The Bears Den: September 06, 2013 - Week 1 news and notes

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Cutler expects Bears to show continued improvement - Larry Mayer: Jay Cutler knows that learning a new offense doesn't happen overnight, but that doesn't mean the Bears can't perform well on that side of the ball in Sunday's opener against the Bengals.

Cutler and Forte look to old tape of Gannon and Garner for insight - Dan Wiederer: Cutler and Forte sought out old footage of their counterparts to see just how things can click when Trestman’s offensive concepts are working in the NFL (non-Tribune link). Brad Biggs: Forte should soar in Bears new offense.

Cutler’s leadership key for Bears grasping Trestman’s offense - Adam L. Jahns: Jay Cutler kept things simple during late-night meetings he arranged during OTAs. Giving his receivers too many options would have resulted in ‘‘96 different pizzas.’’

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Bears-Bengals

Bears understand offense will take time - Bob LeGere: A unit that is still learning a new system, and which will start two rookies on the line, faces a Bengals defense that is one of the best in the NFL.

Long, Mills face big test right from start - Andrew Seligman: Rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills could be in for a rude welcome to the NFL. Then again, the rookies are no strangers to top defenses.

Game preview - Steve Silverman looks ahead at how the two teams match up, and thinks this could be the best game of the opening weekend of the season.

Joniak's Journal - Trestman confident he can handle Cutler's competitive demeanour; comparing the two defenses and special teams units.

Game notes - Adam Hoge: Briggs says D.J. Williams will start; Earl Bennett expects to play; more game notes.

Game notes - Brad Biggs: Briggs says Williams ready to start at MLB; Sanu vs. Jeffery; more notes.

Earl Bennett expects to be active Week 1 - Jeff Dickerson: Kromer confirmed that Bennett has a role in the Week 1 game plan after slot receiver received medical clearance to return to practice at the beginning of the week.

Lance Briggs says D.J. Williams will start at MLB - Doug Padilla: New defensive signal caller Lance Briggs tried to remove any lingering confusion Thursday, though his more conservative head coach wasn't ready to be so decisive.

Playing Williams over Bostic is short-sighted of Bears - David Haugh: Rookie LB needs on-the-job learning, not sitting behind stopgap veteran. Moon Mullin: The point is that the Bears finally have LB depth.

Matt Bowen: Scouting the Bears - Bengals TEs could be trouble for Bears in the red zone as Dalton will target them, especially Jermaine Gresham, for a mismatch with the FS in the middle of the field.

Game preview - Michael C. Wright and Matt Williamson discuss the matchup and make their predictions.

Bears bracing for battle on special teams - Michael C. Wright: Offense and defense dominate most of the conversation about the matchup between the Bears and Bengals, but special teams could ultimately decide the winner in this one.

Four Downs - Jeff Dickerson and Jon Greenburg on if the OL can protect Cutler, whether Bostic will be the MLB, if Jeffery can have 50+ receptions, and who will be more productive between Wootton and McClellin.

Kyle Long focusing on task at hand - Larry Mayer: The Bears rookie guard will make history Sunday at Soldier Field, but he's focusing more on honing his assignments as he prepares to face a talented Bengals defense.

Alshon Jeffery likened to Zach Randolph - Dan Wiederer: Martellus Bennett says Alshon Jeffery has some resemblance to Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Zach "Z-Bo" Randolph.

Will Bears' new coaches surprise Bengals? ... [Video] CSNChicago discussion - Who has the edge in Bears vs. Bengals? Cincinnati radio host Ken Broo predicts Bengals; [Video].

[Video] View from the Moon - MM with the latest on Cutler, Bears-Bengals, and what Lance Briggs has had to say from Halas Hall.

Dionne Miller's `Happenings at Halas' - September 5: Facing a Bengals front seven that is as dominant as the Bears will be a great measuring stick to see where the offense is and where they need to go.

Morning Bears Bits - Adam Hoge: Did the Bears learn any secrets about the Bengals from Hard Knocks? Patrick Finley: Bears watching game film, not a TV show.

Bengals say Bears are tough as ever despite coaching changes - Evan Moore: Bengals players respect the Bears' defense and one, at least, appreciates Trestman's offense.

Ex-Bear news - Rich Campbell: Former Bears WR Dane Sanzenbacher made the Bengals' 53-man roster last week, setting up his return to Soldier Field for Sunday's season opener between the two teams.

