Huddle Up: Bears passing game presents threat

Ryan Wood
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Each Friday morning, Press-Gazette Media will look at a key matchup involving the Packers’ next opponent.

In recent years, a pair of stilts could’ve been a useful tool for cornerbacks trying to match up against Chicago Bears receivers.

Jay Cutler’s receiving targets have resembled a basketball team. Alshon Jeffery (6-foot-3), Brandon Marshall (6-foot-4) and Martellus Bennett (6-foot-6) made for one potentially lethal pickup three-on-three team.

The Bears traded Marshall to the New York Jets this offseason. They drafted West Virginia star Kevin White (6-foot-3) seventh overall, but a stress fracture in his shin likely will sideline him for most, if not all, of his rookie season. Their other offseason acquisition was Eddie Royal, a 5-foot-10 slot receiver.

So the Bears’ receiving corps isn’t as tall as last season, but Packers cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. still sees a daunting challenge.

Now, Whitt said, the test is matching up with the variety of weapons the Bears have in their passing game.

Add to the mix running back Matt Forte, the NFL’s premier pass-catching tailback. Forte has a career-high 102 catches (and a whopping 130 targets) for 808 yards.

“They have weapons,” Whitt said, “and the running back, he doesn’t allow you to play too high because he’s such a good player out of the backfield in the run and the screen and just pass game, so you must put focus on him. It’s the same challenge. They’re all good.”

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