Injuries made it a frustrating year for Marshall owners. His biggest game (5-48-3) came on Sunday night in Week 2 when it looked like he wasn't going to play against the 49ers. Then, when everyone had him back in the lineup for Week 3, he posted one catch for six yards against the Jets. He finished as the #34 PPR receiver, but had the #21 PPG. If fully healthy, he'll be a solid starter, though it's a quarterback downgrade from Jay Cutler to Geno Smith (or whomever ends up starting for the Jets). New OC Chan Gailey did throw the ball 56.6% of the time in his three seasons running the Bills, so the Jets figure to pass it much more than they have in the last few seasons. Marshall's arrival could have a negative impact on Eric Decker's targets, but given the team's relative lack of playmakers and Gailey's positive impact on the pass offense, Decker's value should hold steady.
The Bears are hiring Adam Gase as their offensive coordinator, source said.
Friday, December 26, 2014, 6:53pm
Bears QB Jimmy Clausen (concussion, out) has been ruled out for Week 17. Jay Cutler will get the start in what should be an awkward (and likely final) game with HC Marc Trestman.
Bears beat writer Michael C. Wright:
I think the relationship between Jay Cutler and Marc Trestman is broken. So Cutler will be invested, but he’ll also probably be out there doing his own thing as opposed to playing within the confines of Trestman’s system. My expectation is Cutler will play a backyard brand of ball in this last outing.
Oh, this should be good. Trestman is likely on his way out, and Cutler was understandably miffed by being benched, and now the two are in the awkward situation of preparing for a meaningless Week 17 game against a division rival. We like the Minnesota defense as a streaming defense play with Cutler in full "I don't give a s&*t" mode.
In yet another surprise twist in a season full of unpredictability, the Bears announced Monday afternoon that Cutler would start their regular-season finale Sunday against the Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The move came in concert with the team’s announcement that Jimmy Clausen has been ruled out for the finale after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Clausen took a vicious helmet-to-helmet shot from Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah on the Bears’ final drive of Sunday’s 20-14 loss at Soldier Field. And while Clausen remained on the field for four more plays – three incompletions and a loss-sealing interception – the Bears said in a news release Monday that the 27-year-old experienced delayed symptoms as a result of the collision.
Enough is finally enough for the Chicago Bears.
After weeks of offensive futility, the team has benched starting quarterback Jay Cutler in favor of backup Jimmy Clausen prior to Sunday's contest against the Detroit Lions, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, according to two sources informed of the situation.
Cutler owners who are still alive are going to have to find another option this week, and Clausen isn't an attractive start. He has a career 5.2 YPA and it's a difficult matchup against the Lions. It's a downgrade for the entire offense, including Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson, Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte. On the flip side, the Lions defense is still a very strong play in Week 16.
The offense learned that Monday in a meeting room at Halas Hall when offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer made an emotional and tearful apology for criticizing the quarterback in a private conversation at Soldier Field with an NFL Network reporter last week.
Four sources told the Tribune that Kromer adamantly denied he said anything about the franchise having buyer's remorse for Cutler's blockbuster contract and assured players that portion of Sunday's report on NFL Network did not come from him. With Cutler in the room, Kromer did admit however to being frustrated with the quarterback's play management and expressing that to Ian Rapoport as he left Soldier Field on Dec. 4 after the fifth loss in seven games.
Cutler shook his head during Kromer's apology, one source said.
"I'm still kind of trying to sort my way through this to be honest," one player said. "It's one of the most (messed) up things I have ever seen."
"It's a (messed) up situation," another player said.
The Bears are a mess right now and it's not clear how the team -- specifically Jay Cutler and the offense -- will respond against the Saints this Sunday. It's a great matchup, and garbage time production is always a possibility, but Cutler will be without Brandon Marshall in the lineup, and he's always a risky fantasy start, even in the best of times.
WR Alshon Jeffery has caught only 13 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown during the Bears’ three-game losing streak to the Dolphins, Patriots and Packers. Said quarterback Jay Cutler: “We’ve got to find ways to get him the ball a little bit more and get him going. He’s kind of been a bit lost the last couple of games. We haven’t utilized him as much as we want to. He’s still an unbelievable receiver and hard to cover.” Jeffery hasn’t had a 100-yard game or a reception over 22 yards since the Bears’ Week 6 win in Atlanta. But of course he’s not the only one who isn’t making the types of plays he has in the past. Said Cutler: “That’s just kind of everybody right now. We’re not doing exactly what we should be doing. We’re not making plays on offense when we should be making them. It starts with me. I’ve got to play better. I’ve got to put these guys in positions to make some of these plays and give [Jeffery] more of a chance to do what he can do.”
