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Jay Cutler Crossed the Line by Shoving J'Marcus Webb

Was Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler wrong for what he did to teammate J'Marcus Webb in last Thursday's loss to the Green Bay Packers?

Let me refresh your memory just in case you forgot what happened.

During the second quarter at Lambeau Field, Webb was unable to block Green Bay's Clay Matthews, which resulted in a sack. While on the sideline, Cutler was seen yelling at Webb, and ended his complaining by shoving the 6' 7", 333 pounder in disgust.

Now I ask again, was Cutler wrong? If you ask me, yes he was.

No, I don't see anything wrong with a quarterback getting angry and telling his teammates about not doing their job, but getting physical is just too much.

I've seen plenty of quarterbacks in the NFL get in the face of his teammates for playing poorly. Great quarterbacks like Troy Aikman and Steve Young are prime examples of that. They demanded the best out of their teammates, and as a result won championships. So in that regard, I'm happy to see Cutler act in such a way.

However, regardless of how poorly a teammate is playing, no quarterback should show the blatant disrespect that Cutler displayed.

For Cutler's sake, I hope that he is smart enough not to do that to anyone anymore. Cutler was lucky that Webb, a man who is twice his size, didn't retaliate. Had that been some one like Olin Kreutz, a former Bears offensive lineman, Cutler would probably be on the injured list for what Kreutz would have probably done to him.

Bottom line, I hope that Cutler keeps the intensity up, but at the same time have control. I have a feeling that this incident might bring out the best in Webb at the left tackle position, and the Bears' o-line will finally get some cohesiveness in their pass protection.    

Clyde A. Speller
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller

Bears Should Dominate Colts in Season Opener

The start of the 2012 NFL season is right around the corner, and for the Chicago Bears, it should be a great start to a promising season. The Bears will start the regular season by hosting rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

The biggest story coming into Week 1 for Chicago is the health of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. All offseason, Urlacher has been hampered by a knee injury that was sustained in the 2011 regular season finale.

The 13-year veteran practiced for the first time in a month with the team this past Monday, and expects to play on Sunday. Even though Urlacher says that his knee feels fine, the Bears organization should still be cautious. After Sunday’s game, Chicago has a very short week to prepare for a Thursday night game versus the Green Bay Packers.

Outside of Urlacher’s knee, the Bears’ defense should have a fun time welcoming Luck into the NFL. Last season, the Colts were ranked 26th in rushing, averaging 99.6 yards per game. Chicago’s stout run defense was fifth in the league (96.4 ypg). It looks like all the pressure will be put on the arm of Indianapolis’ rookie quarterback.

Offensively, quarterback Jay Cutler will finally get a chance to play with a couple of new toys that the Bears added to the offense. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and rookie Alshon Jeffery add a dimension to the passing game that Chicago fans have never seen. Marshall and Jeffery are 6’ 4”, 230 pounds and 6’ 3”, 216 pounds respectively. Two big targets added to the Bears’ passing attack will make it much easier for Cutler to find targets in tight coverage.

In addition, Chicago still has arguably one of the best running backs in the league in Matt Forte, and Michael Bush as a complement.

Chicago’s potent offense should have a field day against a Colts defense that gave up an average 370.9 ypg last season.    

As for special teams, the Bears have gotten stronger in the return game as well. Along with Devin Hester, Chicago has added Lorenzo Booker and Eric Weems to the mix. Booker showed his big-play ability in the preseason when he returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown. As for Weems, he has made his mark as one of the best special teams players when made the Pro Bowl as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

Indianapolis was dead last in the league in kick return coverage last season, so don’t be surprised if the Bears takes one to the house at some point in the game.

It looks like Chicago has the advantage over Indianapolis in all three phases of the game in this Week 1 matchup. Therefore, I think that it’s safe to say that the Bears will win by a landslide. My prediction: Bears 35, Colts 17.

Clyde A. Speller
Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller

Chicago Bears Gives Fans Reason to Be Excited About 2012 Season

We're halfway through the preseason, and it looks like things are starting to come into place for the Chicago Bears. Chicago has split their first two games of the preseason, losing to the Denver Broncos and beating the Washington Redskins, and has shown improvement from game one to game two.

Grant it, most of the starters didn't play in the preseason opener versus the Broncos, but adding key players line quarterback Jay Cutler, running back Matt Forte, and defensive end Julius Peppers to the mix gives Bears fans a more vivid picture of how things will be once Week 1 of the regular season rolls around.

There wasn't much to cheer about in the 31-3 loss to Denver. However, the 33-31 victory over the Redskins was something to take notice of .

On the first play from scrimmage against Washington, Cutler connected with wide receiver Brandon Marshall for a 41-yard completion. Marshall, a former teammate of Cutler in Denver, finished the game with two receptions for 61 yards.

Rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery continued to impress Bears coaches and fans with three receptions of his own for 62 yards.

Chicago's new acquisition in the backfield, Michael Bush, scored two touchdowns in the red zone during the first quarter. Bush just may be the goal line threat the Bears have been looking for over the past few seasons.

Defensively, Chicago was still without veteran middle linebacker Brian Urlacher due to his recuperation from arthroscopic knee surgery, but that didn't matter with the first-string defense.

Led by defensive end Israel Idonije's 2.5 sacks, the Bears' defense dominated the Redskins' starting offense, which included a fumble by rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, that was recovered by Peppers.

Even the start of the second half sent electricity through the crowd at Soldier Field. Running back Lorenzo Booker opened the third quarter with a 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, extending the Bears' lead to 27-10.

The contribution from the special teams didn't stop there. Kicker Robbie Gould gave Chicago the lead, and the victory, late in the fourth quarter with a 57-yard field goal with :31 remaining on the clock.

Yes, there are a lot of reasons to be excited entering this regular season. We must also remember that there are still a lot of things that still need improvement, and a lot of things that are still left unanswered.

Chicago's offensive line still could be costly when it comes to pass protection. There is still uncertainty of who will protect Cutler's blindside at the left tackle position.

Both J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams are still battling for the starting LT spot, and with two preseason games remaining, offensive coordinator Mike Tice has a tough decision ahead of him.

Other concerns that the Bears have are on the defensive side of the ball. The most obvious is the status of Urlacher. The 13-year veteran injured his left knee in the 2011 regular season finale versus the Minnesota Vikings, and hasn't participated in activities with the team this offseason.

Urlacher says that he is confident that he will be ready to play in Week 1 versus the Indianapolis Colts, even after having his knee scoped recently.

This leaves the middle linebacking duties to Nick Roach if by some chance Urlacher isn't able to play by September 9th. Roach shouldn't have a problem filling in. In 2009, the six-year veteran stepped in for an injured Urlacher and showed that he could produce.

Finally, the situation at both safety positions continue to haunt the Bears. Ever since Lovie Smith became head coach for Chicago, safety has be the most inconsistent position on defense. Major Wright and Chris Conte are both the starters, and both showed promise last season.

However, that didn't stop Chicago from drafting Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin, who was carted off of the field in the win over the Redskins.

All in all, the Bears are in great position to improve on their 8-8 record from last season. In order to do that, Chicago needs to build on the momentum that they have built this preseason, and players at key positions need to step up.

Clyde A. Speller

Follow me on Twitter @ClydeASpeller

Bears Mix blog featured writers Mike Kincaide,Greill Kupicky,Clyde A. Speller,James Tillman
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