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Determined defense drives Cutler into frustrated fling
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/4/2010 12:00 AM

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BOURBONNAIS - Toward the end of the hottest and most humid practice of camp Tuesday afternoon, quarterback Jay Cutler, who had been getting bum-rushed by a defensive line that manhandled his protection most of the day, let off a little steam.

With the rush closing in on him before he could locate a receiver, Cutler rifled a pass 15 feet high into the top of a tent 20 feet wide of the sideline. Bears quarterbacks don't get hit in practice, but it would be understandable if Cutler were starting to feel a little frustrated, or at least claustrophobic.

"Aww, I wouldn't know about frustrated," said Bears coach Lovie Smith. "We have scholarship players on the other side of the ball, too. Jay's a good player, and I'm really pleased with what he's done, but it's good competition with a good defense on the other side."

It could be that this year's defense is better than good.

"I don't know if we frustrated him because he's not really being hit," said defensive end Julius Peppers, a frequent visitor to the backfield. "He can't feel it yet because he wasn't taking any punishment."

No word from Cutler, since he only talks on Wednesdays.

Two for one: He's behind Matt Forte on the depth chart, but ninth-year veteran running back Chester Taylor didn't come to the Bears as a free agent to sit on the bench, and he doesn't think that will happen.

"It's a long season," said Taylor, who spent the past three seasons playing behind Adrian Peterson in Minnesota but still rushed for 1,581 yards and caught 118 passes. "We've got 16 games and the playoffs. Running backs go down every now and then, so we need depth."

Taylor says the situation can work out for all concerned, especially for the team.

"We're trying to win ballgames," he said. "That's what it's all about. I know it's a job, and I know we're competing, but the main thing is to win a championship."

Injury update: Linebacker Brian Iwuh suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury during a pileup in full-speed, 11-on-11 action and was carted off the field.

"He's athletic, has quickness, and he's an 'A' special teams player," Lovie Smith said. "But he's been active, he knows how to get to the ball and has good instincts. He's not the biggest guy around (6-feet, 239 pounds), but he fits the mold of what we look for in that Will (weak-side linebacker) position."

Nose tackle Marcus Harrison, still dealing with the heat and dehydration concerns was out again Tuesday afternoon but is expected back for tonight's practice, as is linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (groin) who got the day off.

Rookie safety Major Wright (groin), wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias (quad), safety Chris Harris (back) and running back Harvey Unga (groin) all remained out.