Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - September 5 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Dionne Miller's 'Happenings at Halas' - September 5

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The NFL season starts in mere hours and the Bears are glad they have a little bit more time. Chicago's opener against the Bengals Sunday is one of the more anticipated Week 1 games simply because of all the story lines that tie into it: rookie head coach, rookie right side of the offensive line and another new offensive game plan, not to mention 37 players in contract years, including the quarterback.

Jay Cutler says he's more comfortable than he's been in the past and the head coach has only seen the even keel side of Jay. But we all know there is another side--the fiery competitive side that shoved J'Marcus Webb and walked away from Mike Tice. Trestman knows this, but won't be fiery back. He has made it clear to Jay that the QB's demeanor is more important than anything else and Trestman believes it's his job to let him "wear himself out...get it off his chest, then go out and get ready for the next play." So, the rookie head coach really is prepared for anything.

Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer has maintained they were looking for the best five guys to protect Cutler. No one imagined that would include both rookies Kyle Long and Jordan Mills, along with free agent upgrades Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson. Only center Roberto Garza remains from the offensive line that last year allowed 44 quarterback sacks, the fourth most in the NFC. Garza admitted he's never seen that kind of turnover around him, but it was clearly necessary. Now let's see what happens against one of the best defensive lines in the league.

The Bengals front is led by Geno Atkins. He has a two-time pro-bowl presence that this week became the highest paid player on the team, signing a 5-year $55 million extension. Oh, and he had 12.5 sacks last season. He's a lot for a veteran to handle, but the responsibility of keeping him away from Cutler starts with a couple of rookies. Yikes! Everyone knows there will be bumps along the way and mistakes. The idea is to minimize it and get both Long and Mills to embrace every little success along the way and build on it.

Facing a Bengals front seven that is as dominant as the Bears will be a great measuring stick to see where the offense is and where they need to go. Sunday can't get here soon enough.

A clean injury report is a good sign, but hardly means there are no decisions to be made. Trestman said decisions on Earl Bennett and who will start at Middle Linebacker won't happen until after the final practice of the week on Friday.

But Lance Briggs was very vocal that DJ Williams is the veteran. Jon Bostic did what he was supposed to do in the preseason, but DJ was brought in to be the starting middle linebacker. And despite missing more than a month, he's healthy and should get the start for Game 1. Briggs did it in 2011 and Urlacher has done it as well. When you know the league and the game, it's definitely easier to step in and be effective. Chemistry and conditioning are what Williams missed with his calf injury. Getting back on the field in a live game is the only way to catch up quick.

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