This is easy to say, but the Bears' offense is in a funk right now and it's not like Cutler can snap his fingers and everything will be hunky dory. The Vikings are a fairly tough matchup for opposing wide receivers. We're not expecting a great day from the Chicago offense given its performance in recent weeks.
It was Marshall's right ankle that gave him problems earlier in the season. Reports Monday had Marshall saying he'll be fine for Week 11, but we'll continue to keep you updated. The Bears host the Vikings in Week 11. It's an early afternoon game so owners will have time to adjust lineups if need be.
Roberto Garza C
Charles Leno OT
Shea McClellin OLB
Sherrick McManis CB
Jeremiah Ratliff DT
Trevor Scott DE
Matt Slauson G
''We'll see where we are closer to the game,'' coach Marc Trestman said. ''We've got up to 90 minutes before the game to make those decisions and we're going to use every minute of it to make sure we make the right decision in the best interests of the team, and certainly for the player.''
Trestman said he has no overall policy about using a player who hasn't been able to practice during the week, calling it a ''player to player decision.''
''The No. 1 thing I want to be sure is that the player is healthy enough to play the game and can be safe out there,'' he said.
As we had in our injury reports, WR Brandon Marshall didn't practice Friday while WR Alshon Jeffery did do some work. Owners probably shouldn't expect a decision until right before the game, based on this story, which puts owners in a tough spot. Obviously QB Jay Cutler's value takes a huge hit if both guys are out so he's a very risky start in what already isn't a great matchup. Cutler owners may just want to go another direction while Marshall and Jeffery owners need a backup plan in place.
Griffin's transition from gimmick offense to pocket passer was fully expected to feature a few bumps in the road. What has had us concerned since the preseason opener, though, is that the bad habits in his footwork and throwing motion seem to have carried over from last season's return from ACL surgery.
Appearing on The Herd with Colin Cowherd this week, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski confirmed, after watching hours of preseason film, that Griffin's mechanics have regressed.
"They have regressed in the fundamental way of throwing the football," Jaworski said, via The Washington Post. "His throwing slot, his footwork, his inability to remain consistent in that."
We've been on the low side on Griffin for the entire offseason due to minor concerns about the knee and moderate concerns about the installation of a new offense. He has a very good receiving corps, and may very well work out his preseason issues during the regular season, but it's tough to draft him over (seemingly) more reliable options like Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler and Colin Kaepernick.
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 7:36pm
Jordan Palmer’s bid to win the Bears’ back-up quarterback job officially ended Sunday with the team informing him of his release, according to a league source.
Palmer, who spent the final 10 weeks of last season with the Bears, signed a one-year extension with the team before free agency began in March. But he never did enough to earn the team’s all-important No. 2 role.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 6:47pm
Jay Cutler's interactions with teammates and the media always seem to creep into the narrative about the quarterback, and on Tuesday Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said "we've absolutely noticed a difference in Jay."
"It might be true. Anytime you are in an offense and have the same group of guys around you, it's going to be more comfortable. It is for me anyway," Cutler said. "I like the group of guys we have in the locker room, understand what we are doing offensively. And it's early. It's still preseason with you guys."
Described as petulant to the media in the past with televised on-field blowups with teammates and coaches as evidence that he's been difficult to get along with, Cutler hasn't displayed such qualities so far. But to Cutler's credit, he didn't in 2013 either.
Going into 2014, Kromer believes Cutler is taking on more of a leadership role. He's moved on to a new staff led by an offensive-minded head coach in Marc Trestman. He's finally protected well, and not taking unnecessary punishment every time he drops back to pass. He's surrounded by a bevy of weapons on offense, and playing in an offensive system he believes in strongly on a new seven-year contract.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 5:49pm
Jimmy Clausen is scheduled to be the first backup quarterback off the bench behind starter Jay Cutler when the Chicago Bears host the Jacksonville Jaguars in an exhibition Thursday night, coach Marc Trestman said Tuesday.
Trestman implored reporters, as he has done several times during training camp, not to infer from the division of playing time the leader of a position battle.
"You see it every day out here -- they're both making plays," he said of Clausen and Palmer. "They’re competing. I’ve talked to both of them that nothing’s set in stone from last week. We grade them every day. We’re watching all the tape. We’re making the corrections with each of them. It’s still a competition, and they know it."
Palmer was 8-of-11 passing for 104 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the Eagles.
Clausen looks like he's emerging as the Bears QB2.
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