2014 DRAFT GUIDE
3-0 Bears trying to stay focused with Lions next

    2013-09-27 02:31

(Eds: Will stand. With AP Photos.)
By ANDREW SELIGMAN
AP Sports Writer

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The record says the Chicago Bears lead the NFC North at 3-0. Coach Marc Trestman isn't buying it.

The way he sees it, Sunday's game at Detroit might as well be the season opener.

``We're not 3-0,'' Trestman said. ``We're 0-0, and this is Game 1 of 13. That's really the reality of it all. We've got to focus on getting better each day, and on Sunday we play Game 1 of the season. That's how it is. There's no light at the end of the tunnel here. There's no guarantees at the end of the tunnel, that 3-0 is getting us anywhere. It's giving us a chance. That's what it's doing.''

So far, the Bears are in a good spot.

They rallied to beat Cincinnati and Minnesota and hung on last week at Pittsburgh after a 21-point lead shrank to four. They're making clutch plays on offense. Their defense is as opportunistic as ever, even if the pass rush is looking like more of a rumor than a reality.

Yet, they also know how fleeting fast starts can be.

Two years ago, the Bears were closing out a win over San Diego to go to 7-3 when Jay Cutler threw an interception. Then, he tried to help make the tackle, and the result was a broken thumb that sent them careening toward an 8-8 record that cost then-general manager Jerry Angelo his job.

Last year, they started 7-1, only to drop five of the next six as injuries mounted. They wound up missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years despite a 10-6 record, and the result was an overhaul that started with coach Lovie Smith's firing.

``It's just three wins,'' linebacker Lance Briggs said. ``Three wins isn't going to get you into the playoffs, so for us we need to keep etching away. This is a divisional opponent and when you play a divisional opponent, it's a chance to separate yourself and get as big a jump on anybody in your division as you possibly can.''

There are some signs that this is more than just a mirage or a tease, particularly on offense.

There appears to be more discipline on that side with Trestman in charge instead of the defensive-minded Smith.

A rebuilt line with newcomers Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson on the left side and rookies Jordan Mills and Kyle Long on the right has mostly held its ground, and the result is fewer penalties and fewer hits on Cutler.

The Bears have not been called for a false start. Considering Chicago had nine in a game at Detroit in 2011 and got flagged 25 times for it a year ago, that's a huge improvement.

Then, there's the fact that Cutler, a human tackling dummy his first four years in Chicago, has been sacked just three times.

He's also been delivering down the stretch, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes while boasting a 108.2 rating in the fourth quarter.

Having big targets in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and newcomer Martellus Bennett helps. It doesn't hurt, either, that the play-calling seems to fit the personnel, with Cutler getting the ball out of his hands quicker.

Yet, the Bears understand just how fragile a fast start is. They know better than to get too high.

``I think it all starts with Trestman and the rest of the coaches,'' Cutler said. ``Everyone has really been good, especially on game day. There's going to be some frustration from time to time. But when you look at those guys and see how calm they are and confident they are about moving on and going onto the next play and being confident with the next play call, it makes our job easier.''

NOTES: CB Charles Tillman missed his second straight practice on Thursday because of knee and groin problems and remains day to day. ``We're hopeful and I'll tell you exactly where he is (on Friday),'' Trestman said. ``Just not sure. We'll see where he is in the morning. He worked off the field all day. Optimistic but we'll know more in the morning.'' ... TE Martellus Bennett when asked if he thinks Detroit's Ndamukong Suh is dirty: ``No, hopefully he takes baths. I don't think he's dirty as a player.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 30 04:32p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and OG Ronald Leary (groin) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Bruce Carter (thigh, finger), LB Rolando McClain (shoulder) and DE Anthony [ More ]

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