Pro Football

Bears' improved receiving corps invites Packers to be physical

2012-09-12T22:30:00Z 2012-09-14T14:14:57Z Bears' improved receiving corps invites Packers to be physicalAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
September 12, 2012 10:30 pm  • 

Jay Cutler will ride into Green Bay with his posse tonight and call out Aaron Rodgers, another gunslinger.

Cutler's not afraid. His Bears aren't afraid. Rodgers and the Packers are nicked up, however, compliments of that San Francisco 49ers gang last Sunday.

Green Bay used to beat up Bears' receivers in the past but this is a newer, younger group, with far more talent.

"There is a big difference to what we are doing offensively," Cutler said. "This is a totally different scheme, a mentality, and direction that we're going.

"So there would be no advantage for them watching tape from last year of what we did."

Or trying to be physical with Brandon Marshall (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and Alshon Jeffery (6-3, 216).

"Good luck," Cutler said. "We've got some dudes that if you're going to get up in their face, even our speed guys are going to get around them and our big guys are going to throw and go.

"We invite press coverage. We invite man (coverage). And if we get in that type of game, our guys outside have to make some plays for us."

Said Marshall: "It's all about matchups. I'm 6-5, 230, and there's not too many DBs walking around that big. So if they want to get physical, I do welcome that."

The Bears had nine plays of 20-plus yards in their opener with the Colts, and topped 40 points without a touchdown on defense or special teams for the first time since 1993.

The Packers, meanwhile, still are searching for a running game with Rodgers their leading rusher (5 carries, 27 yards) in the loss to San Francisco.

They had the NFL's worst defense last season, but a league-leading 31 interceptions as safety Charles Woodson's nine picks tied for the league lead.

"They've got guys that can make plays for them," Cutler said. "They give up some yards, but they negate that with all the turnovers they create. Whenever you get turnovers, it changes the whole mentality of the game, momentum and everything."

Cutler learned first-hand against the Cheeseheads.

In six starts against the Packers, he has completed 119-of-209 passes for 1,441 yards with seven touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 67.5 passer rating.

The Bears haven't won in Green Bay since 2007.

"There's a different energy in the locker room, especially offensively," Cutler said. "There's a different confidence in this group. But we have to be careful. We have only played one game. We don't have a lot on tape yet, so we've got to continue to work hard.

"But there's something to be said to being confident about what you're doing and having a feel for what you're doing and going out there and expecting to be good. That's what we've tried to install in these guys."

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