Santa Clausen is coming to town!
While we wonder if Jay Cutler has mastered the better-not-pout part yet, here are 10 Bears question marks entering Sunday’s game against Detroit:
1. How would Cutler look in baby blue and navy?
Those searching for potential trade partners keep pointing to Nashville, where Cutler played at Vanderbilt.
The Titans could use a quarterback, sure. They’ve had a litany of bad ones lately, from Jake Locker to rookie Zach Mettenberger, and a coach in Ken Whisenhunt who helped revitalize Philip Rivers in San Diego.
For a man who wears his Vandy hat a lot, it seems a logical fit.
But that doesn’t make it likely — there’s no indication yet the Titans consider Cutler’s contract palatable.
2. How big is Jimmy Clausen’s cheering section?
Ten family members were scheduled to come to Chicago for the holidays, landing Thursday and Friday and attending Sunday’s game.
Now, they’ll get to see his first start since 2010.
3. What’s the only difference between Cutler and Clausen — besides 108 career starts?
“Jay throws the ball a lot harder,” receiver Alshon Jeffery said.
Jeffery and the Bears’ skill position players worked with Clausen for about 20 minutes after practice Friday.
“Just the timing and communicating the plays and what Jimmy likes,” Jeffery said.
Coach Marc Trestman reiterated Cutler will be the backup, and third-stringer David Fales inactive.
4. Why should the Bears envy the Lions?
First-year coach Jim Caldwell has his team likely playoff-bound; the other six first-year coaches in the NFL are a combined 27-58.
Culture change was key — and a major factor if the Bears do decide to switch coaches.
“The players have to get accustomed to how you think, what you believe in, how you see things, how you practice, the way in which you practice, so that’s all part of that,” Caldwell said. “It’s never-ending.
“It started the first day when we arrived, and you’ve got to fight for it every single day.”
Caldwell then quoted former Presidential candidate Ross Perot: “Everything’s on the razor’s edge, and you gotta just continue to battle for it to make certain that it’s going in the direction in which you like.”
Take that, Alexander Haig.
5. Six fake punts Sunday?
Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis joked he didn’t want to get into details about the Bears’ failed fake.
“We might run six fakes this week,” he said, smiling.
6.Who’s got the best Lions scouting reports?
Willie Young has to be the most colorful.
The former Lions player said this about star receiver Calvin Johnson: “You can’t coach a technique to cover that guy, you know. He’s extremely good at what he does. When he’s not open, he’s open.”
And this, about running back Reggie Bush: “You can’t let this guy get to the edge … you cannot take your eyes off the guy.”
7. Has Kyle Long earned Ndamukong Suh’s respect?
Sounds like it.
“He’s a good player, obviously a Pro Bowl player,” the Lions’ star defensive tackle said this week. “Is very fast, strong, aggressive, plays with a great demeanor. Is a guy that obviously is gonna be a great guard in this league.”
8. Running the ball more than eight times is a good idea this time, right?
“Certainly part of our game plan is to run the ball, as it should be,” Trestman said about the league’s best run defense. “We know it’s not gonna be easy.”
9. Isn’t this whole mess distracting?
“It’s not hard to focus,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “We’re all focused on the Lions, and that’s what it’s all about.”
10. Could Suh return to Soldier Field quicker than we think?
He’s a free agent next season, but his potential salary — maybe the most ever for a defender — could turn off the Bears. Suh said he’s not thinking about his next stop yet.