Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Is Jay Cutler an MVP candidate? Our experts weigh in ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Can quarterback Jay Cutler be the NFL’s most valuable player? Such a notion would have been ridiculed as absurd just a year or two ago. Now, it’s an argument among fans at a bar. Star receiver Brandon Marshall seems to think so. “Absolutely, with coach [Marc] Trestman and [offensive coordinator Aaron] Kromer and our offense,” Marshall said after practice Wednesday at Olivet Nazerene University. “Our offensive linemen are studs; they work together. And we have a special group at the skill positions with Matt Forte, Alshon [Jeffery], Martellus [Bennett] and [Marquess Wilson]. I think, absolutely.” Marshall initiated the … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:21:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Let’s focus on Jay Cutler, not Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer ]]> Lead story image

RICK MORRISSEY: Josh McCown is to blame for all of this. The minute-to-minute media coverage of the Bears’ backup quarterback battle between Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen. Updates on which one overthrew an open receiver at training camp and the unspoken question of how he can live with himself. ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:21:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall are responsible, happy campers ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Quick, someone buy “This is a different person,” Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, perched on a golf cart after practice Wednesday, said of quarterback Jay Cutler. “I don’t know this new guy. I don’t know this new Jay Cutler. “Maybe his new name is, like, Joshua or something, just a totally different guy. “Let’s call him Joshua, Joshua Cutler. “That’s what the ‘J’ stands for.” If Jay Ratliff can became Jeremiah, why not? “It’s night and day,” Marshall said. “He’s a totally different person, totally different athlete.” Cutler Maturity Theory is taught this time every year on … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:21:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Guard Kyle Long cleared to return to practice ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Fans attending the Bears’ Family Fest on Saturday at Soldier Field could have a special treat: a healthy Kyle Long taking part in practice. The second-year guard has been sidelined by a viral infection since the start of training camp. But the Bears said Wednesday that he’s been cleared to practice and will begin conditioning. “He’s got to get his legs back underneath him,” coach Marc Trestman said. “I think by Saturday night you’ll see him in pads. We’ll work him into individual [drills] in pads on Saturday night. That would be the hope and we’ll take it … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:20:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jon Bostic starts anew after marred rookie season ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — After being buried in the rubble of a horrific defensive collapse last season, linebacker Jon Bostic is ready to re-establish himself as the post-Urlacher impact linebacker the Bears desperately need. ‘‘I’m back to playing football the way I’ve always been taught to play,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘So I’ll be able to play a lot faster than I did in the past.’’ Bostic was a second-round draft pick from Florida (50th overall) in 2013. His star fell precipitously after an impressive preseason built on two impact plays — a  51-yard interception return for a touchdown against Cam Newton and the … ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:50:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears linebackers coach Reggie Herring receiving rave reviews ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — It’s difficult to quantify the impact of position coaches, but Bears linebackers coach Reggie Herring already has attained a Rod Marinelli-like respect from his players. ‘‘I love coach Herring; he’s awesome,’’ linebacker Khaseem Greene said. ‘‘He brings the best out of not only myself, but all of us. And it’s not just the linebackers. It’s anybody he talks to or coaches up. He brings out the best in them because he’s got so much football knowledge and has coached some of the greatest [players]. He does a great job.’’ Herring, 55, was hired in the offseason to replace … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:56:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Khaseem Greene no longer greenhorn in second season ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Even the best play Khaseem Greene made last year was ripped — by his own people in northern New Jersey. In the unenviable position of replacing injured Lance Briggs at weak-side linebacker when the Bears’ defense already was in the throes of a monumental collapse, the rookie from Rutgers gave the Bears a chance to beat the Vikings at the Metrodome in Week 13 when he intercepted a pass by Matt Cassel off a deflection at the goal line and returned it 49 yards before he was tackled by Cassel. ‘‘I got a lot of heat for that,’’ … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 01:56:38 -0500 <![CDATA[ Optimistic Lance Briggs wants to retire in Bears uniform ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Never known as a workout warrior, Lance Briggs is stepping up his weight-room routine this season. ‘‘When I was younger, I would work out three days, take a day off; work out four, take a day off; work out one day, take a day off,’’ Briggs said. ‘‘Now it’s five days. I’m consistently hitting two-a-days through camp.’’ The intensified regimen is a concession to age and reality. At 33, with 11 seasons with the Bears taking a toll, Briggs is determined to return with a bang. He’s happy to be a mentor to Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene and … ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:51:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jay Cutler: The art and soul of offense ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Quarterback Jay Cutler has been called a lot of things in his first eight years in the NFL, but this is a new one: artist. If his first training camp under coach Marc Trestman was paint-by-numbers — learn the new coaching staff’s plays, formations and strategy — this year’s tour at Olivet Nazarene University has been rooted in the details. “It’s a next-level thing,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “Last year was everybody just running the route, getting there. “But he’s like, ‘Hey, you got this coverage; we can do it this way now,’ instead of just doing … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:43:28 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rookie DT Will Sutton knows he has work to do ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — A full practice working with the first team Monday wasn’t enough for rookie defensive tackle Will Sutton. He needed some extra work with skill-development coach Joe Kim after facing guard Matt Slauson. ‘‘You can’t just go down the middle of the man,’’ Sutton said. ‘‘Everybody is a grown man, of course. You have to be able to use technique. Technique is the game. You use the proper technique, and you’ll be able to win every matchup.’’ Sutton played in place of veteran Jeremiah Ratliff (day off). He has shown a quick burst during camp but admitted facing Slauson … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:42:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ New top-secret Bears defense is no joke ]]> Lead story image

BOURBONNAIS — Getting any information about the details of ­defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s scheme changes is like pulling teeth strapped with braces. Tucker’s playbook seemingly has ‘‘Top Secret’’ stamped on it. There are polite refusals. ‘‘I don’t want to get into any scheme things,’’ defensive backs coach Jon Hoke said. ‘‘There are a few subtle things, but nothing elaborate.’’ And there are jokes. ‘‘What have we changed?’’ linebackers coach Reggie Herring said. ‘‘Somebody gave you some bad info. A little wacky weed involved?’’ Still, everyone knows the changes are real, although not everyone can see them. Only so much can … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 18:01:58 -0500