Quarterback Jay Cutler wouldn’t say too much about making a return trip to Nashville, Tenn. — where he spent four years at Vanderbilt — for Bears’ matchup against the Tennessee Titans this weekend.
“I get to check on my house. That’s about it,” Cutler said. “Other than that, it’s just another game.”
But it also could be better a challenge than the Carolina Panthers, whom the Bears edged on a last-second field goal by Robbie Gould after a solid two-minute drill drive by Cutler on Sunday.
The Titans have won two of their last three games. In fact, they nearly won three in a row, but lost the Indianapolis Colts in overtime on Sunday.
What challenges does the Titans defense present?
“They’ve given up some points early on,” Cutler said. “As of late, [they’ve] played a little bit better. Well coached. [Coach Mike] Munchak does a great job down there. Their defensive coordinator [Jerry Gray] mixes it up. They’re going to take away the deep threat; they’re going to take away your No. 1 option. So we’ve got to be ready to go to No. 2 and 3 and get the running game going.”
With Alshon Jeffery — the Bears’ No. 2 receiving option — still out with a broken hand, Cutler said reconnecting with Earl Bennett against the Panthers was beneficial after he missed time with his own hand injury.
“I have a comfort level with him,” Cutler said. “When he’s out there, I know he’s going to get open if he’s one-on-one. He knows where he’s supposed to be. It’s nice having him back out there. Hopefully, we can get him more involved, whether that’s in the slot or outside.”
Running back Matt Forte’s workload has been a hot topic recently, especially after the Panthers’ game. Forte ranks 21st in the league with 113 touches this season.
“I said earlier, maybe in training camp or something, I didn’t think Matt was going to get the touches that he got last year,” Cutler said. “There’s not enough balls to go around. I think we want to keep him fresher than he was last year toward the end of the year. That’s why we put [Michael Bush] in there.
With the receivers we have, there’s a lot of balls to go around there, so Matt’s not going to get the receptions that he had last year. I think that’s just how it’s going to be this year. Obviously, we want to get the ball to Matt as much as possible, especially with all the two-high [coverage] we’re seeing. We want to get him going a little bit more.”