Bears Open Camp with Expectations, Controversy

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By Paul M. Banks

When the Chicago Bears reported to Camp Bourbonaiss today, with the first practice taking place tomorrow afternoon, they were greeted with both high expectations and manufactured controversy.

Perhaps no team had a more productive (or publicized) off-season than Chicago, as they swapped QBs with the Denver Broncos, essentially stealing Pro Bowl signal caller Jay Cutler out of the Rocky Mountain state. Your grandparents were in diapers the last time they had a QB this good, and given how that’s, you know, kind of an important position, this move was HUGE- especially considering that Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers is the only other legitimate starting NFL quarterback in the NFC North division.

The Bears also made tremendous upgrades to their Offensive Line in Orlando Pace and the underrated Kevin Shaffer, augmenting what was previously one of the team’s weakest units. The world of sports betting has taken notice, installing the Bears as the odds on favorite to win the NFC North.

Vegas also thinks the Bears have the best chance of any NFC North team to win both the NFC and the Super Bowl, as the “Monsters of the Midway” have the best odds among the four teams in both categories. When people start engaging in Monday night football betting this fall, they’ll only have one chance (December 28th when Chicago hosts division rival Minnesota) to attempt to capitalize on the Bears’ historic Monday night woes. Avoiding a Monday night road game (always trouble for Chicago) is one example of how their schedule looks very promising. brian-urlacher

“Bear Weather” is essentially a myth, no matter how many meatheads tell you otherwise, as the Bears’ December record is far from superlative compared against the rest of the season. But this year, the only extremely difficult game on paper is December 20th, when they visit the Baltimore Ravens.

But it wasn’t the easy 2009 schedule or the fruitful off-season that was on orange and blue minds when the preseason started. It was a non-story surrounding a case of “he said, he said.”

Minnesota Vikings receiver Bobby Wade stated on a Twin Cities radio station yesterday that while spending last weekend in Las Vegas with Bears star LB Brian Urlacher, the Bear used a disparaging word in describing Cutler as soft.

Cutler responded thusly: “We laughed about it. I didn’t put any stock into it. I know Brian didn’t. I think he was just sorry it even came out like that. Me and Brian have been on a good relationship since I got here, and I expect it to continue that way.”

Urlacher said he was simply misquoted by Wade. “I saw Bobby at a place somewhere, and I was talking to him, but I never said what I was quoted as saying. I have a lot of respect for Jay, and I think Jay knows that. There’s never been an issue about Jay and I. We have no problems. I’m excited about football starting, and I’m excited to have him as our quarterback.”
I know training camp can certainly be boring at times, especially when no one has even taken a snap, so this exchange seems to be nothing more than a way to give starved NFL fans (that just finished enduring a long off-season) something to talk about on a very slow football news day.

Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    you know they’re going to win the division

  2. Cutler takes the snap, play action to Forte, he drops back…He runs right, AVOIDs the sack from Aarom Kampman the dirty Packer! Scans the field…but has to throw it away because the Bears have Devin Hester running back and forth in a straight line, and Rashied Davis can’t get open because he’s a below average WR.

    This will be the Bears’ offense this year. Just watch.

  3. Andy Weise says

    I think any of the three (packers, vikings, bears) could emerge.. it will be interesting to see what happens.

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