In good hands: Bears reunite Cutler with Jeremy Bates

February 07, 2012|RedEye

Excuse Bears fans for getting a little excited Tuesday. The news that the Bears had hired Jeremy Bates as their quarterbacks coach was welcomed with mostly open arms.

Why?

Because Bates worked with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver from 2006 to '08.

"I'm very excited to be working with Jeremy Bates again," Cutler said on the team's website. "We got the right guy for the job.

"He's a grinder. He's a guy that's going to work extremely hard to find weaknesses in defenses and he's going to be able to present it to us in a way that we understand and will be able to make plays where we can take advantage of those weaknesses."

During the 2008 season, Cutler threw for a franchise-record 4,526 yards en route to the Pro Bowl and the Broncos had the second-best offense in the NFL with 395.8 yards per game.

One big difference between that 2008 Denver team and the current Bears? The Broncos had a good crop of receivers, an area the Bears could use some help. What kind of help?

Here is Bears fans' wish list. TRIBUNE CONTRIBUTED.

Brandon Marshall

WHY: He played with Cutler—and under Bates—in Denver from '06-'08, so he's familiar with the two. And during his career, Marshall has 6,247 yards and 34 touchdowns in his six seasons.

Vincent Jackson

WHY: He's a free agent and he's a big-time receiver. He's had three 1,000-yard seasons in his seven-year career with 37 touchdowns. At 6-5, he'd be the big target the Bears have lacked. Sorry, Roy Williams.

Mario Manningham

WHY: One of the Giants' Super Bowl heroes, Manningham is entering his fifth season, so he's probably nearing his prime. And we already know he can make the big catch.

Jermichael Finley

WHY: He's not a receiver, but the Green Bay Packers tight end could fill a void the Bears created for themselves when they traded Greg Olsen to Carolina.

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