Chicago Bears Make Ratliff Official, Sign Long Snapper

Jay Ratliff. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

Jay Ratliff. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

The  Chicago Bears were in need of some reserves to help an injury hampered unit Wednesday, and they do so by signing defensive tackle Jay Ratliff.

In addition to making the signing of Ratiff  official, who agreed to a new deal last weekend, the Bears have  announced that they have come to agreements with long snapper Jeremy Cain.

Longtime long snapper Patrick Mannelly, who has played in more games than any Bear, left Lambeau Field Monday night in a walking boot because of a calf injury. He finished the game, but adding Cain provides some insurance.

According to John Mullin of CSNChicago.com, Bears coach Marc Trestman said Mannelly could miss a few weeks.

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Chicago Bears OK With Only Two Active Quarterbacks

WR Earl Bennett (Andy King/AP)

WR Earl Bennett (Andy King/AP)

In Sundays match up against the Washington Redskins, Marc Trestman came dangerously close to putting in wide receiver Earl Bennett as his emergency quarterback.

But, Trestman has  said he intends to continue with just two quarterbacks on the roster, after starting quarterback, Jay Cutler went down for at least a month with a torn groin muscle.

Not long after backup Josh McCown replaced Cutler against the ‘skins, McCown had to get air born to dodge a blow to his knees which could have easily left the Bears without one.

“On the sideline, yeah, guys are like, ‘Hey!’ and you see them talking to Earl and kind of getting him ready,” McCown said, via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune. “I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, there’s nobody else.’ It’s hard to manage that when you’re running, to think about Earl and that there’s nobody else. But it was a good reminder for me, and tried to slide the rest of the time.  It’s an interesting way to play, thinking I’ve got to stay healthy.”

The Bears have signed Jordan Palmer as McCown’s backup for the next couple of weeks as the Bears try to get Cutler back ASAP. Trestman said he was willing to gamble that would be enough.

“We’ll play the analytics there and go that route again to try to free up another player that can help us in some phase of our football,” Trestman said. “We were getting him [Bennett] ready. But Matt [Cavanaugh, quarterbacks coach] spends a little bit of time getting him ready each week. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough going for ourselves to be able to get through it. But that would’ve been a darn shame when Josh went out on the sideline early on.” “You’re asking yourself the question, ‘Could this be the day?’ You’re hoping it isn’t.”

While any number of quarterbacks that are rooming the street right now would be a better option than Bennett (nothing against the guy) in the short term scheme of the bears. But as of now, the Bears plan to roll the dice, and have their fingers crossed for the next 4 weeks rolling the dice, and holding their breath.

Chicago Bears Preview Against The Washington Redskins

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs away from New York Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn (93) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) runs away from New York Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn (93) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The Washington Redskins hope to avoid going 0-3 at home for the first time in 15 years, while at the same time trying ti get a fifth consecutive victory against the Chicago Bears.

Although the Redskins have  four straight wins over the 4-2 Bears those games were decided by a combined 16 points. Chicago’s Jay Cutler was intercepted four times by DeAngelo Hall in those games, with Hall returning one for a 92-yard TD in Washington’s 17-14 road win Oct. 24, 2010 in the latest meeting.

However, Cutler, who played three seasons for Shanahan while in Denver, is currently averaging career highs with a 65.9 completion percentage and a 95.2 passer rating. He’s thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions the last two weeks,  including passing for two scores in a 27-21 victory over the New York Giants last Thursday that ended the Bears two-game skid.

Brandon Marshall, who also played with Cutler for Shanahan in Denver, caught a season-high nine passes for 87 yards and two TDs against the Giants. Marshall  has bounced back after voicing his frustration following a four- reception, 30-yard, one-touchdown effort in a loss to New Orleans the previous week.

The Bears’ 10-game run of forcing at least one turnover ended against the Saints, but they intercepted Eli Manning three times, including one by conerback, Tim Jennings, which was returned for a 48 yard touchdown.

Chicago has gone 17-1 in the last 18 in which it’s forced at least three turnovers.

“We see things each and every week that tell us we cannot just be good, we can be very good,” coach Marc Trestman said. “But we also know there’s a lot of work ahead.

The Bears also rank 30th with eight sacks.

“I believe the talent is there and we’ve just got to keep working on it,” Trestman told the Bears’ official website.

Marshall has 12 receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns in two games against Washington.

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Chicago Bears Preview Against the New Orleans Saints

Jay Cutler knows that he needs to have a good season to earn a new contract. AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles

Jay Cutler knows that he needs to have a good season to earn a new contract.
AP Photo/Andrew A. Nelles

The  New Orleans Saints are trying their best not to get swept up in the energy of their best start in four seasons. I they hope to take it to the next level, New Orleans will have end a three-game road skid against the Chicago Bears, who are looking to bounce back after losing to the  Detroit lions, who gave them their first loss of the year. Brees hasn’t been at his best in Chicago, completing only  55.7 percent of his passes with seven TDs and six interceptions while going 0-4 at Solider Field.

Chicago (3-1) rode a precise offense under new coordinator Kromer and its typically opportunistic defense to wins over Cincinnati, Minnesota and Pittsburgh, but the team struggled on both sides of the ball in a 40-32 loss at Detroit on Sunday, event though Chicago had a chance late in the game to tie. Jay Cutler had two touchdowns, but also threw three interceptions and lost a fumble that was returned for a TD. The Bears defense forced three more turnovers but still allowed Reggie Bush to run over them, as he ran for 139 yards.

“I don’t think what happened (last Sunday) means that it has to happen next week or the week after,” coach Marc Trestman said during an interview with ESPN. “It could, but we’re working to prevent those situations from happening. We got guys committed to do that.” That starts with Cutler, who is doing much better than many had expected. He has completed a career-high 64.2 percent of his passes but has six interceptions and two lost fumbles.

Matt Forte rushed for 997 yards in 2011 and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. AP

Matt Forte rushed for 997 yards in 2011 and made the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.
AP

“We sat in the meeting and Jay expressed his sense of accountability,” Trestman said.”We’re just  going to work together on the corrections. We’ve got to get back and work on fundamentals and techniques, not only at the quarterback position but throughout our team.”

Poor execution on  tackles Sunday plagued a defense that’s forced 14 turnovers but ranks 20th with 384.0 yards allowed per game and 26th with 28.5 points given up. Bears running back Matt Forte currently ranks among the NFL leaders with 120.0 total yards a contest. He also caught 10 passes for 117 yards in the 2011 meeting with New Orleans. Cutler, sacked six times in that contest, has thrown three TDs and one pick while going 1-1 against the Saints.

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