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updated: 9/7/2011 8:45 PM

Bears' wide receivers give Martz hope for increased scoring

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  • Undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher made the roster as one of the Bears' six wide receivers.

    Undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher made the roster as one of the Bears' six wide receivers.
    Associated Press


There's nothing complicated about the Bears' mission Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, according to offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

"We need to score more points than we did last year," he said. "We got going pretty good at the end of the year, but (we need) consistency more than anything, and discipline."

Martz's offense was 21st in scoring last season, 28th in passing yards and 30th in total yards, so there's plenty of room for improvement.

One of the areas where Martz sees potential for improvement is a deeper and more talented group of wide receivers.

Roy Williams and Devin Hester are listed as the starters, but backups Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett finished 1-2 among the Bears' wide receivers in receptions and yardage last season.

Undrafted rookie Dane Sanzenbacher and Sam Hurd, an ex-Cowboy like Williams, round out the group.

"We have six; we like (all) of them, and all six can play," Martz said. "(All) of them are going to play, so they'll have plenty of opportunities during the course of the game and during the season.

"It's a nice feeling to have that many, that's for sure. We didn't have enough last year, so it's a good feeling."

Setting the bar:

Depending on how his team does, head coach Lovie Smith joked that he may or may not put a lot of stock into the results of a season opener.

"In years we've won (the opener), I've really put a lot into it," Smith said. "I'm pumped up about it. The years we haven't, then it's not that important.

"Seriously, I don't think you can put too much (into it). But it does give you an idea of where you are because you really don't know.

"No team really knows. You can go through the preseason and teams aren't doing what they're going to do in the regular season. You never really know."

The new guy:

Fullback Tyler Clutts was signed off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad to fill out the 53-man roster.

The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Fresno State product has played in the UFL (United Football League), AFL (Arena Football League) and CFL (Canadian Football League).

He had 1 catch for 9 yards against the Bears in the preseason finale.

"We had a chance to see Tyler up close in our Cleveland game," coach Lovie Smith said. "He did a good job as a fullback and also as a special-teams player."

Injury update:

Marion Barber was the only player who did not participate at all in Wednesday's practice, and he appears doubtful for Sunday.

Sam Hurd (ankle), Anthony Adams (calf) and Corey Wootton (knee) were limited. Lance Briggs (knee), Kahlil Bell (knee), Kellen Davis (back), Patrick Mannelly (calf), Craig Steltz (hip) and Chris Conte (concussion) all had full participation.

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