Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has any interest in redeeming himself for hismumbling, stumbling version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” then Young MC is eager to give him a chance.

While you wrap your head around that for a minute, I’ll save you the Goggling and tell you that yes, in fact, Young MC is still a thing.

Best known for his late-80s single “Bust a Move,” Young MC will be appearing at a music festival in nearby Kankakee next weekend. He’s co-headlining with tone Loc (“Wild Thing”), but he wants to give Cutler a shot to share the stage, according to Dave Wischnowsky of CBS Chicago.  Read More…

Bears’ Matt Forte signs new 4 year deal – Super Bowl next?

Matt ForteThe Chicago Bears and their pro-bowl running back Matt Forte have agreed to a new contract that is worth $32 million dollars over 4 years according to ESPN

Terms of the new agreement have yet to be disclosed, but you can rest assured that the folks at Halas Hall and Chicago Bears fans are all breathing a sigh of relief.In this case it may not be considered an overstatement to say that a few retired hall of fame players from various teams, Chicago Bears past and present, most every NFL analysts, as well as the parties involved in the negotiations of the contract are all happy to get this saga over with.

The Bears on many fronts will now be expected to compete with their NFC North rivals the Green Bay Packers and the resurgent Detroit Lions for the best record in a division that many people consider to be the best in pro football going into the 2012-2013 season.

Now that Matt Forte has been placed back into the fold and with the additions of WR’s Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery, as well as the free agent signing of RB Michael Bush, Bears QB Jay Cutler will have a plethora of offensive options at his disposal. When you also take into account the Bears QB will have Devin Hester, Cutler’s college teammate WR Earl Bennett, newly signed return specialist/WR Eric Weems, 3rd string RB Kahlil Bell, and TE Kellen Davis to round out his offensive corps, you could argue that this could possibly be the best offensive cast that the Chicago Bears have had in their storied history and maybe one of the best in the NFL this coming season.  Read More…

Urlacher wants to play 2 or 3 more years, even if not in Chicago

Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears fully expects to be a free agent for the first time in his NFL career after the 2012 season. But he says he’s at least a few years away from calling it quits.

Urlacher, who says he’ll be ready for training camp after missing organized team activities with a knee injury, told ESPNChicago on Wednesday that he expects to play two to three more years. Just don’t expect it to come with the Chicago Bears’ biggest rivals. Asked if he’d ever play for the Green Bay Packers, Urlacher flatly said no.  Read More…


Brandon Marshall happy to finally have a good receivers coach

Brandon MarshallBrandon Marshall arrived in Miami in 2010 having had three straight 100-catch seasons in Denver. But he thought he could get better with the Dolphins.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work that way. Marshall says that he didn’t get much coaching at all, as far as teaching him how to improve as a wide receiver, and for that matter he never had that in Denver, either.  Read More…

Brandon Marshall: The key to Jay Cutler’s ignition

The Chicago Bears had arguably the worst corps of receivers in the NFL last season. Even after missing four games, Matt Forte still led the team, from the backfield, with 52 receptions. The top two receivers on the depth chart, Johnny Knox and Roy Williams, caught 37 balls a piece, good for 109th in the league. Knox finished with a team-high 727 receiving yards. More importantly, the Bears haven’t had a single 1000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002. In fact, this franchise has only produced 11 1000-yard receivers EVER. The Arizona Cardinals had three of them on THE SAME TEAM just four years ago. I can go on and on about this, but one thing is clear: the Bears have lacked a playmaker (outside of running back) for as long as most of us can remember. It’s probably no coincidence that we’ve only won one Super Bowl in its 46-year existence (and that happened to be the best defensive team in the history of the NFL). Jerry Angelo, the worst man ever, didn’t seem to understand this. Hence his firing after the season.

Insert Phil Emery. What was his first move? He went out and got us a dangerous playmaker in Brandon Marshall. And Jay Cutler went from a very unhappy person to just an unhappy person, which says a lot. With the news of Marshall finally being cleared of any wrongdoing for a nightclub incident in March, I figured there’s no better time than to breakdown what kind of impact he should have on Cutler and this Bears team going forward. Below is a chart of Marshall’s numbers over the past five seasons:

The touchdown numbers may scare you, I know. However, that has more to do with Cutler, Orton, Henne and Moore, all of whom are known to be poor red zone quarterbacks, than it does Marshall. He finished in the top five in both targets and red zone targets during his three full seasons in Denver, and he finished in the top 12 in targets and top 6 in red zone targets during his two seasons with Miami. Simply put, quarterbacks trust Marshall, especially inside the 20 yard line. The numbers alone show you that he is as reliable a wide receiver as there is in this game. It is very difficult to maintain the consistency that Marshall has at the professional level. Even with terrible quarterbacks throwing him the ball in Miami, he still managed to put up very solid numbers. Read more here…

NFC North: 2012 NFL season preview

The NFC North is one of the most polarizing divisions in football, and they have been for years. The division always seems to have at least one team on the brink of greatness, whether it’s the Chicago Bears 2006 Super Bowl run, the Minnesota Vikings coming within one play of making the Super Bowl in 2009, or the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl win a couple of years ago. Just last year, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers were only one game away from completing a perfect season. Let’s take a look at each team’s chances for success in 2012.

There’s not much that can be said about the Packers that hasn’t already been discussed. According to statistics and most analysts, Aaron Rodgers was the best quarterback in football last season and has been for quite some time. There’s no reason to think that this won’t remain the case during the upcoming season. The balance in Rodgers’ game is just as impressive as his arm strength. He always throws it to whoever’s open and doesn’t lean on one player or another during possessions. Whether it’s Jordy Nelson or Greg Jennings, Rodgers finds whoever is open.

The team’s big question mark for 2012 is going to be their defense, which was ranked near the bottom of the league in several key categories last season. Green Bay should be able to continue this success during the next season, but they’ll need to improve their defense in order to do so. They used their first few draft picks to bolster the defense, adding linebacker Nick Perry in the first round and cornerback Casey Hayward in the second. Read more here…