Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."
To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers, and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. To start off the week, the Chicago Bears.
You'll notice he didn't mention anything about his ability to complete passes:
"[Cutler] has that Kurt Warner(notes)-awareness. [...] He has such a keen sense of where everybody's at. He sees everything, can diagnose it without even thinking about it, which allows him to excel with what we do."
-- New Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, on quarterback Jay Cutler
Somebody get Martz a thesaurus:
• "[Cutler has] been pretty remarkable so far. He's everything I had hoped he would be."
• "The tight ends have been very, very outstanding in camp. They've been pretty remarkable as a group.''
• [Cutler has] "handled everything remarkably well."
• "I think Devin [Hester] is ahead of the curve. He's had a remarkable camp, by the way."
Courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times
Julius gets deep:
"I don't think so. I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm shooting for it. I'm not gonna say that I'm not shooting for it, either. It's been done before, and can be done again. That's what records are there for ... to be broken."
The party pooper:
Tony Robbins doesn't have a thing on Lovie Smith.
Only the Bears coach can come off a 7-9 season in which his team failed to make the playoffs for the third year in a row and his quarterback threw a league-high 26 interceptions yet continue his pursuit of positivity with his own job security teetering.
Maybe if just once, after six seasons here, Smith would look into a sea of cameras and speak into a swarm of microphones and actually make you believe he listened to the questions and understood why they were asked rather than answering as if we're all fools. A little bologna on the side would be easier to swallow.
But instead, there was Smith doing his thing again Thursday afternoon, under the same gazebo where Dick Jauron once stood in the summer of 2003, prior to what would be his last season as Bears head coach, and told us, "We're a good football team when we're healthy. How good, I don't know."
At least he was honest.