Bears’ first-team offense has looked good, but sample size is small
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter August 17, 2014 9:16PM
Updated: September 19, 2014 6:20AM
Jay Cutler has a 123.3 passer rating and has led the offense to touchdowns on two of four drives in the first two preseason games. What does it mean?
“You’re asking me about Sorcerer’s Stone when I’m reading Prisoner of Azkaban,” tight end Martellus Bennett said. “You can’t really tell because we haven’t played a whole game. It’s easy to look good for a little bit of time. All women look good for an hour, but can she look good all night?
“That’s how we are right now. I want to see us put the whole game together — that’s going to be the biggest challenge, to play at that level for . . . 60 minutes.”
The Bears aren’t getting ahead of themselves, but the early signs for Cutler and the first-team offense have been positive ones — enough to at least think the offense can get off to a fast start against a difficult schedule in the first month of the season.
“We can be great,” left guard Matt Slauson said. “But it’s early. We have a lot of work to do. We’re not running the ball the way we want, but we aren’t super-concerned about that because it takes awhile to get it going. Plus, we don’t game-plan for these teams [in the preseason].
“We just need to keep working the way we’re working. This group — this team — works tremendously hard, the best I’ve been around.”
Coach Marc Trestman is loath to make any judgments in the preseason. But he at least allowed that he likes what he sees.
“We’re in a good place,” Trestman said. “We have high expectations. We’re still working through our offense. We’re trying to complement playing these games and getting our guys ready to play these games at the same time — taking a big-picture point of view and getting ready for the season.”
With the awkward balance as a backdrop this week, the Bears will get as good of a preseason test as you can get when they play the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Friday night at CenturyLink Field. Though the starters generally play into the second half in the third preseason game, Trestman and his players refuted the notion that it’s any kind of measuring stick. But it’s more than just another preseason game — especially at CenturyLink Field.
“What a great opportunity for us,” Trestman said. “We’re going to play so many games on the road early in the season [four in the first six weeks]. We’re going to be working in the noise all week. And playing against a team like Seattle will be a good opportunity for us to find out a little more about ourselves.”