With Cutler, Marshall together, Bears aim high - FOX 32 News Chicago

With Cutler, Marshall together, Bears aim high

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AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Jay Cutler wasn't quite sure what the results will be this time around. The last time he and Brandon Marshall were together, they were impressive, though.
   Now the quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver are reunited in Chicago after forming an explosive tandem in Denver, and the Bears are eyeing a big run, starting with the season opener against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
   How much better can they be this time?
   "We'll see," Cutler said Wednesday. "We did some good stuff when we were in Denver. We were young. I think Mike Shanahan and (assistant) Jeremy Bates were very good about putting us in situations for us to be successful; being very safe, at the same time trying to be explosive. So expectations are high."
   They soared after the Bears acquired Marshall in a blockbuster trade with Miami, giving Cutler the go-to target he had lacked since he arrived from Denver. Even better, it was someone he knows well, a familiar target. And they certainly put up big numbers the last time they were together.
   Marshall began a run of five straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards in 2007 and made the first of his three Pro Bowls the following year.
   Cutler also made the Pro Bowl in 2008 with a team-record 4,526 yards passing before a fallout with then-coach Josh McDaniels in the offseason that led to him being traded to Chicago.
   Marshall vowed they'll be better this time around. He said in the spring that he cringes when he looks at their old clips, that he sees immaturity and missed opportunities and that they now have a chance to get it right.
   "Jay is definitely is a better quarterback, as we would expect from a few years ago," Marshall said. "But it's still the same game."
   Marshall figures to be double-teamed, which could mean fewer passes thrown his way and more opportunities for the other receivers, such as Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett.
   Cutler said he even told Marshall, "You might get two balls this game."
   Then again, at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, it might not matter. Double-teamed or not, there's a good chance Marshall will find a way to make plays. And he basically said bring it on.
   "The good thing about being here, we have Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett," he said. "And we haven't even gotten to the backfield yet. It'd be really hard for teams to really stop us with the guys we have in the locker room. But, there's no coverage I haven't seen, so I'm prepared."
   If nothing else, the other receivers figure to get some chances with the defenses focusing on him. Either way, the Bears appear to be in a better spot.
   "I'm excited, like you guys are," offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. "But there are other players we have, not to downplay the role that (Marshall) is going to have for us. But there are other players on our team. Yes, he's a great player. Yes, he's made many plays, and he's going to make a lot of plays as a Bear. But there are other players that we're going to get the football to."
   Notes: LB Brian Urlacher was listed as a full participant in practice on Wednesday. ... Tice expressed some concern about RT Gabe Carimi, who missed the final 14 games as a rookie last year because of a knee injury.  "He's going to take a while to be up to full speed. I don't think he's all the way back yet. The endurance in his leg is going to come with game time." Still, Tice liked what he saw from Carimi toward the end of the preseason. ... Marshall said he has no lingering issues with Colts CB Vontae Davis, saying Davis "has always been like a little brother to me" and that he looks forward "to watching his career blossom." He added: "Hopefully he reaches his potential because he can be one of the best corners to play the game." The two were involved in a heated confrontation in practice with the Dolphins last year, according to NFL.com, in which Marshall threw a ball hard in his face from point-blank range and Davis had to be restrained. "It's football," Davis said. "Me and Brandon, we're good friends. I expect him to come out and be excited to play against me." ... Say this for Bears CB D.J. Moore -- he's honest. With his alma mater Vanderbilt visiting Northwestern on Saturday, he was asked which school had the smarter players. "I didn't go to school to learn too much," he said, laughing. "I'm not the smartest guy. I probably have the most common sense." Asked how he maintained his eligibility, Moore said, "I'm not a dumb kid. I learned fast. I could have done better than I did." Moore also took a swipe at other schools, saying, "I'm smarter than some of the kids that went to Florida State or those types of schools."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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