Bears' Cutler says new offense will take some getting used to
Quarterback Jay Cutler says the offense is adapting to new coordinator Dowell Loggains, the Chicago Bears' former quarterbacks coach who succeeded Adam Gase after he was hired to be the Miami Dolphins' head coach.
"It's going well," Cutler said. "I've known Dowell, like Adam, for a long time. Not a lot of change.
"The backbone of this offense is still the same. Even if Adam was here, we still would have changed some stuff and got better in certain areas. So we're just kind of continuing down that road."
One big change will be the absence of Matt Forte, who was the Bears' do-it-all running back during each of Cutler's first seven years in Chicago.
Jeremy Langford, who was Forte's top backup as a rookie in 2015, is expected to be the new No. 1. But fifth-round rookie Jordan Howard and 2014 fourth-rounder Ka'Deem Carey are hungry for carries and veteran Jacquizz Rodgers is still in the mix.
"They're ready to go," Cutler said. "We used Jeremy a lot last year (537 yards on 148 carries). He stepped in and did a good job for us. He's got to take that next step … of being that guy and being able to be accountable on first, second and third down like Matt was. Those guys have got big shoes to fill."
Langford averaged just 3.6 yards per carry but 12.7 yards on 22 receptions, although he had some egregious drops.
"Matt was the guy," Cutler said. "He had been there (and) done that. There's going to be some bumps in the road for that group. Jeremy is going to take his lumps.
"There's going to be some things that he's going to learn from, and we're going to have to grow in the backfield with him a little bit."
Outside linebacker Pernell McPhee did not participate in any of the organized team activities and will not practice during the minicamp that runs through Thursday.
He is continuing to rehab from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, and his availability for the start of training camp is unclear.
"I can't predict five weeks (ahead) day to day," coach John Fox said. "Pernell's doing what we think is best for him and for us, and I'll say the same until we get to training camp, and even then."
McPhee was the focal point of the defense during the first half of last season, when he had 5 of his 6 sacks and more than two-thirds of his 64 tackles.
But his effectiveness waned later when he was hindered by the injury that required surgery after the season.
Change is good:
There's no such thing as continuity in the NFL, as evidenced by the 41 players on the Bears' 90-man roster who were not with the team last season.
Change is fine with coach John Fox. "I think a lot's changed," he said. "We have different players; some different coaches.
"I kind of hope they have changed. We were 6-10 and in last place (last year), so, I'm hoping to change that, too."
The physical skills and attributes of last year's first-round pick Kevin White are undeniable.
"The sky is the limit," quarterback Jay Cutler said of the 6-foot-3, 217-pound wide receiver, who missed his rookie season with shin splints.
"He's an unbelievable kid. You know that every day he comes to work, he's going to give you everything he has. "Physically, he can do anything he wants. He's fast, he's strong, he can get out of breaks.
"It's just a matter of him mentally getting there so that he can use all of his ability instead of thinking so much."
Maybe that's part of the reason for White's frequent drops, including two during Tuesday's practice.
Changing of the guard:
Second-round rookie Cody Whitehair replaced Ted Larsen at left guard on the first team during Tuesday's practice.
Larsen a seventh-year veteran signed away from the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, was not on the field.
"He's doing what we feel is best for him right now to get him ready for the opener," said coach John Fox, who doesn't provide injury information in the off-season.
Wide receiver Marquess Wilson did not finish practice.
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