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ESPN is swarming the NFC North this week. Chris Mortensen and his traveling party are in Green Bay on Tuesday, a couple days after John Clayton spent a day with the Packers. Clayton also visited the Bears in Bourbonnais, Ill., this week and had an interesting take on the skills of quarterback Jay Cutler.
Clayton: Cutler has a double gift. He knows where his receivers like to have the ball placed on throws. Plus, he can deliver those passes to the right location. For example, Cutler said Devin Hester likes lower throws, but the completions work best when he gets the pass off to him quicker. Because split end Earl Bennett played with Cutler at Vanderbilt, Cutler knows exactly the right places to make the most of Bennett's talents. To Cutler, Hester's skills resemble [Eddie] Royal's, and Bennett's is a hybrid of those of Royal and Brandon Marshall.
Over time, most quarterbacks will learn where a receiver likes passes to be thrown. That Cutler is already locked in with Hester, and presumably Bennett and others, is of significant note. His ability to put the ball precisely in those spots ultimately could be what separates him from the NFL field.
In other Bears news, defensive lineman Marcus Harrison was activated Tuesday from the non-football injury list and is practicing with the team. Harrison had been sidelined since reporting at about 10 pounds heavier than his listed playing weight of 312 pounds. Harrison is competing with Anthony Adams for the starting defensive tackle job next to Tommie Harris.