We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere.  To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy football questions regarding their team.  We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway).  The 2009 Bears  Fantasy Football Preview comes courtesy of Windy City Gridiron.

1. No matter what anyone says about Jay Cutler’s character, he is a steep upgrade over Kyle Orton.   What kind of difference will he make?  Will the line hold up for him?  Will the receivers get open?  How does it feel to finally have an elite QB in Chicago?

The only question is how can he not help.  There is no argument that Cutler is three times the QB that Orton was. Orton played well minus a few games after an injury.  His receivers were either raw or too old to be good anymore.   We’ve shed the vets.  Hester has another full camp under his belt.  Bennett and Know are tearing up OTAs.  Greg Olsen is a stud and him and Cutler should hook up often this year.  Orton had a horrible line.  Cutler has a line that is now experienced and has a good deal of depth.

If Pace makes it this season, this line is solid.  We are good with good depth everywhere except left.  If we have to replace Pace, we go back to Chris Williams and I’m not sure he is ready for that.

Cutler has everything that Orton did not.  Arm strength, accuracy and mobility.  Those three things in our system are key.  With a deep threat like Hester.  Getting the ball to him in stride or in open space in a timely manner are key.  Hester toward the end of last year had 3 steps on almost every CB he played, but Orton could never get the ball to him.To answer you last question, I’ll say I got goose bumps just reading it.  It is something that as a life long Bears fan is almost hard for me to know how to react or what to expect.

2. Devin Hester showed that he can play wide receiver last year, but can he break out as an elite receiver with Cutler throwing to him?  What kind of numbers are you projecting for him?

I don’t know if he can be elite, but there is no way his numbers are not drastically improved.  If Orton had hit him every time he had a step on the CB, he would have 300 more yards and at least 5 more TDs last year.  I think a 1000 yard season with double digit TDs are very possible.  I’m not sure he breaks 100 receptions, since the Bears rely heavily on their TEs and RBs as receivers as well.

3. There is a lot of speculation about the Bears going out to get a receiver to compliment Hester and Olsen.   Out of all the possibilities out there (Boldin, Marshall, Burress, etc . . .) who would you love to see them get and what do you expect Angelo will end up doing?

Of the three you mentioned Boldin is the pick.  The Bears have not tolerated off the field issue in the past and it would be hypocritical for them to bring in Marshall or Burress.  They have shown no ability to make good decisions thus far, what makes anybody think they will change?  The option that I am excited about is if AZ signs Boldin, they cannot afford Steve Breaston when he becomes a UFA next season.  We now have a QB that make us a destination for a player like that.  I’d like to see the Bears make a heavy run at him.  I think Angelo holds.  He needs to see what he has.

4. Matt Forte exceeded all expectations last year.  Between carries and receptions he ended up with 379 touches.  Do you see a similar workload this year?  Do you see Kevin Jones getting more carries than last year?

There is no way Forte gets near 400 again.  Cutler being there already means they will throw more.  Also Cutler protects Forte from 8 man fronts.  He should get beat on less by the front line of the other team.  He should see significantly more time in the secondary this year.  Kevin Jones is now 2 years removed from his surgery. Anybody who expected a ton from him last year was fooling themselves.  This is his year.  When he is healthy, he can be a feature back.

5. How much stock do you put into the rave reviews you hear coming from OTA’s?  I’d like to some day hear somebody say, “well, so and so is pretty slow and he constantly eats Cheetos in the huddle.” What are you hearing that gets you excited and do you feel that it is legit?

The way I see it, somebody raving about somebody is good from the stand point that they aren’t saying bad things about him.  So, do I expect Johnny Know to destroy the league?  No.  But hearing what they have to say about him, suggests that he is picking up the system and has good chemistry with Cutler and could do some things for us.  As long as bad things don’t come out, I’m content whatever they say.

Most of the excitement over Know is from the standpoint of him replacing Davis.

To illustrate my point, we’ve heard nothing about Iglesias.  Then the other day, a paper suggest that Know could see more playing time than Iglesias.  That has to worry you a little bit.   It doesn’t mean with training camp, he won’t be ready, but you have to wonder about that.

  1. cws05nuts says:

    The Bears don’t mess with off the field issues? Is this guy kidding? Every year there are problems… FBI shooting range, Tank, Tommie, Lance, and Urlacher’s trips to the Hinsdale Oasis.

    Devin Hester can’t learn/remember the playbook or the play called in the huddle. Fumblitis? Forte good. Kevin Jones = special teamer. Lovie runs the softest OTA/camp in the NFL. Who wouldn’t look good?

  2. Josh says:

    Yeah, I might be proved wrong but I think this dude is being overly optimistic about Chicago’s passing game to say the least. Cutler IS a better QB than Orton, but considering the Bears’ style of play and their lack of WR weapons, I’m not sure he’s automatically going to start putting up great stats. In fact, I have a feeling Orton may end up with better fantasy numbers this year than Jay.

  3. Doc

    Doc says:

    @cws05nuts: @Josh: Maybe I’m drinking too much Chicago city water, but I feel that Cutler can do something this year. Not what he did last year, but better than many are expecting. I think Orton and Cutler will have similar numbers overall.

    I was actually surprised watching Hester last year. He started “getting it” as the season went on. He’ll never be a top end receiver, but he will be serviceable and with Cutler he’ll have decent fantasy numbers.

    If Jones could stay healthy he would be a top RB. He had some great games for a rotten Lions team. Of course this year he’ll be behind Forte so that’s moot.

  4. MasHamburguesas says:

    In a two QB league, can you justify not taking a QB first round? Its sort of a bad situation, since its sort of like the UTIL spot in baseball, but our league scoring gives way more points to QBs. So theres plenty of people in the league that thinks a RB or WR is fine in that slot, and they are okay waiting on one QB. Then, by them waiting and applying a standard scoring league’s ranking, if I took a Peyton Manning in the first round or even an Aaron Rodgers, I risk not getting much at RB later in the draft. Should I go with the flow, or shock the league?

  5. cws05nuts says:

    @Doc: Doc. Same water bigger meatball over here. I was just pointing out what I think this guy has wrong. I think Cutler will be awesome. He made the mediocre Broncos roster above average. IE. Marshall, Scheffler, and Royal. Those kids won’t put up half the numbers without him. Not a knock on Orton, he is serviceable. But the Broncos skill position players are just not that good. Angelo said it best at the conclusion of the season and explains why he made the trade: “Quarterbacks make the wide receivers better. Not the other way around.”

    Obviously some exceptions with the greats. Even modern football (talking Goodell era rules favoring the offense) and the great fantasy wr kids like Dre and Megatron put up a good amount of their points late in games when the offense is bombing the ball to them.

    Also, outside of fake football. Remember how good the Bears are on special teams? Cutler is going to be starting with great field position. Can you imagine Brady or Manning starting where the Bears have typically started drives over the past several years? Plus Ron Turner can use his playbook! Cutler can make throws that Orton cannot. We will see a very different style of Bears offense this year. And the schedule is soft.

    OK. sorry drunk rambling.

  6. cws05nuts says:

    The schedule is so soft.

  7. Doc

    Doc says:

    @MasHamburguesas: So it’s actually a 1 QB league with a Utility spot that you think you should fill with a QB? If QB’s get more points then you probably should go with QB there, but you can probably get the comparable points from 2 later round qb’s and then if you pick well with RB’s or WR’s you can play matchups with that Util spot. The main thing is to not get skunked on RB and WR just to get a QB when you could probably get comparable value later.

  8. Doc

    Doc says:

    @cws05nuts: It’s going to be really interesting to watch. There are so many ways this Bears team could go!

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