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Cutler

Eventful preseason gives way to the real show - Dan McNeil: It has been anything but an uneventful seven weeks keeping tabs on the Bears. From now on, all eyes will be on Jay Cutler and whether he can be their real QB of the future

It’s still all about Cutler - Adam Hoge: Break it down all you want, 2013's success depends on the QB. Can the new head coach handle Jay the right way?

Learning new offense old hat for Cutler - Rich Campbell: Jay Cutler has been through this three other times since joining the Bears in 2009, so if anything, he brings experience to Sunday's challenge. Moon Mullin: Has shown ability to learn quickly.

Should we expect a new Jay Cutler in 2013? - Michael C. Wright: Instead of patting the ball indecisively, expect rhythmic, on-time throws from what might be shaping up to be a new Cutler in a new Bears offense under coach Marc Trestman.

View from the Moon - There are tangible reasons to trust some of what appears to forming between Trestman and Cutler. And reasons why Martz-Cutler was a fusion reaction once it got going.

[Video] CSNChicago discussion - Who's under more pressure, Cutler or the O-Line? [KAPCON: 5] [Video] How will Trestman handle a Cutler blowup?

Will the Bears’ offense work when it matters? - Rick Telander: There has been so much change with the Bears that curiosity is the cat running loose in Chicago. Jeff Dickerson: Bears eager to find identity on offense.

It’s Cutler’s decision-making that needs an adjustment, not his attitude - Rick Morrissey: If things pan out on offense, then Cutler doesn’t need to be a risk-taker. But it sure would be a lot less fun to watch if he goes all robotic on us.

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Bearsss

Bears mailbag - Brad Biggs with a readers' Q&A about TEs, team depth, McClellin's strengths, Long's prospects, and more.

Collinsworth: Brandon Marshall is a superstar - Scott Krinch: Former Bengals WR believes if Marshall decides to buy into Marc Trestman's system, postseason accolades will come and make him an even better player.

NFL broadcast analysts mixed on Bears' prospects - Ed Sherman: The national appeal of the Bears always ranks high with the networks, though some of CBS' various NFL analysts are decidedly down on the team's outlook for 2013.

Bears’ rookies, aging vets must hold up on both sides of the ball - Hub Arkush: With so much that’s new, and too much that’s old on this team, we could fill a book on the keys to the Bears’ 2013 season.

Team notes - Larry Mayer: Garza the last man standing on revamped line; Long & Mills bonding since Combine; Trestman preparing for NFL HC debut; Jennings impressed with Jeffery's improvement.

NFC team-by-team previews - Sam Farmer with a look around the NFC.

Season predictions - Dan Durkin's prediction of how the 2013 NFL season will shake out.

Season predictions - Sun-Times writers explain their picks. ESPN Chicago's Bears season predictions... those for the Tribune writers.

Game picks - CBSChicago's writers are nearly evenly split.

Here's how Chicago Bears get to 10-6 - Jon Greenberg: As a public service to assuage your worries and massage your gambling addiction, here's my game-by-game breakdown of what to expect this season.

Is the Bears' fanbase 'stable'? - Tony Andracki: The Bears fans on Twitter are the seventh-most negative in the NFL.

Bears have fifth-most costly average ticket - Jon Greenberg: The Bears have the fifth-most expensive average ticket this season at $103.60, and are one of six teams with an average ticket more than $100.

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Ditka

Mike Ditka says he’ll shave his famous mustache — for the right price - Kevin Kaduk: Despite the apocalyptic risk a shave might incur, former Bears coach Mike Ditka said on Thursday that he'd be willing to get rid of his iconic mustache if someone made a sizable donation to one of his favorite charities.

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Polish sausage

The Business of Football - Andrew Brandt: Once the season kicks off, front offices can finally kick back and watch how their decisions play out on the field.

Know thy enemies - Two teams in win-or-else mode will open the season Sunday at Ford Field as the Lions host the Vikings. Ben Goessling and Kevin Seifert discuss.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Michael Rothstein: Bush the missing piece for Detroit's offense. Lions have fewest homegrown players in the NFL.

Know thy enemy: Lions - Chris McCosky: Schwartz, Mayhew & Co. must deliver winner ... or else. Dave Birkett: Three storylines for defense.

Know thy enemy: Packers - Rob Demovsky: If Jim Harbaugh was trying to scare the Packers into staying away from his QB, it doesn’t sound like it worked.

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