It comes as no surprise that the national media was in heavy attendance for the Bears’ first day of organized team activities Wednesday. A Pro Bowl skill position player, specifically at the dreaded quarterback position which has become a black hole from decades of misery, is an unusual sight in Chicago. Sure, the Bears have many new faces which fill the various holes from a season ago. But everybody came to see what new quarterback Jay Cutler could do.
Below is a sampling of news from the first day of OTAs.
View photos from Day 1 of OTAs from ChicagoTribune.com.
Regarding his switch from cornerback to free safety, Corey Graham said, “It’s definitely different. At corner you’re out there on a receiver and at free safety you’re in the middle of the field watching everybody. You don’t have a particular guy. So it’s totally different.
“We’ve got a new quarterback; it’s up to the receivers to do their job,” Rashied Davis said. “OK, we’re going to do our job, come out and play hard and try to win a lot of games this year. We need to get back to the playoffs. Last time the Super Bowl was in Miami, we were there. We need to get back, and win this time. That’s all we’re focused on right now.”
Speaking about how hard Cutler throws the ball, Davis said: “You just have to get used to catching a ball that comes that hard. It comes fast; it’s on you real quick. You’ve got to get your head around. Once you get used to running routes with him and catching the ball from him, it gets a little bit easier. But he throws the ball pretty hard and the heat is still on the ball 20 yards down the field. It’s not like you’re [just] five yards away from him and it’s hot.”
“I’ve never been around an arm like this,” offensive coordinator Ron Turner said about Cutler.
“Once you get adjusted, it’s all the same pretty much,” tight end Greg Olsen added. “You just have to get your eyes around that much faster and expect it.”
“We’ve got a lot of young receivers and they’ve got to get used to the way I throw the ball,” Cutler said. “I thought Day 1 looked good.”
In addition to free agent linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa visiting the team on Wednesday, there are reports that veteran cornerback Rod Hood will also make a visit. Hood seems like a long-shot to join the team even though he said he’d like to join a team that has a chance of winning right away. There figures to be a number of teams vying for his services and he’ll probably have a better chance at getting playing time elsewhere.