With the Browns last preseason game tonight against the Chicago Bears we complete our preseason In the Enemy’s Camp. You can check out the previous ones here: St. Louis Rams Detroit Lions Indianapolis Colts
On to the Enemy’s Camp:
1) How has new coach Marc Trestman and QB Jay Cutler fit together so far? Any concerns or problems? Cutler looking better then the last few years?
Jay Cutler is supposed to be a coach killer as some national pundits want you to think. After all, Cutler was caught on camera two years ago cursing out then offensive coordinator Mike Martz. But, I don’t anticipate any such scenario between Cutler and Trestman. Trestman is the quarterback whisperer. Cutler and Trestman appear to have a budding relationship. This is a big year for Cutler, who is being given the Joe Flacco treatment by the Bears’ front office.
To this point, Cutler has looked better than he has ever been in a Bears’ uniform. We will see how that translates into the regular season.
2) The offensive line has been a problem for the past few years, how has it looked so far?
Do NFL teams really need an offensive line? I don’t think the Bears have had one since the Shufflin’ Crew. But to this point, the offensive line has been impressive. Jermon Bushrod, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, figures to solidify the left side while the right side features two rookies in Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. Long has commonly been known has “Howie’s Son”, but the Oregon product has impressive strength and is the “Big Nasty” on the Bears offensive line. Don’t look know, but the Bears may have found an offensive line.
3) The Bears said goodbye to mainstay Brian Urlacher this off-season, has he been missed? How has the transition from Lovie Smith’s defense gone?
‘m surprised, I thought the admiration for Brian Urlacher would be overwhelming at this point for the Bears. Urlacher did nothing wrong while on the field, I mean, if he was anywhere near the ball he would be credited with a tackle. But rookie Jonathan Bostic has surprised many this pre-season. Bostic, a second round draft pick out of Florida, was expected to be behind former Denver Bronco D.J. Williams on the depth chart. However, an early injury to Williams created an opportunity for Bostic to earn reps with the first team. Bostic hasn’t looked back since and will likely be the Bears’ starting middle linebacker to begin the season.
The defense hasn’t lost a step. Mel Tucker is the new defensive coordinator of the Bears this season and uses the same terminology that Smith used.
4) It is the 4th preseason game, how much of the 1st string do you expect to play?
None. Trestman all but confirmed that the first string players will not play on Thursday. Though, both Long and Mills may get some time on the offensive line. For the Bears, it will be a competition between quarterbacks Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards for the “I get to hold a clipboard all season long” position.
5) What are Bears fans expectations for this season? How would they react to a losing season?
The Bears will win anywhere from 7 to 11 games this season. There is no question that the Bears offense will be improved from recent seasons, but the team is facing a tough schedule. That being said, the consensus among fans is that the team will win around 10 games this season.
It is very tough for a new head coach to have a winning season in his first season. I expect Trestman to do so. But if the Bears have a losing season, the biggest result of that will be a quarterback change. Make no mistake about it, this season is all about whether or not Cutler will establish himself as a franchise quarterback.