suntimes
POWERFUL 
Weather Updates

Bears QB Jay Cutler, RB Matt Forte will play, but don’t expect a juggernaut

Updated: September 16, 2012 6:25AM



BOURBONNAIS — Quarterback Jay Cutler will play against the Washington Redskins in the Bears’ second preseason game Saturday night at Soldier Field, but don’t expect fireworks.

‘‘We’re going to keep things pretty basic,’’ said Cutler, who didn’t play in the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos last week. ‘‘What we unroll against the Redskins isn’t the final product.

‘‘We want to get in and out of the huddle. We want to execute plays. But it’s not going to be the end of the world if we’re not clicking on all cylinders.’’

Coach Lovie Smith said Matt Forte, who also didn’t play last week, will play against the Redskins as the Bears try to get their running game in gear. The Bears rushed for 36 yards on 21 carries against the Broncos.

‘‘We need to get Michael Bush some quality reps,’’ Smith said, ‘‘and get the offensive line going. In order for us to do the things we want to do offensively, we’ve got to get the running game going.’’

Forte looking good

Though Forte missed the Bears’ offseason program while negotiating a long-term contract, he has looked as impressive as a player can look in training camp — in shape, quick, fast and versatile. He caught another deep ball from Cutler for a touchdown in Monday night’s practice.

‘‘He’s unbelievable,’’ wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said. ‘‘He’s the most versatile and complete player on our team. He could excel at any position — that’s how special he is.’’

Practice bits & pieces

Linebacker Lance Briggs sat out Tuesday’s practice, which was conducted in shorts and shells after the Bears had a physical practice in full pads Monday night.

Patrick Trahan played the strong side, with Nick Roach in the middle and Geno Hayes at Briggs’ weak-side spot.

◆ Second-year safety Chris Conte had a big day with three interceptions, two against Cutler.

◆ Rookie tight end Evan Rodriguez made a nice catch downfield from Jason Campbell but also got first-team reps in some drills.

D.J. Moore was back at practice after missing Monday night’s practice with a bruised quad. Kelvin Hayden replaced him.

Devin Hester and Henry Melton seemed to be playing a game of H-O-R-S-E on punt returns. After Hester caught a punt with one hand, the 6-3, 295-pound Melton did the same. Hester then tried to catch a punt behind his back.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.