Cutler has room to improve -
Jay Cutler looked best when ... on second-and-6 at the Bears' 16, he took a deep drop, set his feet and fired a strike to Devin Hester on a deep comeback route. The connection covered 20 yards and displayed the best of Cutler: sturdy base, strong arm, rare velocity and accuracy. We didn't see it often on Day 1 of the Cutler Era.
Looked worst when ... he threw a near interception that Reggie Corner dropped after he had thrown an interception to Leodis McKelvin. On that Corner play, it appeared there could have been a miscommunication between Cutler and Earl Bennett that resulted in the quarterback hesitating. Tentative, Cutler pumped, pulled back and eventually threw a pass he immediately wanted back. Like most quarterbacks, when Cutler hesitates, the play is easy to lose.
COverall grade: He only made two decent throws and should have had two interceptions, but he also was playing without two weapons: Matt Forte and Greg Olsen.
Cutler human -
Unwelcome but necessary, a late arrival to the Jay Cutler Bandwagon dampened the enthusiasm surrounding the debut of the Bears quarterback Saturday night at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Turns out Jay Cutler can make mistakes. He will disappoint. He needs a transition period.
He might even raise an eyebrow as he holds his wide receivers publicly accountable for an interception he threw, as Cutler did when beginning an answer about his interception with an explanation of Devin Hester's role in it.
Asked what happened on the underthrown first-quarter pass Cutler heaved off his back foot that cornerback Leodis McKelvin intercepted, the Bears quarterback introduced Hester into the equation.
"Devin is more of a go-get-it guy," Cutler said. "He's not really a back-shoulder, jump-up-and-get-it [guy] and ... you learn from it. You make some mistakes. It's a preseason game."
10 Observations -
1. I thought my colleague Mike Mulligan said it best when he pointed out Tony Dungy and Mike Ditka have questioned the leadership ability of Jay Cutler, and the quarterback made the point worth pondering again in post-game remarks. Cutler was asked an innocuous question about what happened on the interception by Leodis McKelvin on an underthrown. Cutler appeared to throw off his back foot, and he pretty much implicated wide receiver Devin Hester.
"Devin is more of a go-get it guy, he is not really a back shoulder or jump up and get it [guy],'' Cutler said. "You learn from it. We made some mistakes. It's the first preseason game. Luckily enough, we have some time to correct them and keep going."
Say what you want about the quarterbacks that came before Cutler, and Kyle Orton's three-pick stinker Friday night in San Francisco said a lot on its own, but those guys never placed their receivers in front of the bus.
2. Great move by Lovie Smith to rest running back Matt Forte. There is no need for a running back to play in four exhibition games. Smith informed Forte at breakfast Saturday that he would not be playing. Forte hoped to get some action but LaDainian Tomlinson has gone entire preseasons without touching the ball.
3. If you're not worried about the Bears' secondary, you must not have watched the game. Trent Edwards was 10-for-10 and his replacement Ryan Fitzpatrick was 13-for-16. No, they didn't hit the Bears for much deep stuff, but nobody did last year and the Bears still finished 30th in the league in pass defense. Keep in mind, the Bills were without Terrell Owens. Buffalo systematically picked the secondary apart. Alex Brown did pick up a coverage sack, and Corey Graham looked smooth blitzing off the edge as the nickel back to get another sack. Here's what is scary about the defensive backfield right now, the Bears are counting on injured guys to come to the rescue. They're also counting on Nathan Vasher to bounce back. If they're playing blackjack here, it doesn't look like they're holding any face cards at this point.
4. Strong safety Al Afalava moved around pretty well. Looks like he is on the inside track for a starting job but that means Kevin Payne will be at free safety.
Some quick links ...
Top 10 PGs -
1) Chris Paul, 2) Deron Williams, 3) Steve Nash, 4) Chauncey Billups, 5) Tony Parker, 6) Derrick Rose, 7) Devin Harris, 8) Jason Kidd, 9) Rajon Rondo, 10) Russell Westbrook
Other than CP3, everyone on that list should move down 1 spot when Derrick Rose makes the leap to #2 early next season.
Who will be better: D-Rose or B-Roy? -
The Great Poohdini was amazing in the playoffs this year and Brandon Roy was simply a top 10 baller throughout the season.
D-Rose is four years younger than Roy and not only won the rookie of the year award but could have easily been an All-Star during the second half of the season.
I know they don't play the same position so it's hard to compare but they are two of the youngest and most talented kids in the game.
Rose is a straight-up baller and Brandon Roy's jumper is second to very few (Kobe & Monta Ellis maybe).
Let me know what you think. I haven't heard this question before and I think it's a fun one to discuss.
As for me, I would say they will both be all-stars for the next 10 years. If it comes down to championships, I got D-Rose, just because he is younger which helps his case.
Colangelo wants the Olympics in Chicago -
Jerry Colangelo has a World Series trophy and a gold medal. He has earned the respect of everyone who remembers Phoenix as a dusty desert pit stop on the road to somewhere else.
And now the countdown has begun.
In less than 50 days, the International Olympic Committee will announce its host city for the 2016 Olympics. Colangelo is deeply vested in the outcome, currently serving on the bid committee for his hometown. If Chicago wins, his own personal finish line comes into view.
"The vote takes place in Copenhagen on October 2nd, and I plan to be there, representing Chicago, doing whatever I can to help," Colangelo said. "It's all about the delegates. It's all about the votes."
Kevin Durant to replace Redd on Team USA? -
Just one year ago, Redd was in Beijing with the U.S. "Redeem Team" as it made its unbeaten run to an Olympic gold medal.
Redd said he has not talked to anybody about a future role with the U.S. team, although he indicated U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski has contacted him several times to wish him well in returning from his injury.
"It's really not been on my mind, especially with the injury," Redd said. "Right now my focus is on getting healthy."
It has been speculated that Oklahoma City guard Kevin Durant, who played well in national team auditions this summer in Las Vegas, could fill Redd's role as a designated shooter on the U.S. team that will compete in the 2010 World Championships in Turkey. Krzyzewski has agreed to return for the four-year cycle ending with the 2012 London Olympics.