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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Cutler expects rough reception

ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler expects a rough reception when he returns to Denver on Sunday to face his former team.

The former Denver Broncos Pro Bowler left on bad terms after a public rift with rookie coach Josh McDaniels, and he later ruffled feathers in Denver when he implied during an interview on ESPN 1000 that Bears fans are more passionate.

"Probably poorly," Cutler said when asked how he expects to be received by the fans. "That would be my first guess."

Cutler doesn't sound like someone who's motivated to make a former team look bad.

"It's a preseason game, we can't make it more than it is," Cutler said Wednesday at Halas Hall. "We just have to prepare ourselves and get ready for a tough team.

"They've got a lot of talent offensively and defensively, so it's going to be a challenge."

Cutler and a draft pick were traded to the Bears for quarterback Kyle Orton and draft picks. Cutler sympathized for Orton, who's had an uneven start with Denver and has heard some booing.

"It's tough, I feel bad for Kyle," Cutler said. "I think he's going to pull through in the long run.

"Offensively, they've got a lot of good players. They've got a great offensive line, they've got good receivers, and Josh McDaniels, he's an offensive mind. He puts guys in spots to make plays, so I think they're going to be fine."

Orton, speaking on a teleconference with Chicago media, said he's looking forward to facing his former team.

"I miss a lot of guys back there," Orton said. "We certainly had great teammates, we had great chemistry. Olin [Kreutz] was great for me, we were good friends off the field. [He is] certainly a great player on the field, and he did a lot to make that offense run no question about it.

"I certainly want to go out and play well. I'm looking forward to it. The defense that we're facing, I certainly know that, having to practice against these guys for four years. This is going to be a good test for myself and our offense."

But Orton wouldn't bite when asked if he'll throw more touchdowns than Cutler.

"I don't really care," Orton said. "I don't think touchdown passes necessarily equal wins. What would that matter to me?"

Cutler, speaking on a conference call with Denver reporters, said he expects plenty of blitzing from the Broncos.

"It's the third preseason game, so offenses and defenses are adding a little bit more and a little bit more and some different wrinkles out there," Cutler said. "So, we're just going to be on our toes and be prepared for anything." McDaniels, on Tuesday, downplayed Cutler's return.

"No, it is just another great opportunity for us to fix things that we haven't done well," McDaniels said when asked if the game carried extra significance. "We are trying to go out there and fix some things that we made mistakes on [against] Seattle today.

"This game is another step in our process of getting ready for the regular season. If you try to make too much of the game or the opponent in the preseason, I think you are kind of missing the point. The point is it is an opportunity for us to go out there and improve, and that is what we are going to treat it as."